In the November 20th edition of the Spectrum, Contributing Writer Ezra Gray appears to have left out two important facts from their article “Signs Create Controversy: It’s Okay to be White,” where signs displaying only “It’s Okay to be White” were posted in various public places in the U.S. and Canada. The first is this sign-posting campaign was created to reduce credibility of any whom reported on it negatively and the second is this event was co-opted by neo-Nazis and the KKK. As a result, this cannot be declared a prank, rather an attempt at defamation.
First, in the original post on the website 4chan’s Politically Incorrect board, known by /pol, one anonymous user states the end result of posting these signs: “Credibility of far left campuses and media gets nuked.” The original post has since been deleted, however various websites have saved transcripts of some of the posts, one of which is below. This commenter clearly believes that these signs will decrease the credibility of “far left campuses and media,” leading towards the conclusion that these signs were never supposed to be ‘just a prank,’ but rather an attack on the credibility of those whom report these negatively.
- Posters go up on campuses (and elsewhere) across the world on Halloween night
- the next morning, the media goes completely berserk
- normies tune in to see what’s going on, see the posters saying “it’s okay to be white” and the media & leftists frothing at the mouth
- normies realize that leftists & journalists hate white people, so they turn on them
- Credibility of far left campuses and media gets nuked, massive victory for the right in the culture war, many more /ourguys/ spawned overnight
This defamation works by leveraging the simple message and anonymity of the signs. “It’s Okay to be White” can be interpreted in a variety of ways, anywhere from a race-positive message to a message with racist overtones. With no attribution, there is no easy way to determine the poster’s original intent. As a result, a gap is created between various readers, alienating those with opposing interpretations.
Second, neo-Nazis and members of the KKK helped propagate these signs. The website The Daily Stormer, which was temporarily taken down this summer for neo-Nazi ties, created a Facebook event which further reinforces the first point. From the description of the event, “These k*kes will keep saying that if you think it is okay to be white, you are evil. They will be screaming that as they get shoved into cattle cars.” (See Figure 2) Once again, organizers of this event declared the signs would cause detractors to be non-credible.
Former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke posted an article on his website titled, “It’s Okay to be White Campaign Sweeping the Nation,” where he reaffirms that the more the sign-posting campaign is attacked, the less credibility the opponents have.
Due to leaving out these two pieces of information, which were available when the campaign started in the first week of November, this campaign to defame opponents could be framed as a prank, albeit a tasteless one. However, with this information, the intent was not to simply have a laugh at another’s expense, but to discredit those who saw the campaign for what it was.
Electrical Engineering, Senior