Free Speech

"It's OK to Be White" Flyers Lead to Promise of "Severest Disciplinary Action" by Western Conn. State U.

Same for "Islam is right about women" flyer -- both are labeled "hate-filled flyers" by the University, and apparently the police and the FBI are investigating the distribution of the flyers.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Hartford Courant (Zach Murdock) reported on this Friday:

Police and federal agents are investigating "hate-filled flyers and inscriptions" left around Western Connecticut State University's campus Thursday night in Danbury.

It was not clear whether a student or "outside agitators" were responsible, but university President John Clark strongly condemned the materials and vowed to enforce the "severest disciplinary actions" regardless of whether students or someone off-campus made the flyers….

University officials immediately reported the flyers to Danbury and state police and referred the messages to the FBI office in New Haven, all of whom were investigating who made the flyers on Friday, [a university spokesman] said.

"I want to state directly and without equivocation that if any member of our university community is found to be party to these revolting actions they will be subject to the severest disciplinary actions, including dismissal as well as possible civil and criminal actions," Clark said.

But the flyers consisted solely of the messages "It's OK to be white" and "Islam is right about women." (I confirmed this with a spokesman for WCSU.) Such messages are of course fully protected by the First Amendment.

It's not clear whether the "Islam is right about women" message is meant (or will likely be understood) literally, as support for certain kinds of discrimination against women; facetiously, as a dig against Islam; or as a means of pointing out a perceived inconsistency among some people who both condemn sexism and supposed "Islamophobia." But any of those messages is constitutionally protected.

The university spokesman also mentioned to me that an "alt-right flag" (seemingly the so-called Kekistan flag) was "posted on a classroom building window along with some of the flyers."

(This was not mentioned in the Hartford Courant story.) Offensive flags, of course, are constitutionally protected just as are offensive words. Indeed, the very first case in which the Supreme Court struck down government action on freedom of expression grounds, Stromberg v. California (1931), involved a flag (there, a Communist flag).

I should note that, if the school has content-neutral rules forbidding posting any material in classroom building windows, leaving flyers on university property, or posting them in places other than designated bulletin boards, those neutral rules could be enforced in this situation, if they are evenhandedly enforced against others who violate the rules, regardless of viewpoint.

But I very much doubt that violating any such rules normally leads to expulsion, criminal prosecution, or even police investigation. And it seems quite clear from the University's statement that the objection isn't to littering or posting that violates such rules, but precisely to the message that the material expresses.

UPDATE:  From commenter ReaderY:

The irony here is that the if the alt right paid this university president to advertise for them, he couldn't have come up with a better advertisement campaign.

By overreacting to the message, he affirmatively corroborates the idea not just that white people are under attack and their rights are trampled on, but that the establishment actively hates them. By characterizing the simple and objectively inoffensive idea that "white people are OK" as hate speech, he is not just legitimating but actively advocating for the necessity of, the alt-right's core message.

I have to confess that it's ingenious manipulation of his reflexes. You would think a university president would have the capacity to think before acting, and to realize that he is dealing with a matador before seeing red and blindly charging the cape.

Advertisement

NEXT: Will the Democrats' Go-for-Woke Strategy Cost Them the 2020 Election?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. What could possibly be the reasoning of the FBI to even entertain the idea to investigate such obviously protected speech?
    These speech Fascists need to be shamed into resignation or fired.

    1. Law enforcement always “investigates” these as part of a pernicious and concerted conspiracy to make the average person think “hate speech” is indeed illegal. Investigate when you know there’s no crime, find a “suspect,” plaster his name all over everything so that he becomes unemployable in modern liberal society, and then announce that he’s violated no laws. So in other words, the police and FBI are being used to dox and cancel people.

    2. You’re absolutely correct. It’s a disgrace that any law enforcement agency would agree to institute an investigation or such free-speech activities.

      1. Oops. That should have been of such free-speech activities, not “or.”

  2. I opine the “most severe disciplinary action” the darling president of WCSU could impose would be to continue his employment in that job. At least in terms of constitutional law and the Constitution, he seems quite the blithering idiot.

  3. If the boomer president is this hysterical imagine what the students are like

  4. Could the flyers in question be displayed in a federal government workplace, together with the flag (which features Klan-related iconography, by the way)? Might anyone justifiably suppose such a display would create a hostile workplace? Would that matter?

    1. ” together with the flag (which features Klan-related iconography, by the way)? ”

      Looks like a parody of a Klan flag to me. Why is the school against people making fun of the Klan?

    2. I’m trying to figure out what part of the Kek flag is Klan related.

      I’d have called it Nazi inspired – it’s awfully similar in layout/features to the Nazi flag, although with symbols and colors swapped (swastika for Kek symbol, iron cross for 4chan icon)

      1. Similar to the WWII Kriegsmarine flag.

    3. re: “Could the flyers in question be displayed in a federal government workplace”

      Unless the department has a viewpoint-neutral prohibition on posting of flyers, then yes it emphatically could be displayed in the workplace. The First Amendment demands it. And, by the way, pretty much every department already has such a viewpoint-neutral prohibition in place. Political flyers of whatever persuasion are generally not conducive to productivity.

      1. So hostile workplace rules don’t count, because 1A. I hadn’t known it worked that way. I thought workplaces had different status, and were numbered among the places where the 1A does not apply full strength. Can you explain?

        1. Hostile workplace rules do count but:

          1. Political affiliation is not a protected class under federal hostile workplace legislation. Speech that is primarily political is outside the EEOC’s scope of enforcement. Whether the EEOC investigator would consider that applicable to the scenario above is … debatable. But it does affect your general question about whether and when hostile workplace rules apply.

          2. Saying that it’s “OK to be” something is viewed very differently from “It’s not OK to be” something. Celebrations of St Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo or the Chinese New Year are not generally adjudicated as evidence of a hostile workplace.
          Requiring one of those to be stopped (but not the others), however, is generally considered pretty solid evidence of a hostile workplace.
          The implication that “‘Black Pride’ is okay but ‘It’s OK to be white’ would only be used by racists” is itself pretty offensively racist.

          3 and most importantly. The way to comply with the hostile workplace requirements without running afoul of the First Amendment is to have a viewpoint-neutral prohibition on all such postings – which, as I previously said, pretty much all departments already have.

          So the bottom line is that having these signs up might be circumstantial evidence of a hostile workplace, taking only these signs down would definitely be evidence of a hostile workplace in the other direction and uniformly banning all such signs is the easy path for management. In the workplace. None of which applies to students posting flyers in the common areas of a public university.

    4. >”which features Klan-related iconography”
      Curious what you’re seeing in that flag that I’m not. Maybe just not up on my klan icons. Or maybe you’re thinking of the Norwegian flag? https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/both-have-crosses-so-norwegian-flag-mistaken-for-confederate-flag/

    5. Why would thinking being white is okay make you so angry at work, Stephen?

    6. What, EXACTLY, is the offensive part of “It is OK to be white”?

      Be precise, please.

    7. I am guessing that the first amendment doesn’t protect you from administrative action, at least not fully. Civil service protections might come into play though.

      I think if they tried to press charges / issue citations instead of just firing you, those would probabbly be throw out.

    8. “features Klan-related iconography”
      No, no it doesn’t.
      Photo-negative pseudo-fascist iconography, but not Klan-related.

      Why are leftists all such ignorant hicks?

    9. There is no Klan iconography in the Kekistan flag. I suggest you look into the proud history of Kekistan, and the history of bigotry against its people before you make that connection.

      And no, it isn’t alt-right, either. It is made by shit posters, people who do exactly what the article is talking about. They wind up bigoted hard-left authoritarians (note that their de facto spokesman, Carl Benjamin, is a self-described moderate leftie) to persuade them to expose the nastiness underneath the “Social Justice” movement.

  5. Where is our ‘dear colleagues’ letter warning administrators that federal funds will only be given to universities that respect student’s constitutional rights?

    1. You only get those if some male is trying to access the female showers.

  6. Am I to understand that it’s Western Connecticut State University’s position that it isn’t OK to be white?

    Unless that’s so, what possible complaint could they have with the flier?

    1. In their profoundly religious worldview, to be white is to be tarred with original sin. So its decidedly NOT ok

    2. IOTBW is a slogan used to troll and provoke. I believe it started on 4chan a few years ago and campaigns such as this one occur every year. The intent is clear given the context but it’s no doubt protected speech.

      1. “IOTBW is a slogan used to troll and provoke. ”

        It’s designed to provoke people into acting in ways that imply that it’s not OK to be white. And it’s remarkably successful.

      2. Like “All Lives Matter”, it only provokes by forcing those holding the opposing view out into the open. Why wouldn’t BLM respond to “All Lives Matter” by saying, “Exactly, that’s our point!”

        Because they don’t actually believe that all lives matter, of course. But can’t say so.

        Likewise, “It’s OK to be white” only provokes, because the people who are provoked by it DON’T think it’s OK to be white. They’re anti-white racists.

        1. When folks stop using “all lives matter” as a way to deflect from the issues raised by “black lives matter” folk, then folks will stop seeing it as a deflection but as a sincere expression of virtue.

          But so long as it’s used as preamble to deflection, and not preamble to action, it’s not unfair to judge it as a deflection.

          1. It’s only seen as a diversion, rather than an affirmation, because the people running BLM are racists. They don’t want ALL lives to matter.

            If they didn’t object to the idea of other lives mattering, TOO, they would have responded as I suggested.

            The reality, of course, is that BLM doesn’t even value black lives anymore; The organization has been taken over by urban gangs who just want the police off their turf so that they can prey on blacks without interference.

            1. It’s only seen as a diversion, rather than an affirmation, because […]

              it was literally coined by the same folks who were denying that BLM had any legitimate complaints, and denounced any and all calls to action, saying that the status quo was fine and BLM folk were just whiners?

              The reality is that, from the start, it was a symbol, not an argument.

              1. “it was literally coined by the same folks”
                No, it wasn’t. Or at least, I’ve seen no evidence supporting that argument.

                The truth is that BLM, like the TEA Party, started off as a grassroots effort with some real non-partisan concerns. (Does anyone remember that it stood for Taxed Enough Already?) Both groups were quickly co-opted by one side of the culture war and almost as quickly demonized and delegitimatized by the other.

                From what I saw, the All Lives Matter meme was created to push back against the co-optation, not to challenge the original concerns about police abuse. Those had already been basically forgotten by the time ALM was coined.

                (By contrast, Blue Lives Matter was a direct attack on the original message and concerns and was coined by those who, as you said, claimed the status quo was fine. At least, that’s how I remember the history playing out.)

          2. Well, perhaps deflection is the only proper response to vague and statistically illiterate claims. BLM was never founded on fact.

            Blacks are 12-13% of the US Population
            They are 26% of victims of police shootings
            They are 52% of homicide offenders, robbery 54%, rape 29%, aggravated assault 34%, and overall crime rate at 27%.

            These figures over-explain why they are 26% of police shooting victims, indeed, you would normally expect the number to be higher.

          3. When the people behind black lives matter stop lying about black people being targeted more than white people, and stop campaigning against police killings of violent black men who were a genuine threat then perhaps people will not have to criticise their racism.

            Police killing people wrongly is an important and serious issue. However violent black criminals who are killed are getting more attention in the press than peaceful or even innocent white people because of BLM. This distortion means that no sensible conversation can happen about excessive police violence until BLM stop shouting down those that see each unwarranted killing as an individual tragedy, not because of the skin pigmentation but because of that person’s unique humanity.

      3. “IOTBW is a slogan used to troll and provoke.”

        How so?

        Again, is it NOT OK to be white? Is it BAD to be white?

        If I post “water is wet, sometimes”, am I trolling or provoking people? What if i post “It is OK to be black”? Is THAT wrong, too?

      4. It’s used to troll and provoke racists, causing them to reveal themselves so they can be shamed and, one hopes, fired from positions of power over students. This is its purpose.

        The same goes for “Islam is right about women.” Confront a leftist/SJW with that slogan so that he can’t avoid commenting on it, and you pretty much guarantee that he will say something that either drives away (actual or potential) feminist allies, or (actual or potential) Muslim allies. In either case he makes a fool of himself.

    3. The number of people enthusiastically nodding to this kind of myopic context/connotation-free jab is a helluva thing.

      Guys, it’s not about the school persecuting whitey.

      1. So students should be expelled over this and the FBI should investigate? I’m not sure what you’re whining about unless you actually want to defend what the school is trying to do.

        1. Read the comment I’m replying to, and consider what I wrote, not what you wish I wrote.

          I agree with the OP. I disagree with Brett’s comment. Got it?

        2. Yes to the expulsion, no to the FBI investigation.

          If the individual(s) aren’t students, hand them all trespass warning notices, plus littering citations.

          Thats where it should stop.

      2. “Guys, it’s not about the school persecuting whitey.”

        So what is it about when they say that saying “It’s OK to be white” is a crime and expellable offense?

        1. It says they’re being dumb about a slogan.

          Doesn’t say much about white persecution.

          1. I see progs are at their usual tricks of trying to control the language.

            Question for you sarky: You say its offensive because the REAL meaning is so and so. Says who? Under what quantitative standard? Who appointed the authorities you defer to as the Gatekeepers of True Meaning? If we decided BLM or cisgender or mansplaining or anyone of the hundreds of divisive terms you guys cook up is offensive why are we always incorrect but your side is always correct for all the terms you want to brand with the scarlet letter?

            1. You think the left is the one that decided what this slogan means? Just as a way to more control your thoughts, eh?

              Do some Googling.

          2. But if they’re only dumb about certain slogans, while ignoring (or reactor to a lesser extent) to others, doesn’t that say something?

            To mix stories, suppose the “debate” professor at Weber State University who’s been semi-viral lately were also at this University, enough evidence then?

            Just because this is weak evidence taken as an individual incident doesn’t mean it’s not evidence, and when lots of weak evidence piles up that points to an underlying truth. It can still be wrong, of course, and refuted by a single example of strong evidence, but when essentially every piece of weak evidence points one way, and no strong evidence points the other way, it’s fair to conclude the underlying implication.

            1. Yeah, they especially don’t like white supremacist trolling. If you think that means there is hostility towards conservatives, you just kinda admitted conservatives are white supremacists.

              when lots of weak evidence piles up that points to an underlying truth
              Or, you have a narrative you rather like.

              1. You really don’t get it. In fact, I’d go so far as to say you’re working hard to avoid getting it.

                It wasn’t white supremacist trolling. The whole point of the joke is to demonstrate that the left can’t tell the difference between actual white supremacism and perfectly innocent things.

                Yes, it was trolling, but what made it trolling was that it WASN’T white supremacist. It was just somebody saying that it’s OK to be white, which is obviously true, but the left couldn’t allow it to be said.

                1. You’re a year or so behind the times. It legit became white supremacist.

                  That etiology from edgy joke to sincere thing has happened over and over again with 4Chan (e.g. that hand sign, that frog, clownworld), which is a soup of both trolling and sincere white supremacist elements, sometimes both at the same time.

                  1. Look, I understand what you’re claiming here, I reject it.

                    What we have here is an innocent slogan that winds up leftwingers. It means nothing more than its surface meaning.

                    It succeeded at winding up leftwingers, so it was adopted by a lot of people who got off on winding them up. Some of those people are racists.

                    But there’s no magical contagion in operation here. Just because a racist uses an innocent phrase or gesture, it doesn’t automatically become racist. It’s doubtful even the racists using the phrase are using it in a racist sense, they’re just enjoying winding up leftwingers.

                    1. I have sources. Drill down on the wikipedia, though I have other sources if you find those not to your liking. This is not some idiosyncratic view I have.

                      All you have is you insistence that once a troll always a troll. But I don’t think that’s a limiting principle at all. I don’t see how you can prove what you say; indeed you don’t seem to be trying.

                    2. I agree that your view isn’t idiosyncratic. It’s hideously common, which is why 4chan has so much success pranking people like you.

                      You’re operating on a fundamentally irrational level here. That’s why 4chan finds it easy to prank you.

                      Left wingers live in a demon haunted world. You think inanimate objects have “purpose”, rather than the people who own them. You think that if somebody tricks you into thinking a hand gesture is racist, it becomes a racist gesture: Your gullibility actually alters other people’s reality, somehow!

                      You think “It’s OK to be white” becomes a racist slogan if you can be tricked into thinking it is, and can point to even one racist who says it, even to laugh at you overreacting.

                      You’re irrational, and your conviction that you’re supremely rational just keeps you from being able to recognize it, where people with less elevated self-opinions might notice they were going off the rails.

                      That’s what is going on here, Sarcastro: The left going off the rails yet again, and demanding that everybody else join the train wreck.

                    3. Brett, this isn’t breathless lefties on the Internet, it’s reporters who are investigating white supremacist organizations.

                      It’s also pretty rich to accuse liberals of paranoia, considering the world of coordinated liberal plots coming from every institution you posit.

                  2. “It legit became white supremacist.”

                    What does that even mean?

                    If a white supremacist wants to “demonstrate that the left can’t tell the difference between actual white supremacism and perfectly innocent things” they are allowed to. That doesn’t mean that any such demonstration is white supremacist. What kind of logic is that?

                    1. Look it up. White supremacists use it as a shibboleth.

                      No one else seems to use it anymore, partially for that reason.

                      I don’t think the flyer here was ‘taking back’ the phrase.

                      This isn’t hard if you’d bother to do even a little looking around. Reporters have looked into it; it’s all public on the Internet because white supremacist opsec sucks.

                    2. You mean “4chan trolls created memes of innocuous things (ok sign, etc) linking them to white supremacy for the EXPLICIT PURPOSE of getting an over-response from race baiters?”

                      That’s not bad opsec, that was their point – they could say “we’re going to troll you and you’re going to react like an idiot” and Still get the idiot response, demonstrating that the point isn’t about race, it’s about race-baiters seeing everything as being about race, as even a simple thought would be “ha! That’s funny, we’ll see if anyone falls for the satire.”

                      Which is the whole point of satire, of course, that some people won’t be able to tell it’s satire, but 4chan predicted that there would be a specific ideological bias to falling for it, and the reaction proved them right.

                    3. “White supremacists use it as a shibboleth.

                      No one else seems to use it anymore, partially for that reason.”

                      Earlier you said, “It’s meaning was never what the literal meaning of the words were.”

                      I guess that if you assume that any use of the phrase is white-supremacist, then no one else will seem to use it.

                      But I guess the galaxy-brain take is that if you refuse to be constrained by the literal meaning of the words, you can imagine whatever you want. That is certainly true.

                    4. Also – that’s not what a shibboleth is. A shibboleth is something the in-group can do and the out-group cannot, arising from a mass murder of an opposing tribe who were unable to pronounce the “sh” sound due to linguistic drift (they said “si-bo-leth” not “shi-bo-leth”)

                      Knowing the KKKs passwords as hilariously covered by Superman is a shibboleth, though an imperfect one. Not understanding that racists are endemic in the US who want people judged by the color of their skin rather than the content of their character isn’t a good shibboleth.

                    5. This is how words work. If a white guy says the N word I’m going to make some assumptions.

                    6. So bloody what? You’re going to make assumptions unless they spend their time reciting the Democratic party platform like it was the Nicene creed. It’s not worth anybody’s time to try to keep you from making assumptions! The price you charge for that service is far too high.

                  3. “That etiology from edgy joke to sincere thing has happened over and over again with 4Chan (e.g. that hand sign, that frog, clownworld), which is a soup of both trolling and sincere white supremacist elements, sometimes both at the same time.”

                    That woke morons look to appear super woke by taking 4chan pranks as being serious is hardly evidence that it is anything more than a 4chan prank.

                    They, apparently, have been planning ways to make HASHTAGS racist. Which would, of course, be fucking genius.

                    1. Check the sources in the wikipedia article. Plenty of robust reporting on where this slogan ended up.
                      Just like all the others.

                      I’m not making this up to be woke, and with the will to do even a little research you would be able to see that.

                  4. There are no real white supremacists. Only shills. Though the left is goading at least some minority persons to become such assholes that white supremacism will in time be a justified response to them. At Evergreen this has already happened.

                    1. white supremacism will in time be a justified response to them

                      Guess what you sound like?

                      The old ‘be nice to me or I’ll become hateful’ has never fooled anyone ever except for you that you’re not already hateful.

              2. “Yeah, they especially don’t like white supremacist trolling.”

                How “It’s OK to be white” supremacist trolling, as you claim? Is Black Lives Matter ALSO supremacist trolling? Why not? There is nary a difference in the statements.

                “If you think that means there is hostility towards conservatives, you just kinda admitted conservatives are white supremacists.”

                I think claiming an innocuous comment by one group is expellable while an identical comment made by ANY OTHER GROUP would not be, it indicates a significant problem with the institution and taxpayers would be well within their rights to demand an outright removal of ALL funding for such a bigoted institution.

                1. Do your homework.

                  And your assumption that any other group would be fine is not supported.

                  1. “Black is beautiful” didn’t lead to punishment.

                    “Being white is OK” does seem to do so.

                    Viva la difference.

      3. True, it’s not about persecuting whitey, as long as whitey doesn’t say it’s ok to be white. You can think it, but you can’t say it, and we only persecute those who say it. So just shut up already, whitey, and you’ll be allowed to stay. Same with people who don’t approve of gay marriage, like early-presidency Obama — just keep your mouth shut and you’ll be left alone with your thoughts, maybe.

        1. Its okay to be white is about a bit more than the words, kinda how 1488 isn’t just a number.

          Protected speech, but don’t be dense about what it’s saying.

          1. If you say ‘its okay to be white’. You are a nazi. You can’t simply be a person feed up with political correctness or someone of the opinion that we should push back against the ‘reverse’ racist propaganda we’ve been bombarded with these past few years or simply someone who thinks its okay to be white or any other type of person than a full blown nazi. It should be assumed 100% of people who say ‘its okay to be white’ want to genocide nonwhite people.

          2. “Its okay to be white is about a bit more than the words, kinda how 1488 isn’t just a number.

            Protected speech, but don’t be dense about what it’s saying.”

            ?? 1488 is about Hitler. “It’s okay to be white.” is about demonstrating that you’re not allowed to say that it’s OK to be white. Don’t be dense and claim it’s about anything more than that.

            1. It’s okay to be white[1] or It’s OK to be white (IOTBW) is a slogan based on a poster campaign organized on the American imageboard 4chan’s board /pol/ in 2017, as a “proof of concept” that a “harmless message” would cause a media backlash.[2][3] Posters and stickers containing the sentence “It’s okay to be white” were placed in streets in the United States as well as on campuses in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.[1][3] The slogan was spread by Fox News host Tucker Carlson, and racist groups including neo-Nazis and white supremacists.[4]

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_OK_to_be_white

              Come on, TiP. Do your homework before you go being reactionary.

              1. Are you somehow oblivious to the fact that your link demonstrates that TiP was right?

                Like the OK gesture, this was a 4chan campaign to demonstrate that the left was insane, and like the OK gesture, they succeeded.

                I suppose your point is that because, once the left went nuts, some of the people who had a laugh using it to wind up insane leftists WERE racists, this somehow retroactively makes the left non-insane in their response?

                1. ??

                  It’s meaning was never what the literal meaning of the words were.

                  As is often the case with 4Chan, it’s become the mask (See: the end of what I posted), and the ironic racism has become real racism. Anyone who is up on this stuff enough to writes this phrase knows what they’re getting in bed with.

                  1. Look, the whole point of the joke is that the meaning actually WAS the literal meaning of the words, and the left would go nuts over it anyway.

                    And you think the fact that they went nuts, and some actual racists found the joke funny, retroactively changes the meaning of it, and makes the left’s freakout legitimate?

                    No, and if tomorrow 4chan manages to convince the left that “Nice weather, isn’t it?” is a code phrase racists use to identify each other, the actual meaning will remain, “Nice, weather, isn’t it?”

                    Even if racists notice you can wind people up by saying it. Because even some racists are capable of appreciating a joke, when it’s on somebody else.

                    1. Where do I argue that this schools action were okay? I’ve affirmatively said they are not okay.

                      But I’ve also said they are not evidence that the school is not hostile to whites.
                      I’m getting a lot of pushback on that second point, which is a helluva thing.

                      You can get into what this slogan really means or whatever, but this is not evidence the school thinks it’s not okay to be white.

                    2. Why wouldn’t you get pushback on it? The school literally threatened over the top penalties if anybody said that it was OK to be white.

                      In what world does that not rationally indicate hostility towards whites?

                    3. Brett, you seem to have elsewhere acknowledged that the phrase has significance beyond it’s bare text. Whether it’s white supremacist or just trolling, you clearly realize this fact.

                      Here, you seem to be returning to the text’s bare meaning in order to argue for white persecution.

                      Come on, man.

                    4. “Brett, you seem to have elsewhere acknowledged that the phrase has significance beyond it’s bare text.”

                      No, Brett has acknowledged the obvious: The phrase is useful to show that some leftists cannot tolerate people saying that it’s OK to be white. Up to and including calling the FBI and seeking to have people who say this criminally prosecuted. The fact that some white supremacists also want to show this is irrelevant.

              2. Like everything else the Left politicizes, Wikipedia is a garbage source.

                Why does it make you so angry for white people to think they are okay?

                1. Probably on account of how much I hate whites, Sam.

                  1. Well since the Leftist approved Hate, it’s not a Hate Crime and therefore won’t be investigated by the State or punished.

              3. Sacrastro, do you have resources or the comic cesspool that is Wikipedia?

                Wikipedia is borderline useless on anything that can REMOTELY have any difference of opinions. They have become Snopes — once revered for being pretty accurate and now just a tragicomic joke.

          3. I am a brown-skinned guy, and I think it’s OK to be white, just like it is OK to be of any race or ethnicity. What magic meaning are you reading into this? If you keep hearing dog whistles, perhaps you are a dog?

            1. The meaning that you apparently can’t do elementary Internet research.

              1. “The meaning that you apparently can’t do elementary Internet research.”

                So your research tells you that KevinP is a white supremacist because he said “it’s OK to be white”? That’s a hell of an accusation to make, just going by a wiki page.

                1. I don’t think he’s a white supremicist.

                  I do think he doesn’t want to think too hard about who is, though.

                  1. As a non-white guy, I do think about the people who might want to hate me and screw up my life.

                    As a lily-white guy, you don’t have that problem. Don’t presume to speak for people of color.

      4. In other words, Sarcastr0 made up a story to go along with the events that actually happened. The story is important to him. Sarcastr0 is judging you for not making up a similar story yourself.

        1. Yes, I’ve made it up. There is no evidence.

          Good lord, people.

          1. Sarcastro:

            Keep fighting the good fight. I agree with you.

          2. Evidence of what specifically? What actually happened?

      5. The university is in an uproar, the president says this will not be allowed, the FBI and local police are being called in to investigate.

        In response, some posters here say this is an absurd over-reaction. Because context or something (nobody knows the right context because no one knows who put this up).

        And your response is that the posters are the ones having feinting spells?

        This is sarasm right?

        1. No one on this comment thread that I’ve seen has said that the school’s reaction was legal or okay.

          But lots of people are saying this is a sign the school hates white people.

          I can see why you’d want to assume someone was arguing the first, as that’s a tasty strawman. But the second is, unfortunately, where reality lies.

          1. “But lots of people are saying this is a sign the school hates white people.”

            No, it’s just a sign that the school doesn’t think that white people are okay. I mean, they’re punishing people for even saying it.

            Although I guess you can also infer that the school thinks that white people are okay, but that non-whites are less than okay, so it’s hateful to point out that it’s okay to be white.

            But I’m not sure why you’d defend either position, Sarcastro.

          2. “But lots of people are saying this is a sign the school hates white people.”

            If somebody at, say, Liberty put up a sign saying “It’s OK to be black” and the EXACT same thing occurred start to finish…how would you describe Liberty’s reaction?

            Note: Colleges have courses about how terrible whiteness is. They have brought a lot of this upon themselves.

          3. The school is happy to appear to hate white people. So regardless of the their actual feelings, they think they don’t owe white people the same apparent respect as everyone else.

      6. You know it literally is. The school president has already indicated that the person who left clearly-protected speech around was white. That person is now being persecuted, by being investigated by the FBI and being threatened with college and legal sanctions. That is literally what is happening.

  7. Professor Volokh, in your judgement, would a law (or exec order) conditioning federal funds to private schools on their adhering to the same First Amendment rules that govern Public Universities run afoul of the First Amendment?
    I cant see how it would.

    What if you wrote in an exception for religious institutions? That, at least, seems trickier.

    1. Max: No, I don’t think the law you describe in your opening paragraph would be unconstitutional; indeed, a California statute does something like that directly, without a funding hook, and I think it’s generally assumed to be constitutional.

      1. I would think a requirement for a Christian college to leave up a flyer stating, “It’s okay to be a Satanist” would not be approved of by the courts, regardless of one’s libertarian leanings.

        1. Would an exception from the First Amendment requirements for religious schools trigger a viewpoint analysis? In other words, could it be plausibly argued that such a law privileges, or at least treats differently religious over non-religious perspectives?

        2. As a condition for getting federal funds? I’m pretty sure it *would* be accepted by the courts. No one would be requiring the college to put the flyer up itself (which would be a violation of its free speech rights); the rule would simply require the college to leave the Satanists alone.

          1. Wouldn’t it rely on providing a good learning environment? Yet in the case of a Satanists poster, that detracts from the learning mission of that kind of school.

            1. Wouldn’t it rely on providing a good learning environment?

              Why would it rely on that?

          2. “the rule would simply require the college to leave the Satanists alone.”

            Thus, utterly destroying the very concept of a Christian college.

      2. The Leonard Law was found to be constitutional by a lower court, I don’t think there was any appeal.

  8. I’d expect a public institution to remain neutral about whether or not Islam is right about women. Such Islamophobia from a public institution is shocking. The school is clearly creating a hostile environment for Muslim students.

    And why do they hate white people so much? Of course it’s OK to be white.

    1. You don’t get it, do you? Saying “it’s OK to be white” is an implicit claim that white people are subject to some kind of persecution. That’s a vicious lie, and any white person asserting it must be punished severely. We’re not persecuting white people; we’re merely persecuting people who stand up for white people. Get a clue, clingers.

      1. Am I allowed to stand up for the rights of white-skinned people who are genetically black, but white-skinned due to albinism? The persons doing the horrible persecution are mostly black Africans, so I have NO idea on HOW does one calculate the intersectionalism here!!!

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_people_with_albinism
        Persecution of people with albinism

        OK to be white in this case? If so, why? If not, why not?

        (Just my humble opinion, but… “It’s OK to be Human”, or “It’s OK to be a sentient being”? Can we try that?)

        1. ([…] “It’s OK to be Human”, or “It’s OK to be a sentient being”? Can we try that?)

          Sure. And most folk will agree with you. Throughout history.

          And then someone will say “does that include people like me?” and you’ll have a whole bunch of people that say “of course not.”

          Very few people go around thinking they’re prejudiced or unfairly biased. They just think that their biases are fair and justified, that the discrimination that they want to engage in is good and right.

          So it’s a nice notion, but while it’s easy to get consensus on general feel-good statements, getting consensus on what that actually means? Never easy.

          1. Thanks for your thoughts. They are sad but true. I has a sad!

      2. “You don’t get it, do you? Saying “it’s OK to be white” is an implicit claim that white people are subject to some kind of persecution.”

        No it’s not. It’s something you made up, then decided to be mad about. You can make anything offensive if you try hard enough.

        1. Trying to wiggle out of the obvious implication of that expression, are you? You do know that evasion is evidence of guilt? That’s the tell that indicates you’re probably a cis white racist homophobe. We won’t cancel you right away, but we’ll be watching you. And when we get enough corroborating evidence, you’ll know what Bukharin, Zinoviev, and Kamenev felt like.

          1. I like the cut of your jib.

          2. I’m being slow. I thought you were being literal on your last comment. Sadly it we run against Muggeridge’s Law so often when dealing with that Orwellian concept, “Social Justice”.

      3. Saying “it’s OK to be white” is an implicit claim that white people are subject to some kind of persecution. That’s a vicious lie,

        Well, they’re the only group that is subject to expulsion for saying “it’s ok to be what I am.”

      4. “Saying “it’s OK to be white” is an implicit claim that white people are subject to some kind of persecution. That’s a vicious lie …”

        You are literally replying to an article on the illegal persecution of a person because he or she is presumed to be white.

        It is typical in universities across N America and W Europe. There are stories almost every day of courses on “white privilege”, of people being told to “check their privilege”, of people being attacked for “cultural appropriation” (a deeply racist complaint almost always, if not always, applied to white people) or told what they can and cannot wear, say and do to be sensitive to non-white people. At the same time universities demand they achieve better grades to qualify.

  9. “It’s OK to be a Democrat”.

    “It’s OK to be a socialist”.

    “It’s OK to be a communist”.

    “It’s OK to be a fascist”.

    “It’s OK to be an antifa violence supporter”.

    “It’s OK to be a football, ritualized violence supporter”. (Brain damage and all).

    “It’s OK to be a Republican”.

    “It’s OK to be a Trump supporter”.

    “It’s OK to be a Libertarian”.

    “It’s OK to be a White Pride supporter”.

    Which of the above would be “de facto” outlawed on campus? Because SOME things, as they stand now, ARE “de facto” outlawed, along these lines! Campus big-wig-pigs should at least spell it out, with examples, for students!

    1. More food for thoughts… Many nations are “white”, and many groups are “honorary whites”… So… Is it OK to be Jewish? East Asian? Light-skinned Hispanic? Spanish ancestry? Italian German ancestry? English ancestry? Polish ancestry? Russian ancestry? Arabic ancestry? Black genetically but actually albino? Mixed mostly-light-skinned ancestry?

      At the VERY least, in today’s power-piggish “politically correct” environment, we need to know, simply, what is OK, and what is NOT OK! Give us a LIST, ye power pigs!!!

      1. What you are saying is that “white” is a meaningless ethnic category, which it is.

        1. OK then “black” “asian” “hispanic” and “middle eastern” are equally meaningless as ethnic categories.

          It’s just a visual descriptor which makes it convenient to broadly identify as something without having to speak paragraphs about your family’s ancestral origins. That isn’t meaningless.

          1. Slight tweak – Asian at least has hard geographical boundaries, even if it’s not always clear where you are in the land connection between Europe and Asia.

            Of course, that makes many Russians also Asians, which is why as-used Asian is arbitrary in the sense you mean, since it doesn’t actually mean “hails from the continent of Asia” (where we can quibble which what “hails” means).

            Of course I also hired a pale skinned guy from South Africa who gained US citizenship and then checked “African American” on all of the forms….. which blew HRs mind when I told them to shove off after they said he falsely claimed it. Bloody bigots.

      2. “Light-skinned Hispanic”

        In Europe there is no concept of “Hispanic” as a separate racial category. Of course in the US there is no concept of anyone coming from Europe being Hispanic. My friend who moved to the US from Spain was not classified as Hispanic, despite coming from Spain, the literally original meaning of that word.

        His·pan·ic (hĭ-spăn′ĭk)
        adj.
        1. Of or relating to Spain or Spanish-speaking Latin America.
        2. Of or relating to a Spanish-speaking people or culture.

        American Heritage® Dictionary

  10. The irony here is that the if the alt right paid this university president to advertise for them, he couldn’t have come up with a better advertisement campaign.

    By overreacting to the message, he affirmatively corroborates the idea not just that white people are under attack and their rights are trampled on, but that the establishment actively hates them. By characterizing the simple and objectively inoffensive idea that “white people are OK” as hate speech, he is not just legitimating but actively advocating for the necessity of, the alt-right’s core message.

    I have to confess that it’s ingenious manipulation of his reflexes. You would think a university president would have the capacity to think before acting, and to realize that he is dealing with a matador before seeing red and blindly charging the cape.

    1. Does a 5-word phrase on a scrap of paper count as a flyer?

      I would not think so.

      1. I’ve written and printed flyers for many decades for myself and others and it passes my test as a flyer. Don’t know what experience you have determining one.

    2. From Sewer, Gas and Electric by Matt Ruff:

      “Joan met Archie Kerrigan in November of ’03 while researching a position paper on federal regulation of the genetic engineering industry. Kerrigan was an Arkansas-born conservative, a tongue-in-cheek, right-wing iconoclast whose favorite sport was teaching stupid pet tricks to the hounds of the Lefty God. He’d first gained notoriety after a correspondent to the Harvard Crimson accused him of “oppression symbolism” for flying a Confederate battle flag from his dorm room window. Progressive students mobilized quickly to express their outrage and demand the flag’s removal only to be caught flatfooted when , at the height of their candlelight vigil, a passing political science major pointed out that Kerrigan’s racist Confederate flag was actually a British Union Jack. A photographer for National Review just happened to be on hand to catch the red-faced squirming that followed; Rolling Stone columnist P. J. O’Rourke joined in the heaping of ridicule a couple of weeks later with a piece titled “Bean Town’s Culturally Illiterate Elite: Why Johnny Can’t Tell Grits from a Crumpet.” Suspecting–a tad late–that they’d been set up, the flag-bashers reexamined the Crimson letter that had sparked their protest in the first place. It was signed “A.K.” “

    3. That’s the old Artie Ray Lee Wayne Jim-Bob Kirkland strategy — just ask the Volokh Conspiracy Board of Censors how well it works.

      Artie Ray asked me to say ‘hi’ to everyone, especially the Conspirators, for him. He’d say it directly, but . . .

    4. The flaw in your criticism of the college president is the audience for his statement is the university community of SJW and professors and administrators, where context and reflection are symptoms of white privilege, and are themselves suspicious. His statement is an overreaction only to the people who care the least, like the public at large or the average student that has learned long ago while it may be ok to be white, it’s not ok to say so.

  11. So the university’s position then is: ‘it is not OK to be white’, and ‘islam is wrong about women’?

    What has the administration with their shorts in a wad is that any position they take will be excoriated by some extremist group. They forget that there is a simple path to take. Remove all postings, even those for the homeless shelter service, weekend party, and prayer service. Done.

    1. No, the U’s position is that it’s not OK to ~say~ that it’s OK to be white. But that means that the U, which is a state institution and therefore obligated to obey the Constitution, is plainly in the wrong.

      If the guys running the show ever get arrested, the arresting officer will have to begin with “you have the right to remain stupid.” Gotta wonder whether the dean’s name is “Wormer.”

  12. While I agree with the legal analysis that this is likely protected speech and that the school over-reacted, I find it very odd that you seem to be objecting to the school taking any stance at all.

    Universities are allowed to have opinions too, even opinions that say “we disagree with X”. As far as the two flyers go, if you understand them as symbols (rather then their literal text) then objecting to them isn’t objecting to the literal meaning, but to the meaning of the symbol.

    So decry their calls for punishment, but objecting to the message isn’t out of place or unjustified.

    1. They literally made a federal case of it.

    2. I have no issue with the president of the school objecting in his personal capacity. Doing so, in his capacity as university president, and threatening “severe” action, even if none can legally be taken, has a chilling effect on speech.

      1. And while I explicitly agreed with decrying the calls for punishment, there is no problem with the university president, even in their capacity as university president, decrying the content.

        As far as “chilling” goes, that was the entire point of the stunt. To “chill” the speech of minority students, make them more cautious about speaking out. That they might feel “chilled” by someone denouncing their shenanigans isn’t to be lamented.

        So to reiterate: punishment is too far. But public denouncement is dandy as candy.

        1. You’re joking, right?

          1. Sadly, probably not.

        2. Saying “it’s okay to be white” chills the speech of nonwhites? On what planet? How?

          1. On the planet where people don’t ignore context. So Earth.

            1. Okay. So the mere assertion that it’s “okay to be white” chills the speech of minorities due to unstated “context” which is, apparently, being beamed in from the Gamma Quadrant. Well in that case, your post is a direct denuncation of apple die because of similarly nebulous context. Why do you hate apple pie so much?

              1. Which is being “beamed” from 200+ years of American history on race relations.

                This isn’t complicated.

                1. I see. So because of “race relations” you’re either saying it’s NOT okay to be white or it is okay… but just not okay to say it, through logic so bended and twisted you are either unable or unwilling to actually articulate it. Which is it?

                  1. At this point I’m saying you’re willfully obtuse.

                    1. It’s okay for you to to be wrong. It’s also okay to be whatever race you happen to be, even if that race is white. Have a super day!

                    2. “It’s okay for you to to be wrong. It’s also okay to be whatever race you happen to be, even if that race is white. Have a super day!”

                      Great, now you’ve chilled his speech!

                    3. TiP, I know you’re good for it. So look up the history of ‘it’s okay to be white’ and who uses it.

                      That’s why EE and I are rolling my eyes at those trying to pretend the issue is white people not hating their skin color.

                    4. Um…our eyes.

                    5. “TiP, I know you’re good for it. So look up the history of ‘it’s okay to be white’ and who uses it.”

                      It’s a 4-chan prank designed to provoke racist idiots into demonstrating that they’re racist idiots. This serves the agenda of many people, including but not limited to white supremacists.

                    6. However it started, it’s been adopted by racists, TiP.
                      This is established history you can look up and see. I don’t see why you’re bucking it.

                    7. At the very least, you can tell it’s not about how okay it is to have lower melanin content, no?

                    8. “However it started, it’s been adopted by racists, TiP.”

                      Thus demonstrating that, whatever their obvious problems, said racists can at least appreciate a good joke.

                    9. I’ll take that as conceding that this isn’t actually about whether being white is okay or not.

                    10. We’re the only racial group on Earth that can’t lay claim to being OK without it being regarded as proof of racism, and this somehow has nothing to do with denying we’re OK?

                    11. Brett, you clearly know this became a slogan that means more than it’s literal text. Stop playing games.

                      You can be okay with being white, but that particular phrase now has another connotation. Which you admit, even if you think it’s only for trolling.

                      And yet you persist in your ridiculous narrative that whites are being persecuted in this country.

                    12. Brett,

                      We’re the only racial group on Earth

                      Get over it. You’re not a racial or ethnic group. There is no “white history” or “white culture.”

                      There are, of course, English, Scottish, Irish, German, Italian, French, Scandinavian, etc. histories and cultures, and American versions of the same.

                      But as soon as you start talking about “white” ethnicity you are defining yourself by negatives – not Hispanic, not African-American, etc.

                    13. “Brett, you clearly know this became a slogan that means more than it’s literal text. Stop playing games.”

                      See, there’s one of the characteristic mental pathologies of the left, on display: It’s not enough that you think you’re right. (Everybody thinks they’re right, or they’d change their mind.)

                      You’re convinced everybody else agrees you’re right, and is just pretending they don’t agree with you!

                      I’m not playing games here. I genuinely, sincerely, disagree with you. Get that through your head, internalize it: When people disagree with you, they’re not playing games, they’re not messing with your head, they’re not being perversely contrary: They actually disagree with you.

                      In some ways this is just like the “quid pro quo” nonsense, or Comey’s firing supposedly being obstruction of justice. We’re not disagreeing about first order facts, about whether somebody got fired, what words were on a transcript. We’re disagreeing about how to interpret them.

                      So, we agree that the OK gesture and “It’s OK to be white” being racist is a 4chan prank. We agree that there are racists among those making the OK gesture and saying that it’s OK to be white.

                      We’re disagreeing about what that last implies.

                      You think that some racists using a gesture or phrase somehow contaminates it for everyone, so that it becomes, universally, racist in nature. We think you’re nuts, that racists, (Or the vastly larger group of people you THINK are racists.) do not have that reality altering power, that words continue to retain their original meanings even if ‘racists’ use them.

                      Can you understand the basis of our disagreement?

                    14. 1) Assuming bad faith on the other side is something the left does? The irony, coming from Brett!

                      2) I’m not saying you’re lying, I’m saying your two views in these comments are fundamentally inconsistent.
                      Lets not even talk about what’s white supremacist and what’s not, (though seems to me your disagreement there stems from your refusal to do research)
                      Once you argue that this is about trolling, it’s no longer about the okayness of whiteness. And thus your separate line about how this is another example of white persecution cannot hold.

                      And maybe don’t stick so hard on the no quid pro quo bit these days, eh? Neither the White House nor the Senate is really sticking to that position.

            2. Does anything chill the speech of non-PC whites? (Like, I don’t know, threatening to expel and prosecute them for saying “it’s ok to be white”?) Because they are the only ones that colleges really try to make shut up. I mean, I’m pretty sure this particular college president wouldn’t have been so righteously indignant if someone had said “white people are evil” — at most there would have been milquetoast statements that “this doesn’t reflect our values,” while probably also trying to acknowledge that the speaker had a point.

              1. I’m pretty sure this particular college president wouldn’t have been so righteously indignant if someone had said “white people are evil”

                I’m pretty sure you’re telling on yourself with that speculation more than on the school.

                1. Don’t be dense about what he’s saying.

                  1. He’s speculating in a counterfactual that this school must be okay with hating white people. Which there is no evidence of.

                    He’s showing his white persecution complex.

                    1. He has plenty of evidence. You’re the one buying your head in the sand.

                2. I have attended a university with a professor who said that. She is not unique.

                  1. She is not unique.

                    I know the perception on the resentment-driven right. I continue to ask for proof beyond ipse dixit like this.

                    Certainly the white persecution complex on this page is statistically significant.

                    1. It will never be enough examples. They can always be denied or minimized or explained away.

                3. It’s not something you have to speculate on with universities as a whole, sarcastro. People do say that. They don’t get expelled or referred to the FBI. (Know nothing about this specific school, though)

            3. “Context” means I made up a story in my head when used this way.

            4. Congratulations! Its early in the month, both you’ve all but assured yourself the worst comment award!

            5. No, only on the imagination Earth in your fevered dreams.

        3. I am a brown skinned guy and I am not all all chilled by hearing “It’s OK to be white”.

          Perhaps you should stop speaking for minorities? And perhaps speak for only white people? It’s OK to speak for white people if you’re white.

          1. Shocker: brownness isn’t an ideological monolith. Neither is whiteness.

            Not his fault you’re willfully blind.

            1. Sarcastro, are you whitesplaining again? Why are you trying to tell minorities about what they can or cannot think?

              1. Having trouble with reading? Noting brownness is not an ideological monolith is rather the opposite of what your weak attempt at playing the race card would require.

                Noting that you’re being willfully blind and refusing to do research is a race-free judgement.

                1. You’re whitesplaining again, and insulting people of color by telling them that they are willfully blind and refusing to do research.

                  The next step for you is to demand literacy tests for people of color who don’t do research to your satisfaction.

        4. “As far as “chilling” goes, that was the entire point of the stunt. To “chill” the speech of minority students, make them more cautious about speaking out.”

          How does saying “It is OK to be white” chill the speech of non-whites?

        5. “As far as “chilling” goes, that was the entire point of the stunt. To “chill” the speech of minority students, make them more cautious about speaking out.”

          Utter, errant, ignorant nonsense. Just totally made up. Whose speech was chilled? Who is made more cautious by those sentiments? Only, perhaps, the authoritarian so-called “social justice”* warriors, and in fact the aim of the leaflets was to encourage them to speak, and make fools of themselves as the university president did.

          * a rare natural Orwellian: a phrase that is, in and of its, contradictory in the meaning of the words. A typical Orwellian term could be used literally but means the opposite in context, for example the Ministry of Truth in the book or “liberal” in the modern political usage. Social justice implies injustice without needing the context, as justice must be individual by its very nature.

    3. “o decry their calls for punishment, but objecting to the message isn’t out of place or unjustified.”

      So, it’s NOT OK to be white. Good to know.

      1. It’s fine to be white, whatever that means. It’s not OK to be stupid.

  13. It’s interesting to watch the difference between a stupid liberal and a smart liberal.
    A prankster makes a speech (in this case distributes a flyer) that Says the Unsayable.
    The stupid liberal goes into hysterics, calls for legal retribution (that will never come) and general does everything in his power to make the prankster’s point for him.
    The stupid liberal (in the form of the local ACLU) issues a press release consisting of
    1. a to-be-sure about the prankster’s Constitutional rights
    2. a condemnation of the use of law enforcement in this case — not because of the Constitutional, but because law enforcement is bad, in practice and in concept.
    3. a call for more spending on their pet institutions and the establishment of new ones. Even it doesn’t work, it discourages more pranks in the future.

  14. Meanwhile, in an alternate universe, the university president takes a deep breath and issue the following statement:

    “We confirm the reports that some litterbug put unauthorized flyers on campus. We’re dealing with it like other cases of littering, but throwing out the material. If anyone knows any litterbugs, in this or other cases, please remind them to keep our campus clean or if the campus cops aren’t particularly busy, call them at [number].

    “As to the content of the material, there’s a flag whose meaning I don’t quite get – an affirmation that it’s OK to be white – some of my best friends are white, so I hope nobody disagrees with that literal message – and that Islam is right about women – a religious issue on which as a state institution we express no view. In any case, the message printed on a piece of litter is, by the First Amendment, none of our concern, we’d treat it the same if it say white was bad or Islam was wrong. Now get back to work.”

    1. c’mon, dude, let’s keep it believable.

      1. Is it the alternate universe part you find unbelievable, or the existence of non-insane administrators in *any* universe?

        1. There could be alternate universes.

  15. It’s not really that OK to be white, in some people’s opinions. The New York Times wrote last week that refugees are needed to fill a “void of cultural diversity” in white towns:

    To supporters like Mr. Engen, the Congolese are filling a void of cultural diversity in a town that is nearly 90 percent white. In the 1980s, Hmong refugees from Laos settled in Missoula. The children of immigrant families are usually the few students of color in city classrooms..

    I thought that the point of refugee programs was to achieve strategic aims and further U.S. interests, and to provide refuge to a few victims of the most extreme and severe instances of political and religious violence and persecution around the globe. Apparently I’ve overlooked a key element. The NYT similarly wrote previously, “New Hampshire, like its neighbors Vermont and Maine, is nearly all white. This has posed an array of problems for new arrivals.”

    1. “I thought that the point of refugee programs was to achieve strategic aims and further U.S”

      No, it is or should be purely a matter of humanitarian aid/support.

      1. Does form follow function or does function follow form? IMHO, “machs nix”, matters not. Benevolence is its own reward. Treat everyone as an enemy or potential enemy, and they will “sense your essence”, and treat you “in kind”. Those of us with Bible-banger parents learned that “you reap what you sow” means, smoke a cigar and drink a beer, or cuss and swear, go to Hell! Those of us who have learned better, have learned that, ON THE AVERAGE at least, sow kindness, you reap kindness. And the opposite as well…

        Trumpista knuckle-draggers and xenophobes never got the memo on this one, but there is always hope that they might…

      2. I meant to be more clear. You have just revealed yourself to be a benevolent person. God-Cosmos-Karma-“Whatever” bless you! I generally feel that free trade and private charity is a better way than Government Almighty, to Fight the Good Fight, but am not inclined to quibble. When the fire is burning up a house (yours, mine, whoever’s), let’s put the fire out first, and THEN argue about whether fire-fighting should be publically or privately funded!

      3. “No, it is or should be purely a matter of humanitarian aid/support.”

        That’s not exactly correct; refugee programs are and have always been ostensibly premised on a win-win concept, mutual benefit for the refugees in question as well as the U.S. and most importantly the desired effect on the nation or region in question. The benefit to the U.S. is of the “winning hearts and minds” variety; we show that our way of life is open and tolerant and capable of assimilating others, and so win the multilateral support of other nations, even as the country of origin shows the opposite is true of their oppressive acts and systems and manifestations of culture.

        I fully accept this traditional rationale for refugee programs, I think there is a win-win to be had. However, it’s crucial to understand it correctly. The rationale is not: “Well, things are awful in this area of the globe currently, and there are about a billion civilians there so let’s just move them ALL here.” Simply moving entire populations en masse is only a recipe for exacerbating the problems. And, there are obviously limits to our ability to take in the world’s ~8 billion people the vast majority of whom are worse off than us fortunate few. You have to understand that the only real humanitarian hope is is for those lands to be healed. If we’re not careful, our actions can easily make foreign situations worse, and degrading our own strength and capacity to help defend against tyranny when push comes to shove does not do the world any favors at all. Taking all of this into account, refugee programs are intended to be carefully targeted, and I would venture you could call it a very positive form of “tokenism” in a way.

        Contrast this with the sick view of the New York Times and others, which does not look at foreign humanitarian problems with a realistic view of how to improve them, but instead looks inward and considers a state or locality being 89 percent “white” as a problematic issue in and of itself, to be remedied by the forced unconsented importation of some fungible other.

    2. Diversity good does not mean white bad.

      1. In theory, no; in practice, yes.

        1. ML should do some thinking with how much he’s agreeing with you lately.

      2. “Diversity good does not mean white bad.”

        I agree; the New York Times and others apparently do not agree, since they view “whiteness” as being problematic.

        The thrust of their agenda is not an appreciation and respect for diversity; it is a drive to eradicate it. I would liken it to gender. The definition of diversity is difference. There is great beauty in the diversity of cultures and peoples around the globe, just as there is beauty in the difference between genders. But the leftist drive is to deny and snuff out these differences, and moreover to subjugate their right of self-determination to a global order (there are countless express statements of this ideology which can be pointed to). Ironically, they are fully in league with the worst motivations of the capitalist system to reduce everything to fungible units of economic production.

        1. I can’t tell what you’re talking about.

    3. “New Hampshire, like its neighbors Vermont and Maine, is nearly all white. This has posed an array of problems for new arrivals.”

      What exactly is wrong with that statement?

      1. It’s meaningless?

        If they’d meant that those states are insular they could have said so. If they’d meant “Alabama, like it’s neighbor Mississippi, is nearly all fundamentalist Christians who attend the Westboro Baptist Church. This has posed an array of problems for the active duty military gay interracial families who move there” that would be something else. And if they’d meant “Dearborn, MI is nearly all Wahabi Islamic. This has posed an array of problems for the ultra Orthodox Jews who fled Iraq and have recently arrived” that would be something else altogether.

        But merely saying “white” is entirely racist, just as saying “black” or “Asian” is when referring to diverse cultures.

        My brother cooks with butter in everything, because he spent decades in France. I use lots of sour and brine….. for German, Korean, and Filipino food. Rice is made fresh every day at my home – they only eat rice when visiting – do we even have the same culture? Both of our spouses were born on continents we didn’t even visit until we were teenagers, but in many surveys out homes both get classified as “white,” even though our children can check off every single box on the census forms (though through different paths).

        Many keep hearing a dog whistle, but never notice the complete deviation from that great quote, “that my children will be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.” Well, the journalists here are literally judging by the color of their skin. If you disagree with MLK just be upfront about it.

        1. To be fair, MLK repudiated his own dream within a couple of years, and signed on to the program of racial quotas. So this isn’t exactly a case of disagreeing with MLK.

          It’s disagreeing with the MLK most people think of when they admire him.

          1. MLK was the real racist. If these things are inconsistent as you indicate, do you think he was lying initially or later?

            I tell you, this blog and racial issues…

            1. I don’t think he was lying at either point, he just changed his mind.

              He wouldn’t be the first person to advance a principled position, and then abandon it when he realized it wasn’t going to pay off immediately.

              But the fact remains he gets a lot of credit for that dream speech, and it’s because most people don’t realize he gave up on that dream shortly after.

              1. Or, maybe, it’s quite in keeping with judging people by the content of their character to counteract institutionalized racism.

                But no, no one could sincerely believe that. It’s all bad faith racial spoils!

                1. He dreamed of a day when people would be judged by the content of their character, rather than the color of their skin.

                  Then not long after, signed onto a strategy that, so long as it’s followed, assures that dream will never, ever come true, because it centrally relies exactly on judging people by the color of their skin.

                  Today, if you share his dream, you’re attacked as a racist. It’s a bitter irony, but the world is full of irony.

                  1. Or maybe so many people were judging by the content of their skin for so long, that he realized that to get to that day, you can’t just declare racism over.

                    Maybe his understanding was a bit more nuanced than yours or mine. Can’t imagine why that could be.

                    But go ahead and put thoughts into MLK’s head wherein he approves of you before he became the real racist.
                    Won’t hurt him any. It’ll make you look small, but you’ll be in good company; it’s almost a trope at this point.

                    I think the Boondocks did an episode on it.

                    1. How does formal institutional racism ever lead us to a non-racist environment?

                      I assume in 30 years you’ll be arguing for “whitey” to get racial preferences, because she’ll have had half of century of legislated deprivation of rights (I.e. affirmative action), right?

                      If not, why not?

                      Note – I don’t actually think you’ll come to that position, the point is why you won’t. If you think there must always be an oscillating tit-for-tat based on race that’s at least coherent, but if your endgame is to get rid of racism then you must have some criteria for determining when it’s useful for racism to end. Alternatively, “the way to stop racism is to stop being racist” has clear start and endpoints, and if you add in punishments for violations we can be there now.

                    2. “Or maybe so many people were judging by the content of their skin for so long, that he realized that to get to that day, you can’t just declare racism over.”

                      No, you can’t just declare it to be over. You have to stop practicing it.

                      That’s the point here: The civil rights movement, out of impatience, chose the self-defeating approach of ending racism by practicing it.

                      It’s like a feud, you never end one by evening the score. You end one by ending it. As long as you’re trying to even the score, it never can end.

                      Ultimately, the only way racism ever goes away, is by people refusing to take race into account in their decisions. Does this mean things don’t become perfect over night?

                      Yes, it does. But at least it becomes possible for the problem to go away, instead of perpetuating it.

                    3. First, you level the playing field. Then you start working from an equal footing.

                      There’s a bunch of writing on the issue if you’d care to look it up.

                      I don’t agree with Teh Nehisi Coates, but if you don’t read and grapple with him you aren’t tracking the full debate.

                    4. “I don’t agree with Teh Nehisi Coates, but if you don’t read and grapple with him you aren’t tracking the full debate.”

                      Teh Nehisi Coates doesn’t say anything that black people haven’t been saying forever. I get the feeling that white people who find this guy novel haven’t talked to many black people.

                    5. No, you don’t “level the playing field”. It’s already largely level, and the largest deviation from level is the racial quotas demanded by the ‘civil rights’ community.

                      Look, I’m a desk jockey with arthritis. My neighbor might be a healthy jock. A level playing field means that I lose a race with him every single time.

                      Level playing fields accentuate differences in how people are situated, by removing anything that might hide them. They don’t result in equal results, they result in glaring differences.

                    6. MLK might disagree with you, about the playing field, especially back then, Brett.

                    7. But we’re not back then, we’re here now.

                      If your point is to level the playing field first then you never get out of Bretts feud example – because whoever was harmed last will want their own leveling, and under your paradigm will always be owed it – after all, if you take from A to give to B because at some time I’m the past C took from D that still means that A has had something taken from them.

                      Justice O’Conner understood that 15 years ago when she said that affirmative action would have a short time left as any leveling was nearly complete (I think this was in Grutter v Bollinger, but it’s been a few years now), but if you don’t have a model of when to turn it off your default is that state discrimination must always continue – you need a hard line to say “ok, now we should stop discriminating on race.”

  16. It would not surprise me to read that the (eventual) collared-culprits be revealed as leftists, at which time the university president could schedule a celebration in honor of these rascals’ creativity at fighting oppression.

    1. Extremely unlikely. Left-wing hate hoaxes don’t tend to be subtle, they want the event they’re faking to match their idea of how evil their foes are.

      Things this subtle are usually pranks, not hoaxes.

  17. So….it’s OK to be black, brown, yellow, or red. But being OK to be white is a hate crime??? The inmates are running the asylum. I’ll never apologize for being white, but personally, I identify as Celtic, and if any form asks me what color I am, I usually respond NOYB. If they ask what nationality I am, I’ll respond Native American, since I was born in America and am therefore a native of America.

    1. Our family always answers “Terran” and let them figure that out. Because fuck you, that’s why. 🙂

  18. According to https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/11/05/campuses-confront-spread-its-ok-be-white-posters:

    Richard A. Baker, president of the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity, said via email that “on its face, the statement is both innocuous and obvious. It is OK to be white. But the intent of the flyer’s author is not to state the obvious. It is to find sympathizers to the white nationalists’ cause.”

    Baker, assistant vice chancellor and vice president for equal opportunity services at the University of Houston System, added that “what is interesting is that a position is being inferred by some on the national stage that whites are a marginalized group and are being made to feel ‘not OK’ in their whiteness. This flyer’s purpose is to attract persons who may be sympathetic to that position but may not respond to a swastika or other traditional symbols of white nationalism or direct recruitment.”

    So, according to Baker, a person who feels that whites are being made to feel ‘not OK’ is in the same category as a person who responds positively to a swastika or other symbol of white nationalism. This apparently is also the view of President Clark of Western Connecticut State University.

    1. How *exactly* does Richard Baker know the intent of unknown authors? Do his psychic powers have other uses or is it just good for this?

      1. Yes, SomeGuy! This is what I have been thinking! Arrogant, self-righteous people PRETEND to be able to mind-read! Accordingly, they want to practice literal mind-control!

        For all we know, “It is OK to be white” posters might have been in support of what I mentioned above…

        (Repeat from above).

        Am I allowed to stand up for the rights of white-skinned people who are genetically black, but white-skinned due to albinism? The persons doing the horrible persecution are mostly black Africans, so I have NO idea on HOW does one calculate the intersectionalism here!!!

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_people_with_albinism
        Persecution of people with albinism

        1. Am I allowed to stand up for the rights of white-skinned people who are genetically black, but white-skinned due to albinism?

          Sure. And if you think that anyone in America, seeing a “it’s okay to be white” flyer on a college campus, would think of albino Africans, then you’re nuttier then a Snickers bar.

          Context matters.

          1. My fundamental point remains… Only a totally self-righteous asshole (like a campus administrator, but I repeat myself) would ASSUME that they KNOW what was in the mind of those who posted the poster! If and when brain scans become totally cheap and reliable, THEN things will change! In the meantime, the idea of PRETENDING to mind-read is totally dangerous! It is a wide-open invitation to demagogues and despots! Campus power pigs… Get OUT of my mind, you self-righteous assholes!

            1. Oh, c’mon. Next thing, you’ll be telling us that people who make an “OK” sign with thumb and forefinger don’t necessarily mean to signal support for white supremacy.

      2. Also, who cares what their intent is? Are we punishing people for their thoughts now? If so, are we allowed to say that people who say “black lives matter” might do so with the intent of saying cops are racist? I mean, context, right?

      3. Classic case of left wing autocrats being the only ones able to hear right wing dog whistles. You hear time and time again From people on raw left about right wing dog whistles. But few if any on the right can hear them.

        The obvious purpose here was to push back on the obviously PC position that white people are the source of all evil in this world. There is a huge chasm between that pushback and advocating for joining the Aryan Nation (not the KKK – they were the Dems shock troops for most of a century), etc. You put that proposition to a vote across this country, you would probably get north of 200 million votes, while these fringe White Power groups have mere handfuls of members. That is the chasm that this left wing college administrator is trying to pretend away with his hearing nonexistent right wing dog whistles.

    2. “But the intent of the flyer’s author” etc.

      As long as we’re engaging in mind-reading, perhaps the intent of such flyers (like the “Islam is right about women” flyers) is to expose people like Richard A. Baker as politically correct loony tunes – in which case, as others have noted, the flyers’ authors have the perfect partners in university administrations when it comes to making their message seem cool and relevant.

      1. It would be too bad if the “alt-right” or whoever persuaded more whites to be whiny, snowflakey victims – we’ve seen where that leads (For one thing, it leads to people like Baker getting jobs).

        Much better to shrug and reflect that, oh well, there are people who don’t like you because of crimes committed by people who look like you – but that there are also non-insane people too.

        1. The place to draw the line is not letting the government putting its Good Housekeeping seal of approval on any form of racial discrimination or stereotyping. There ought to be a law.

        2. Whiny victims rule the university. If everyone gets in on the whiny victim power play, it will stop working. People will suddenly stop being victims as soon as the incentive is removed.

      2. As long as we’re engaging in mind-reading

        May I politely point out that a lot of the right-wing commenters on thius very site quite often engage in mind-reading, with their talk of what “the Left,” or the Democrats, or other in-their-mind Satanic elements are “really” trying to do, what their “real motivations are.”

        Condemn mind-reading if you like, but do try to be fair about it.

        1. But they’re not administrators trying to expel or prosecute students based on their supposed intent in saying something unobjectionable on its face. Or to intimidate them into keeping their mouths shut.

        2. Ooh, you’re polite! I’m so grateful for the concession.

          1. And as the official spokesperson for all right-wing commenters on the Internet, let me just say…

            Wait, I’m *not* the official spokesman for all right-wing commenters on the Internet, so never mind.

            1. No. You’re not.

              But you do seem to be critical of attempts at mind-reading.

              If that’s restricted to mind-reading by those you disagree with then I’m going to say you’re full of it.

              1. When did someone I agreed with attempt mind-reading?

                1. OK, no rush, just find a few of the most egregious examples and I’ll get back to you.

                  1. Wow, I said “no rush” and you really (so to speak) ran with it.

                    How about this: Find a *single* example of someone I agree with attempting mind-reading.

                    You made the accusation, so give at least one example.

                    1. You can’t find a single example to back up your accusation.

                      But you’ll soon be right back at the same old stand, hurling more bogus charges.

  19. The Volokh Conspiracy, which engages in viewpoint-based censorship with respect to comments, again aims its ankle-biting at a mainstream school for engaging in censorship while issuing a glaring, undeserved pass to hundreds of right-wing schools that routinely and strenuously enforce speech codes, suppress science, reject academic freedom, require fealty to dogma, teach nonsense, impose conduct codes, collect loyalty oaths, and generally engage in comprehensive censorship.

    Why are Republicans so impervious to self-awareness?

    1. Who can forget the time that some prankster distributed flyers reading “Arius rules, Athanasius drools” all over the Biola campus, and the college administration called in the FBI to find the perps?

      1. Artie Ray?

        We could ask him, but he was banned for making fun of clingers. Which is lawful, of course — the Conspirators’ private playground, the Conspirators’ viewpoint-discriminatory and petty rules — but a bad look for people who figure themselves candidates to complain about (some) others with respect to censorship.

        Carry on, clingers.

  20. We discussed this two years ago when it was new. You can either ignore a harmless remark (smart), try to diffuse it (add it’s ok to be [whatever] signs,smart and aligned with the left-wing politics these people generally have), or try to destroy it (getting humiliated by kids on 4chan)

    Almost every school has chosen the third option, but I don’t recall any as flagrantly as unconstitutional as this puts.

    1. As is often the case with the VC crowd (myself included) everyone seems to be on the same page that the school is an idiot, both legally and practically.

      Which is why most of this thread is about arguing over the slogan, and some excitingly positing that this proves the school hates white people.
      Which is also pretty silly, but that’s where we are on this.

      1. Functionally, what’s the difference between the school hating white people, and the actual situation? What would they do differently?

        You can say, “Black people are OK”, but can’t say “White people are OK”.

        You can have black only organizations, but no white only organizations. Black only scholarships, no white only scholarships.

        Affirmative action is taken to increase the number of black students above what a pure merit system would result in. Does this not automatically reduce the number of white students below what a pure merit system would result in?

        If the school administration DID hate whites, what would they do differently?

        I think you have never thought through the implications of preferential treatment in a zero sum system. But other people have, and don’t like them.

        1. This is an extremely silly question. Maybe the school also hates Jews. What would they do differently here? Nothing – because this incident says nothing about the school’s viewpoint other than they are dumb and too reactive to racial slogans.

          As for the rest of your white grievances,
          I think you have never thought through the implications of preferential treatment in a zero sum system. But other people have, and don’t like them.
          I have. In fact, we’ve had the conversation about how institutional racism works, so you know I have. And yet you return to the norm like we’ve never gone around about this. At least bring new BS to this BS factory!

          Most places in this country, every space not declaimed as for nonwhites functions as a place for whites to be safe and accepted and network and all the stuff black clubs bring for blacks.
          And given how much legacies have been in the news lately, maybe check on who benefits from legacy athlete and donor systems, accounting for vastly more than affirmative action.

      2. If the school has no problem with whites there is no reason to take issue with “it’s okay to be white”.

        The only reason to take issue is if you disagree.

      3. No, the school doesn’t hate white people. It only hates white people who don’t hate white people.

        1. Not sure if serious, but pithy regardless.

          1. I think of a lot of these things under a Bayesian inference model – if (the school hates whites) then some other factor (they write this letter) is more likely to be true than if the predicate is false.

            To pick a different angle on it, if Republicans are racist then it’s more likely that they’ll take actions they believe will harm whatever race they dislike than if they’re not racist. Then we can look: do Republicans advocate policies they think will harm other races? Note that you have to look at these from the right framing – it’s not a question of them being correct in their beliefs of how the world works, but rather within their otherwise stated beliefs what do they think will happen?

            We can apply that to Bernie Sanders, who espouses a belief that abandoning capitalism and becoming pure socialists will increase the total good, even at the cost of some good to some very wealthy people. Under his paradigm advocating for socialism is good, so if Sanders started to say that China should adopt capitalism across the board you could infer that he’s biased against the Chinese – because under his view of the world that’s a bad thing.

            So let’s apply that to the case at hand: if the school is anti-white racist then they’ll write that letter. Is that true, not true, or indeterminate? You might say indeterminate because it depends on how people will perceive the letter, so a better statement might be if the school doesn’t care about being believed to be anti-white racists then they’ll write that letter. And who doesn’t care about being thought to be anti-white racists? People who think that’s a morally good stance – you know, racists.

            Have you tried using this paradigm of thinking? I find that it helps a lot in modeling people with significantly diverging value from myself – an easier way of actually being empathetic (though not sympathetic, of course). That’s why I’m rarely surprised when various politicians take the positions they do – I’ve modeled out many of the “this is likely true” facts about them, reworking them with new information as needed.

            That’s partly why so many laugh at the claim that Trump is an anti-Semite. It’s probably true that if Trump is an anti-Semite then he’d have tried to prevent his daughters conversion. We know with reasonable certainty that he didn’t, so the predicate probably isn’t true. Run that sort of model on most people and you’ll have a better understanding of what they actually think.

            Note: yes, I do use this technique in therapy, it’s taught in some post doc programs (and by some government agencies, but that’s a whole other purpose).

  21. So now being “okay” is hate according to our beloved Federal government? How long can this country continue to exist?

    1. Yes. Being okay is now officially hateful. Better leave America.

      1. I’d say leave and go to Canada, but is there even any room in Canada? You know…because of all those people from the USA moving there after Trump won?

        1. Canada is more PC than this University. Unlike the US, the government can punish speech and practices viewpoint discrimination.

          It also allows for positive discrimination in job hiring, education and government services.

          Cherish your rights.

      2. And go to Canada, the land of Blackface?

        1. Hey now, we invented it; they just perfected it.

          1. Who is We? The Virginia Democratic Party?

    2. I can’t wait until this place comes crashing down.

      1. Which place comes crashing down?

        Reason? Hosting the likes of Stewart Baker and Prof. Volokh seems to mock reason.com’s ostensible libertarianism, but that seems scant cause to precipitate rooting for demise.

        The Volokh Conspiracy? Bad idea. By exposing unvarnished right-wing thought to a broader audience than the usual Heritage-Federalist-Olin-Bradley-Republican context, this blog performs a substantial public service. May the better ideas win.

        America? Bad bet. America improves. The people who dislike that progress are a diminishing problem.

    3. Don’t be (or pretend to) so dense. You know exactly what they’re doing. Next thing you’ll be saying that Pepe is just a cute frog cartoon. Whatever dude.

      Anywho, calling the FBI over this was a retarded thing to do. So congratulations, you outsmarted the SJW retards. Good job trolling them. Don’t you feel proud. You are the smartest kid in special ed school, yey!!!

  22. I love how flustered the normies get over ancient antics.

  23. God knows 95% of black men think white women are OK.

  24. Possible civil and criminal penalties?

    So, $1,000 fine + community service for littering + $500 “service clean up” civil fee cities often charge to fill their budget holes then?

  25. Seriously – if we’re talking about systemic bias – the University President takes the cake.

    The University has several courses that say in various ways that it’s not OK to be white (or male). And that’s fine. Part of academic freedom even if it gets hackneyed.

    What’s not fine is calling out the police and threatening expulsion if students were involved.

Please to post comments