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More than a dozen handmade stickers reading “It’s okay to be white” surfaced around Harvard Square Wednesday, prompting Cambridge officials to remove them and a Harvard Law School Dean to denounce the signs as “provocations intended to divide us.”
The stickers appeared to be part of a campaign started on the forum website 4chan, which called upon followers to put up posters with the message in their area on Halloween night. The author of the original post on the site wrote that they hoped the “credibility of far left campuses and media gets nuked” as a result of the incident, adding that they could help achieve a “massive victory for the right in the culture war.”
Similar stickers were spotted in a handful of places around the country Wednesday morning.
“It seems likely that these anonymous postings, made in the middle of the night, were provocations intended to divide us from one another,” Law School Dean of Students Marcia L. Sells wrote in an email sent to Law students Wednesday after the stickers were spotted at Wasserstein and Hastings Halls.
“HLS will not let that happen here. We live, work, teach, and learn together in a community that is stronger, better, and deeper because of our diversity and because we encourage open, respectful, and constructive discourse,” Sells wrote.
In 2015, a vandalism incident featuring pieces of black tape placed over the portraits of black professors at the Law School spurred a broader campus dialogue about race on campus.
Most of the stickers appeared to have been removed by Wednesday afternoon.
When alerted about the stickers, Cambridge Police asked the Department of Public Works to remove them from Cambridge Common and Harvard Square, Cambridge police spokesman Jeremy Warnick told the Boston Globe.
Sells confirmed in her email to students Wednesday afternoon that the stickers at the Law School had already been removed.
This is not the first public posting suggesting the plight of white people in the United States at Harvard. In October 2016, an email with the subject line “Fight White Genocide - Vote Trump!” was sent to some undergraduates, prompting Harvard to call upon police to investigate. In November 2015, a Facebook page and posters on campus advertised a “White Student Union” at Harvard.
—Staff writer Graham W. Bishai can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @grahambishai
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