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Author Topic: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?  (Read 4647 times)

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Offline ElvenKittenTopic starter

Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« on: November 07, 2017, 03:20:41 PM »
4chan recently encouraged people to put up signs saying "It's OK to white" in colleges and universities. The reaction was predictable with people calling it racist and problematic. None of these signs said it wasn't ok to be any other race or ethnicity. I'll go out on a limb and say it is ok to be white, just as it's ok be anything other than white. Bit then again this is 4chan trying to press the buttons of the easily offended.

I'd just like to see other peoples takes on this as I don't like to keep myself stuck in an echo chamber. 

Online Lustful Bride

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2017, 03:25:50 PM »
Bit then again this is 4chan trying to press the buttons of the easily offended.

Its 4chan. They excel at causing controversy, especially when its in ways that might be hard to argue.

Its okay to be white, there is nothing wrong with it. Just like it is okay to be Hispanic, African American, Asian, etc, etc, etc. There is nothing to be ashamed of for how we are born and the way our genes decide we must look. We should all be happy with who we are and love others for who they are so long as they aren't hurting anyone.

This is all just an attempt to start fights and controversies on colleges that seem to love throwing riots lately rather than sitting and talking it over calmly and respectfully.

Online Avis habilis

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2017, 03:26:55 PM »
Racist? No. Dishonest in that it's implying that there's been anything that could even be mistaken for a devaluation of whiteness, systemic disadvantage of white people, animosity toward pale complexion & so on, that's even in the same time zone as what people of color in the U.S. have been experiencing since, oh, I dunno, always?

Yes. Yes it is.

Offline ElvenKittenTopic starter

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2017, 03:37:26 PM »
But why make a big noise over these signs? The only thing that does is embolden the white supremacists and make their arguments on "white genocide" look more credible. 

Online Lustful Bride

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2017, 04:05:37 PM »
But why make a big noise over these signs? The only thing that does is embolden the white supremacists and make their arguments on "white genocide" look more credible.

The problem is its so vague and simple it leaves it open to be used for one way or another. Especially now where everyone has violent kneejerk reactions to anything remotely political, racial, or religious.

Offline ReijiTabibito

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Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2017, 04:47:49 PM »
It's also very close to a well-known pro-gay statement.  George Takei - of OG Sulu Star Trek game - made the statement some years ago when the Tennessee state legislature introduced a bill that would ban people from using the word 'gay' in schools.  Takei got on YouTube and stated that he was lending his name to help out those affected by the bill.

"It's Okay to be Takei" took off, as only something done by one of the OG Enterprise crew could.

It almost too easily opens up an argument that could be employed - "Oh, so it's okay to say that you're gay, but not that you're white?"

To a certain degree, though, that people keep falling for stupid stuff like this shows how poor some people's tolerances are and how limited their capacity to argue beyond ad hominem is.

Offline Skynet

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2017, 05:50:09 PM »
The statement on its own is non-controversial. But the subtext is that it was spread by /pol/ which has many white nationalist sentiments and the phrase is popular among said groups.

The subtext is that many hate group disguise their anti-everyone else as being pro-themselves, claiming that civil rights is a zero sum game where helping out others will result in your own rights being curtailed.

And said groups will chide others for taking it seriously, that they were just 'trolling.' But intent matters little in regards to action. When you're spreading misinformation and intimidating others who are opposite you politically, you're not trolling so much as being sincere.

I know I've posted it before, but this is a good video explaining how white supremacist groups use pedantry to divert and disguise their slogans to sound more appealing among other forms of propaganda.

Strategy 2: Euphemism at the 8:06 timestamp is most relevant.

Online Lustful Bride

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2017, 06:09:06 PM »
The statement on its own is non-controversial. But the subtext is that it was spread by /pol/ which has many white nationalist sentiments and the phrase is popular among said groups.

The subtext is that many hate group disguise their anti-everyone else as being pro-themselves, claiming that civil rights is a zero sum game where helping out others will result in your own rights being curtailed.

And said groups will chide others for taking it seriously, that they were just 'trolling.' But intent matters little in regards to action. When you're spreading misinformation and intimidating others who are opposite you politically, you're not trolling so much as being sincere.

I know I've posted it before, but this is a good video explaining how white supremacist groups use pedantry to divert and disguise their slogans to sound more appealing among other forms of propaganda.

Strategy 2: Euphemism at the 8:06 timestamp is most relevant.

+1 I feel this is the best explanation.

Offline HannibalBarca

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Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2017, 09:09:57 PM »
When I was a kid, I once mentioned to my parents that there was a Mother's Day and a Father's Day; why wasn't there a children's day?

"Every day is children's day," my mother replied.

I figured out her point pretty quickly.  I wish, though, that people who complain about Black History Month or National Coming Out Month or other similar holidays would figure it out, too.

Offline Mathim

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2017, 10:34:08 PM »
Would adding, "We're no better or worse than any other groups" be better? That way there's no connotation of superiority nor implicit denigration of other ethnicities. Or is that kind of like making it into an "All Lives Matter" slogan?

Offline ReijiTabibito

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Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2017, 10:37:32 PM »
When I was a kid, I once mentioned to my parents that there was a Mother's Day and a Father's Day; why wasn't there a children's day?

"Every day is children's day," my mother replied.

I figured out her point pretty quickly.  I wish, though, that people who complain about Black History Month or National Coming Out Month or other similar holidays would figure it out, too.

Only a technical picky here, your major point is noted - there actually ARE holidays named Children's Day in other countries.  Japan is the most prominent one, but I think there's a couple of others, too.  And to me, that doesn't count coming-of-age ceremonies, like the bar mitzvah.

Would adding, "We're no better or worse than any other groups" be better? That way there's no connotation of superiority nor implicit denigration of other ethnicities. Or is that kind of like making it into an "All Lives Matter" slogan?

I'd go for that; problem is that there's a metric ton of people out there who would say that white people ARE better/worse than other groups.  What answer you get generally is determined by the historical perspective of the speaker vis a vis Western civilization.

Offline DominantPoet

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Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2017, 02:32:52 AM »
Not racist, certainly not needed in the general sense though. Not like anyone, to my knowledge, is putting up signs saying it's NOT okay to be white. Just people interpreting other signs saying it's okay to be x or y as implying that it, is not, in fact okay to be white. Which is ridiculous (even if there are those few who might take it to heart that way, sadly).

It's okay to be yourself, regardless of who that may be, as long as being yourself doesn't cause others physical harm, undue stress, or otherwise violate their basic human rights. That's my motto, at least.

Online RedRose

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2017, 09:43:28 AM »
I don't think it's racist or needed.

It should be obvious that it is ok to be (proud to be) white, black, anything else. Be you, celebrate your heritage!

Offline Missy

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2017, 10:01:19 AM »
Suffer the troll to make the fool.

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Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2017, 12:31:13 PM »
I don't think it's racist or needed.

It should be obvious that it is ok to be (proud to be) white, black, anything else. Be you, celebrate your heritage!

This.

Offline Jazzylynn

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2017, 02:03:06 PM »
It is ok to be white. It is ok to be black too. I hate public schools and colleges and all that, so I am unaware of what 4chan is. Is the expression “it’s OK to be white.” A response to something like black lives matter? Think about it… black lives matter… the lives of blacks matter. Congratulations to all you who know this, made the slogan and group and are trying to get your feelings out to the rest of the world who primarily already knew this too. All of it is stupid and I believe made by the poor souls of my new generation. Apparently calling a black person “black” or talking about “black people” is racist. I could care less if they referred to me as white so. A lot of stuff is being called “racist” now days when really, people are super squishy and get offended by everything or take things the wrong way. If there is a group of black lives matters people at your campus, walk up and say it’s okay to be white. Have someone videotape you because it might get entertaining.

Offline Skynet

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2017, 07:00:29 PM »
It is ok to be white. It is ok to be black too. I hate public schools and colleges and all that, so I am unaware of what 4chan is. Is the expression “it’s OK to be white.” A response to something like black lives matter? Think about it… black lives matter… the lives of blacks matter. Congratulations to all you who know this, made the slogan and group and are trying to get your feelings out to the rest of the world who primarily already knew this too. All of it is stupid and I believe made by the poor souls of my new generation. Apparently calling a black person “black” or talking about “black people” is racist. I could care less if they referred to me as white so. A lot of stuff is being called “racist” now days when really, people are super squishy and get offended by everything or take things the wrong way. If there is a group of black lives matters people at your campus, walk up and say it’s okay to be white. Have someone videotape you because it might get entertaining.

Sounds like you're encouraging folks to get a rise out of others by race-baiting and public shaming, which is not a productive use of discourse.

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Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2017, 07:11:38 PM »
I'm white, or, at the least, I identify as such.  I'm 1/4 Native American, but I don't look it.  I've had enough friends who are not white and been close enough to them and cared about them that I noticed when they were treated differently than me.  I've noticed my youngest brother, who looks much less white and much more Native American, be treated differently than me.  I'm intelligent enough to recognize that a predisposition towards an individual based on their perceived ethnicity is racism.  Racism is real.  I've experienced it, not personally, but through my family and friends being treated like shit because of it.  I've been treated better than them because I was perceived as white, or male, or straight, or cis. 

One of the biggest bullshit lines I've ever heard is other whites, particularly straight white males like me, whining about being victims of reverse racism.  If you've gotten to start every race twenty yards ahead of everyone else, then sure, when you suddenly have to start at the same line as everyone else, you might initially feel like someone is cheating you.  But it's just your unfair advantage that's being taken away.  It's the perception that has to change.  It's an insidious form of entitlement, having white or male or straight privilege.  It hurts those who don't have the privilege, but it also warps the mindset of those who do have it, removing their empathy for those different than them.

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Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2017, 07:16:36 PM »
One of the biggest bullshit lines I've ever heard is other whites, particularly straight white males like me, whining about being victims of reverse racism.  If you've gotten to start every race twenty yards ahead of everyone else, then sure, when you suddenly have to start at the same line as everyone else, you might initially feel like someone is cheating you.  But it's just your unfair advantage that's being taken away.  It's the perception that has to change.  It's an insidious form of entitlement, having white or male or straight privilege.  It hurts those who don't have the privilege, but it also warps the mindset of those who do have it, removing their empathy for those different than them.

Though that shouldn't discount the actual cases where there is reverse racism or just bigotry from another group. We should always be wary of double standards and stomp them out twice as hard, because all they do is hurt the cause of equality by giving white supremacists something to use to their advantage to rally others to their side, or give non-white bigots the feeling that it is alright to be bigoted themselves, which only hurts relations and feeds into itself and the other side like a vicious cycle.

Have no idea if what I said made any sense but I hope it did.   :-[

Offline CopperLily

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2017, 12:19:03 PM »
At the very least it's co-opting many of the concepts used by dis-empowered groups and creating the sense that there's an issue where there really isn't one - there's really no empirical support for the notion that this country has *ever* been a place where it's "Not OK to be white".

Basically, if I put a bunch of signs around campus saying:

"There Is No Cure For Copper Lily Syndrome" that is *technically* correct - but the purpose of it is to suggest that there *is* a Copper Lily Syndrome. "It's OK to Be White" suggests this is a position in need of defense.

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Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2017, 01:26:25 PM »
It could be projected guilt that does little for anyone. To be aware of what is/was/has not been fair for others is one thing. To be passively 'bullied into' hating ones self for being born a certain way is something else entirely. And before one suggests "that doesn't happen"... let me politely stop them right there with my own experience:

Yes. Yes, it does.   ^-^

Still though, I would agree that such statements like "It's okay to be..." are ultimately unnecessary. If one does not live a life that harms others, I would generally agree that "It is okay to be you." One could look to me for the color of my flesh, yet I typically define myself and others by who... not by "what".  :-)


Offline eBadger

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2017, 02:14:31 PM »
It's a response which implies an attack on whites, and plays perfectly into the current white nationalist conservative narrative that whites are victims, are being treated unfairly, are having something taken away that they deserve whenever minirities are given rights.  It's the poor florist forced to serve those gays, or the registrar martyred with jail time for her defense of traditional marriage, or those poor police in fear of their lives from all those gang members pulled over for traffic violations. 

So while the statement is superficially fine, the obvious subtext is, imho, racist as absolute fuck. 

Offline FeveredDreams

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2017, 03:32:27 PM »
Is it racist?  No,  but it's stupid as hell. 

Offline Missy

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2017, 04:44:23 PM »
It's a response which implies an attack on whites, and plays perfectly into the current white nationalist conservative narrative that whites are victims, are being treated unfairly, are having something taken away that they deserve whenever minirities are given rights.  It's the poor florist forced to serve those gays, or the registrar martyred with jail time for her defense of traditional marriage, or those poor police in fear of their lives from all those gang members pulled over for traffic violations. 

So while the statement is superficially fine, the obvious subtext is, imho, racist as absolute fuck.

It's kind of hard what to expect from 4chan, they tend to generally organize efforts to unify people and advance general goodwill and understanding between disparate parties . . . I'm not a sarcastic person, really.

Offline Skynet

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2017, 06:32:29 PM »
It's kind of hard what to expect from 4chan, they tend to generally organize efforts to unify people and advance general goodwill and understanding between disparate parties . . . I'm not a sarcastic person, really.

This is why saying "4chan did it" for anything is muddying the waters. There are many sub-boards on that website with their own subcultures. It's not fitness enthusiasts or board gamers organizing GamerGate harassment mobs, nor is it a good idea to imply that the internet vigilantes of yesteryear who mobilized against the Church of Scientology are the same faces as the alt-right.

Which is earlier why I specified /pol/, a subforum of 4chan which is a haven for alt-right sympathies.