‘It’s okay to be white’ white nationalist fliers posted near campus

Fliers also found on Tufts and Duke University campuses around the same time

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An "It's okay to be white" flier, posted on a sign Friday Nov. 9.
Ivana Alardin–The Tech

MIT’s Bias Response Team received four reports Nov. 1 of fliers with the slogan “It’s okay to be white,” which has been linked to white nationalist activism, posted near campus.

Fliers were seen on car windshields parked along Massachusetts Avenue, a traffic cone outside of Hayden Library, a lamppost on the east side of Mass. Ave., and a blue emergency light pole in front of Eastgate, Sarah Rankin, director of the Title IX and Bias Response Office, wrote in a statement sent to The Tech Wednesday.

The Tech also saw a partially torn “It’s okay to be white” flier on a sign outside Building E52 last Friday afternoon.

No information on the parties responsible for posting the fliers has been found, Rankin wrote.

According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a Jewish organization based in the U.S., the act of posting these fliers near college campuses is a continuation of previous incidents. A post on the anonymous online forum 4chan in October 2017 encouraged users to hang up the fliers in an effort to arouse agitation, and another 4chan post called supporters to hang up posters the night of Oct. 31, 2018.

In its report, the ADL linked the 4chan posts to white supremacists and traced the “It’s okay to be white” phrase to white supremacist fliers as far back as 2005.

“White nationalist and other racist ideologies have no place at MIT ... and they are at complete odds with MIT’s openness to talent from every faith, culture, nation, and background,” Rankin wrote.

“It’s okay to be white” fliers were found on other college campuses, including Tufts and Duke University, around the same time.

The Tufts Daily reported Nov. 1 that fliers appeared on signs around campus encouraging students to vote, and The Chronicle, Duke’s student newspaper, reported the same day that fliers were discovered around their dorms. A pumpkin carved with a swastika was found at Duke along with the fliers.

The timing of the incident fell on the anniversary of a similar occurrence that happened last year. The Boston Globe reported stickers saying “It’s okay to be white” being posted in Cambridge Common and Harvard Square Nov. 1, 2017.

The fliers appeared the weekend before Election Day.

Ivana Alardin contributed reporting.