November 20, 2017

Pro-white posters at UVM part of national campaign

A flier hangs on the University of Vermont campus Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Erika B. Lewy/The Vermont Cynic

By Kelsey Neubauer

For VTDigger

Posters stating “It’s okay to be white” were put up anonymously at the University of Vermont and in other public spaces across the country Tuesday.

Five posters were found on the UVM campus, and two were torn down before 8:30 a.m., according to The Vermont Cynic, the student newspaper. The posters match those found at high schools and colleges nationally in their font and message.

University Vice Provost for Student Affairs Annie Stevens said she believed the postering at UVM was part of a larger national campaign.

According to The Washington Post, the idea for the posters began in a thread on the online chatroom “4chan” a few weeks ago. It was later developed as a plan to popularize white nationalist ideology, The Post reported Tuesday.

The person who posted the idea to “4chan” wrote that the purpose would be to fuel a response from the political left that would convince centrists and those who lean right-of-center that people on the left “hate white people,” according to The Post. The fliers are part of an increase in similar campaigns by white nationalist groups, The Post said.

The university said in a statement to VTDigger that it removed the signs because they violated posting policy.

“To the extent that the signs were intended to promote a white nationalist ideology, as news reports have suggested, we condemn the activity in the strongest possible terms,” the university said, “as it is completely antithetical to our core university values.”

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