CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Several flyers with the words “IT’S OKAY TO BE WHITE” were found posted around the Coastal Carolina University campus this week; the papers were not approved by the school and were removed, per the university’s policy.
The flyers were posted at various locations on campus, and appeared to be part of a national social media campaign, according to a statement from the university. Any signs on campus must first be approved, and as they were not, the signs were removed, in accordance with university policy.
The matter was turned over to the CCU Department of Public Safety, who is now reviewing film, license tag readers, and a photo of the person who posted the signs.
“If investigators are able to identify the individual, the University will determine the appropriate steps to be taken,” the statement reads.
The Facebook page for the Social Justice Research Initiative posted an image of one such flyer posted on the door of the Wall building Monday morning. The post includes a quote from a Washington Post article reporting on these signs and stickers appearing on campuses across the country. The quote reads: “The white victim construct is one that experts say, not so long ago, only had traction in avowed white supremacists, segregationists and neo-Nazi circles. But today, it animates open and anonymous public discussions of race and shapes the nation’s politics.”
The article claims that the signs were prompted by an anonymous chat room comment suggesting that “the message would feed social unrest and sway white Americans to far-right ideologies.”
“I just don’t understand why there’s so much animosity towards each other when honestly, I am a biology major and … there’s really not much difference between one human and another,” said Vincent Giovagnoli, a CCU junior. “I just don’t understand it, but I think with the younger generation it becomes less of an issue and over the years. I think it will just go away, at least I hope that’s what I hope.”
Giovagnoli’s friend Jordan Johnson agreed.
“It’s right at my doorstep and I’ve seen all over the internet,” Johnson said. “A lot of crazy things happening with white supremacists with this, with that, but to see it right there, right next to me and I didn’t even know about it, it’s crazy. This campus has been more open minded and laid back towards these situations. I mean myself, I feel accepted.”
Both friends said they hope to always feel equal on campus.
“Honestly I think it’s meant to grab attention, yeah, and if you talk to certain people, I think they want to create more controversy and more animosity,” Giovagnoli said.
The Social Justice Research Initiative is a CCU-based program to “promote and integrate community-based research, experiential learning, and project-based community service by collaborating with diverse community partners to promote social justice and change.”
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