In response to pro-white fliers recently posted around the UC Davis campus – part of a national coordinated campaign – Chancellor Gary May and two top student leaders condemned the message.
“It’s okay to be white,” read the message anonymously posted at various locations around campus on the evening of Nov. 4.
The fliers have been reported at Harvard Yard, Tulane University in New Orleans, Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., the University of Alberta in Canada and a high school in Silver Spring, Md., May told the student body. The effort appears to be in response to a post on 4chan, an anonymous chat room frequented by white supremacists, the Huffington Post reported.
“The fliers attempted to subtly convey a message that white people are under attack in the United States,” wrote May, who became chancellor in October. “Well, of course, it’s OK to be white, or brown, or black, or gay, or straight, or rich, or poor, or Muslim, or Jewish, or Catholic, or Protestant or disabled. All are welcome at UC Davis.”
The signs, written in block letters, were posted at a number of locations around campus. It’s unclear how many were posted before they were taken down. Officials said they were removed because they did not abide by posting guidelines. One was posted on a moveable sign used by African Diaspora, a black student group.
The message is also being conveyed via Twitter as a hashtag. In the months since the 2016 election, there have been more than 150 reports of white nationalist fliers and recruitment materials on college campuses, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The placement of the flier over the black student sign indicates how threatened these groups feel by the success of minorities, said Josh Dalavai, president of the undergraduate student association.
“It’s obviously OK to be white. It’s OK to be anything,” Dalavai said. He called the message a “brazen appeal to white victimhood.”
He called white victimhood a “very primitive, very tribal, narrow-minded ideology.”
Roy Taggueg, president of the graduate student association, called the fliers “deplorable” and unexpected for the college town.
“We are a good community. We are not full of conflict,” Taggueg said. “It’s not something you expect to happen in a university town. It was terrible. We need to come together as a community to ensure everyone knows this is wrong.”