A favorite book of both of my children (they’re 11 years apart) is It’s Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr, a colorful text that gently teaches tolerance. From the mundane (“It’s okay to wear glasses”) to the profound (“It’s okay to have different moms”) to the silly (“It’s okay to eat macaroni and cheese in the bathtub”), Parr’s book gives those who are chubby or tall or disabled or nearsighted love in a world that constantly “others” them.
But white folks have taken that beautiful sentiment and distorted it to suit their infinite need to center themselves.
All around the country, in a coordinated effort by emboldened white supremacists without a shred of creativity or decency, there have been “It’s Okay to Be White” flyers plastered all over college campuses and on city streets over the last few days.
The impetus of this profoundly stupid idea is apparently a 4chan chat room comment suggesting that the posters (and reactions to the posters) would bring the average white American over to the darkest side of overt white supremacy. The Washington Post explains:
White Americans derisively referred to as “normies” in the white nationalist ecosphere will discover that American journalists and “lefties” hate white people. In the process, normies will stop regarding news outlets as credible. That would deal a damaging blow in the culture war, the post said, inevitably converting more “normies” to the white nationalist, alt-right side. It could be that easy to seed social disruption, the post implied.
Since Tuesday, the Post reports, the five-word posters have been spotted in Rocky River, Ohio; at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn.; at Tulane University in New Orleans; at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Md.; around college campuses in Cambridge, Mass. (including Harvard Yard); and at the University of Alberta in Canada.
Although most times the anonymous posters and signs have been taken down, the message continues to proliferate on social media through hashtags and videos.
Honestly, one thing that white nationalists have gotten right or tapped into is the growing feeling of many white Americans (from millennials on up) that they are increasingly facing discrimination and that they are consistently “victimized” (by whom, only they know).
But the facts don’t bear this out. As the Post notes, “on average, [white Americans] continue to enjoy better income, personal wealth reserves, health, health care, housing, schools than any other group.”
Like, has anyone ever said it’s NOT OK to be white? It’s not OK to be racist, sure. It’s not OK to be a white supremacist snowflake who can’t see past your own made-up oppression to the real suffering of others, yeah. It’s not OK to make obvious and documented police-brutality protests about the sanctity of a flag. But white?
How about this? It’s never OK to be white and wrong. Right, Todd?
Read more at the Washington Post.