MSU responds to white pride posters
Across college campuses and cities throughout the nation, people have been putting up — and taking down — signs blazoned with the phrase "It's okay to be white." And MSU is no exception.
Signs that read "It's okay to be white" were initially seen on campus during the first week of November, but were taken down by both students and by university employees.
"For the signs on MSU’s campus, they were placed on bus stops or buildings, which violates our sign ordinance, thus we took them down," Jason Cody, an MSU spokesperson, said via email. "From my understanding, it was MSU facilities employees who routinely take down signs that aren’t in public posting areas."
The rhetoric seen on the signs stems from an anonymous comment in on the chat-room 4chan in October, according to the Washington Post. The prediction was that posting the signs would ultimately help sway white Americans to far-right ideologies by "seeding social disruption."
"The episode is indicative of the efforts white-nationalist groups have made to recruit in and around the nation’s college campuses and other mainstream settings with claims of growing white maltreatment and expanding anti-white discrimination," the Post writes.
In response to the "It's okay to be white" signs, theater senior Shelby Dawson put up other posters around campus after the original signs had been removed.
"I actually technically didn't see the flyers in person myself, one of my close friends actually saw those, she made a post on Facebook about it," Dawson said. "And apparently a couple of other people I knew also saw them and were, like, taking them down."
Dawson came up with five posters in response, which she printed out and put around North Neighborhood. They read: "It's okay to have pride," "It's okay to be black," It's okay to be Latinx," "It's okay to be Muslim" and "It's okay to be Mexican." She printed them out and put them up around North Neighborhood, she said.
"I want to make sure that people of color understand that they have a voice, understand that this is their school too and that they don't feel ostracized and that they don't feel excluded and that they know that it's okay to be themselves here," Dawson said.
Dawson said she feels as though the "It's okay to be white" poster meaning was very intentional.
"(They're saying) it's still okay to be white, and it's like, well, it's never not been," she said. "Historically, it has never been hard or necessarily difficult. Or, it's never been socially not right to be a white person."
Besides these signs, MSU has been the recipient of other efforts to spread white supremacist ideology. The most glaring effort comes from the current lawsuit between MSU and the organizer of white nationalist Richard Spencer's collegiate speaking tour.