Northwestern police confirms third “It’s okay to be white” message found on campus


Evan Robinson-Johnson / Daily Senior Staffer

Police cars outside of Norris University Center on Tuesday. A third “It’s okay to be white” message was found in a women’s bathroom inside the building.

Gabby Birenbaum, Campus Editor

A third “It’s okay to be white” message was found taped to a hand towel dispenser in a women’s bathroom in Norris University Center, University police chief Bruce Lewis confirmed to The Daily.

The racist message was discovered Tuesday afternoon. Two stickers displaying the same phrase, which is tied to neo-Nazi and white supremacist movements, have been found on the Evanston campus this month. The first was found in Allison Dining Hall April 6, while the second was discovered in a men’s bathroom stall in Main Library on the evening of April 20.

“The University encourages whoever is doing this to stop,” Lewis said in a statement to The Daily. “The slogan has recently been adopted as code on the part of white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups, and makes many in our community feel unsafe.”

Earlier this week, University provost Jonathan Holloway and senior vice president for business and finance Craig Johnson said in an email to students that recent racist incidents, including the stickers and the discovery of a rope shaped into a noose in Henry Crown Sports Pavilion, are “unacceptable.”

[Northwestern is investigating three racist incidents on campus. Follow them here]

They also correctly predicted more stickers displaying the “It’s okay to be white message” could be discovered in the days and weeks to come. It took three days for the message to be found on campus again, though it did not come in the form of a sticker.

The slogan’s appearance on college campuses and public spaces can be traced since at least 2016 to the online forum 4chan, who aimed to provoke an “overreaction” from liberals and the media to reveal their hypocrisy as a result of the trolling, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

“It’s okay to be white” dates back to at least 2001, as white nationalist groups have circulated the phrase.

The message was found on Northwestern’s campus in 2017 as well as in the three incidents this month.

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