Some internet trolls upset a number of college administrators over Halloween by putting up on several college campuses stickers that proclaimed that, “It’s OK to be White.” Judging by the reaction of higher education bureaucrats, one might have thought that those responsible had put up burning crosses. According to the Washington Times,
The stunt was organized on 4chan’s “Politically Incorrect” board to show that “lefties & journalists hate white people.” Seeing “the media & lefties frothing at the mouth” in response to the signs would “nuke” their credibility, the author of the 4chan thread wrote, ensuring a “massive victory for the right in the culture war.”
The posters were reported at a number of college campuses including among others, Harvard, Princeton, Auburn, Berkeley and Tulane. Perhaps hanging the stickers was done in poor taste, but the overreaction on the part of academic administrators is the real story here. Marcia L. Sells, dean of students at Harvard Law School, called the posters “provocations intended to divide us from one another.” The Boston Globe reported that police were called to Harvard Square on November 1st to investigate more than a dozen of the stickers posted on poles around Cambridge.
Exactly what was the purpose of the police investigation? What was the nature of the offense? Did the presence of the stickers pose an imminent threat to anyone? Did the act of putting up the stickers constitute a crime? Is it a hate crime to utter or publish the words, “It’s OK t be white.” None of these questions were reported to have been addressed by Orwellian higher education bureaucrats.
The president of the University of Alberta, where stickers were placed, said the school was working with the University of Alberta Protective Services to “find the parties responsible.” An interesting question arises. Exactly what would happen to the students if they were caught? Mandatory attendance at a “sensitivity training” seminar? Indictment for a hate crime? Who can say.
For purposes of the protecting and preserving the ever-eroding principle of freedom of speech, which has been restricted to the point of being eradicated on most college campuses, is it permissible to put up posters that say “Black Lives Matter”, but be rebuked or possibly prosecuted (why else would the police be called?) for hanging stickers, even if done in jest, that say, “It’s OK to be white?”
College bureaucrats are too dimwitted to appreciate the irony or Orwellian connotations of their contention that the academic community should be welcoming to all and free from prejudice, yet in the same breath sanction, indeed approve, idiotic identity politics stunts such as “white people free day.”
Free speech advocates who oppose the disturbing prevalence of “speech codes” on American institutions of “higher” education, must find this story disheartening.