White supremacist ‘It’s okay to be white’ sticker found in dining hall


(Source: Rishi Mahesh)

A sticker found in Allison Dining Hall with the words “It’s okay to be white.” The phrase has been used in the past by white supremacist groups.

Cameron Cook, Web Editor

Students found a sticker with the white supremacist slogan “It’s okay to be white” placed on a pillar in Allison dining hall Saturday.

Communication sophomore Rishi Mahesh posted a picture of the sticker to Facebook on Saturday evening along with an explanation of how the phrase contributes to a culture of white supremacy.

Posters and leaflets with the same phrasing were found on many college campuses in recent years, distributed as part of a plan users on the platform 4chan concocted to set off an ideological battle over white supremacy and free speech. “It’s OK to be white,” however, was widely used long before its spread on 4chan, often by neo-Nazi and white supremacist movements.

Although Mahesh and his friends initially made light of finding the sticker, which was near the back of the dining hall and largely out of sight, its white supremacist origins began to make them feel uneasy.

“If you are familiar with the news, you know what that sticker means,” Mahesh said. “You know it’s more than a joke and more than what the sticker says that it is.”

Posters similar to the sticker were found in November 2017 in Crowe Hall, which prompted a University Police investigation. The Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism found 319 verified incidents of white nationalist propaganda in 2018 — including three on NU’s campus — about a 9 percent increase from 2017.

In light of the discovery of a noose-shaped rope in Henry Crown Sports Pavilion last month, Mahesh said, he wonders whether the sticker has further implications, especially at a predominantly white institution.

He added that University administrators need “to know what they mean” when they try to increase diversity in admissions and University programing, because “including students of color in predominantly white spaces also has the immediate effect of exposing them to the possibility of trauma.”

“As dumb as it feels to say, I have felt unsafe, especially right after the incident,” he said. “I would really like to know from the school how they plan to ensure students of color are safe on Northwestern’s campus when ideas and groups like this are allowed to do whatever the f–k they choose.”

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Twitter: @cam_e_cook

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