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Thursday, November 23, 2017
HomeBriefsUAA punked: ‘It’s okay to be white’ counseling offered

UAA punked: ‘It’s okay to be white’ counseling offered

The University of Alaska Anchorage is one of many colleges around the country where a cryptic five-word flyer has been found on campus, proclaiming “IT’S OKAY TO BE WHITE.”

It was the equivalent of a flash-mob prank that’s all the rage with the kids these days.

As with other campuses around the country, the administration of UAA reacted quickly to the threat, immediately sending a note to everyone on its mass email list, offering counseling for those who were offended:

Hawkins

Dear UAA Community,

It has come to the attention of university leadership with the statement “it’s okay to be white” were posted in various places on the UAA campus. Further investigation revealed this is part of a movement occurring at high schools and universities nationwide designed to create racial tension and division with the express goal of eliciting media coverage.

At UAA, we refuse to be divided.

We honor diverse experiences and perspectives — including differences in ideas, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, culture, nationality, age, disability, veteran and socioeconomic status.

To that end, university leadership will use this as an opportunity to engage out campus community in dialogue about our differences, our similarities and our shared values surrounding diversity, inclusion and respect for one another.

Members of our team are here to support you if you need someone to talk to about these flyers. I encourage you to reach out to the Dean of Students Office 907-786-1214 or to the Student Health and Counseling Center 907-746-4040.

Sincerely

Samuel B. Gingerich

Interim Chancellor

ORIGINS OF THE FLYER

The “It’s Okay to be White” slogan was first seen on 4chan (image-based online bulletin board), possibly as a test to see if  the phrase would attract accusations of racism and white supremacy.

Those unfamiliar with 4chan might be showing signs of age, but it’s a wild and uncensored set of forums that are primarily visual. There’s a lot of Japanese animation and video games. Users and those who post are anonymous.

Evidently the academic community fell right into the trap. The flyers were found across the country and in Canada, from Concordia College in Minnesota, Tulane University in New Orleans, and Harvard.

At one university, the flyer was reportedly plastered over a Black Lives Matter flyer.

On Oct. 31, posts showed up on 4chan calling for viewers to post the message “It’s Okay to Be White” in public places as a “proof of concept” that a “harmless message” would cause a “massive media shitstorm.”

An analysis of the news coverage shows dozens of news stories from papers such as The Washington Post to the Huffington Post covering the incident.

At least one university president labeled it hate speech.

When the posters showed up on campus bulletin boards in advance of a Black Lives Matter event, East Tennessee State University President Brian Noland to issue a statement about hate speech.

“This morning, we became aware of flyers that were posted on our campus that support the notion of white supremacy,” Noland wrote on Twitter.

“While we are a campus where the difference of opinion and civil discourse are respected, inciting hate is not tolerated. Such behavior goes against our institutional values where people are treated with dignity and respect.”

COMPARE AND CONTRAST

An earlier version of inclusiveness, “All Lives Matter,” became briefly popular after Black Lives Matter became a cultural phenomenon and lightning rod for rioting.

The “All Lives Matter” meme was quickly labeled racist by the left, who said the phrase showed insensitivity.

The “IT’S OKAY” poster was found in the student union building at UAA and in Beatrice Hall, where the cafeteria is.

The administration removed the flyers from places in campus where flyers are disallowed, but left them up on the public notice boards, according to officials.

[Read: Snowflakery: Gender discrimination training mandatory at UA]

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • The most disappointing thing about his whole thing is UAA let a painting of a decapitated Trump stay up under freedom of expression without any of this “we will not be divide” talk, and there was no talk of offering people counseling.

    A sign that says it is OK to be white is more traumatizing to these people than someone displaying their political enemies decapitated.

    http://www.ktuu.com/content/news/Trump-severed-head-paiting-at-UAA-sparks-debate–419779044.html

    • I had no idea UAA would allow such a painting.. let alone not give counseling for such a grotesque image

  • The most dissapointing thing about this whole thing is that another commentor at the bottom of this article, equivocates and conflates political commentary in an art exhibit (something you choose to go to) with people being disturbed by public displays of white supremacist messages…messages deamed “harmless” on 4chan a website full of nutcases, hentai lovers, and quasi-terrorist organizations like Anonymous.

    • You know, you can reply to the comment you’re referring to directly instead of doing this weird passive-aggressive thing.

      Funny you should accuse someone of conflating subjects and then immediately equate “it’s okay to be white” with “white supremacy messages.”

    • The most disappointing thing about this isn’t that someone labeled being white racist? I thought skin color was something that can’t be changed, so we wouldn’t be discriminated against for it…

    • Can you explain why you think that “it’s okay to be white” is a white supremacist message?

      • Okay Eric, you’re right, I shouldn’t have said “White supremacist messages” I should have said “White supremacist sympathy” thank you for helping me clarify.
        Read what people are saying around you Eric. They’re strawmanning arguments and even movements (like BLM) go read the 4chan page. Name one person, on the modern left, that has ever said it’s not okay to be of a certain race…the same cannot be said in reverse. The equivocation of social justice warriors, with actual hate movements is a widely held narrative, that is a lie. Look who is in power Eric, look at the lives they destroy, the right can’t justify that with slogans, the right can only pretend that they’re fighting for something that isn’t evil. Remember the words of John Ehrlichman “We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin…We could…raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news.” I hope you weren’t ignorant of that statement Eric, ignorance makes evil strong. Now you tell me Eric, how is has a policy put in place for a reason like that not changed for almost 50 years? How is a strawman like this statement on campuses NOT subversive to the real problems faced with when dealing with real racist ideology & policy?

        • I’m white, so what. Get over it. I have seen blacks that advocate the killing of all whites. If you think saying it’s ok to be white is a bad thing to say, then I think what you said is a bad thing to say. Simple statement that does not advocate hate and fear but you are threatened by it. Chill out, it’s ok to be a color. If you get rid of all the white people, what color will you go after next? What about all the differences in each color group?

          • “It’s okay to be a color”
            Color shouldn’t exist in a color blind society. Did you ever see a Star-Treck episode where black people and klingons related because of shared skin-tone? What defines culture and ethnicity isn’t color, it isn’t anything close. Color is by its nature tied to the ridiculous idea of race. We should live in a color-blind society. It is not okay to identify with something you didn’t work or choose to have, BECAUSE it says nothing about you. And YOU the individual are ALL that matters.
            Oh, and the idea of a color blind society….is a right-wing idea at this point, because of people like Ta-Nehisi Coates…so um, no I am not a liberal. But people like you and Eric seem too dishonest to answer questions, it’s truly dissapointing.

        • Dear Josh,

          At what point do you decide that a person of any (you fill in the blank) race is allowed to exist? This poster is genius. It exposes the fallacy of thought over the last several years that any particular race is THE ruling race. It is okay to be whatever God made us. It is our responsibility to refuse to blame others for our failures, always do the right thing, be responsible for our actions and be thankful for our blessings. It is okay to be you. It is okay to be me. Why are you even bothered by the signs?

          • “At what point do you decide if a person of any race is allowed to exist?”

            No one ALLOWS anyone to exist, nobody wakes up in the morning thinking “You know I think I WON’T kill of an entire ethnic group today”.

            Something is clearly wrong with you, and since you mentioned God perhaps that something is your misinterpretation and overt love of bizzare Judea-Christian-Islamic cultlike genocides & racial attrocities. If God is real he doesn’t care about whether or not your black or white. Ethicity and skin tone shouldn’t be things you care about, you should have other things to fight for and defend. Why do you feel like you need to defend feeling “okay” to be “white”?
            Does your daughter have to wonder if the time she got pulled over where because she was too white? Where you part of the majority of people targeted by the stop-and-frisk program of NYC?

    • Josh, you are so immersed in Leftist ideology that you’re about as aware of it as a fish is that he swims in water. The Left is now the Establishment, and has been for 40+ years. They control the mass media, academia, and the entertainment industry.
      The phrase, ‘IT’S OK TO BE WHITE’ can only be offensive to those who DON’T think it’s OK to be white, i.e. people who think that whites have unearned power and privilege in our society; people who think whites are uniquely responsible for most of the inequality in the world.

    • It’s not white supremacist. Sounds like you are a racist.

  • I’m confused, is it ok to be white or not? Liberals say they welcome opposing views, yet are surprised when there are any.

  • This is an outrage! How dare these racists say it’s okay to be white. Everyone knows it’s NOT okay to be white. Hopefully they Nazis are found and charged with a hate crime.

  • So it’s not okay to be white and white people are bad and should all be killed, and if you think otherwise you are a supremacist? Good to know, Josh.

  • Why would anyone send their kids to these pathetic schools? And why are tax dollars being wasted on them?

  • Just checked Yup! still no White Guilt…And i’n not gonna give my house to a black family. And BLM are a bunch of thugs…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqQXmnMr_w8

  • IT’S OK TO BE WHITE. It’s ok to be Black, or Brown. It’s ok to be short, or skinny, It’s ok to be a engineer or a pilot or whatever. It’s just ok.

  • I never heard a big uproar when they started saying Black Is beautiful.

    • Why would you want a big uproar?

      • You don’t see my point? You look, but you do not see.

        • Oh, I see, I just don’t have an “acquired taste” for or appreciation of white identity politics, because I think by most people it’s recognized for the filth it is.
          Identity politics are not the same, and that fact is ever more relevant based on the times such politics are practiced in.

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