By Devon McClellan
Numerous stickers stating “It’s OK to be White” were posted on a school and a nearby church. The Anti-Defamation League reported that this exact phrase became popular in 2017, and is widely used by white supremacist. Rev. Don Wallick believes that “it’s just a reaction to fear about the fact that there are more minority folks in the country”. This is something to be celebratory about, as America prides itself on being the land of the free and a place of opportunities and diversity.
This phrase is an expression that leads to the continual oppression of African Americans. The phrase itself is used in a reversal effect way, by acknowledging the fact that African Americans are embracing their race and ethnicities and starting the Black Lives Matter Movement, and coining the Black Lives Matter phrase. Instead of supporting the group and standing behind their efforts, the white supremacist are turning it into an issue about whites, therefore turning the attention back to themselves, and completely dismissing the Black Lives Matter efforts.
This is extremely similar to MLK’s Letter from Birmingham Jail, as he states that being told to wait means it will almost never happen. If change is to be made, then it requires people within the oppressed group(s) (Other), and those who are not of the oppressed group(s) (Other) to speak out against these grave injustices. Spivak also questions whether or not the Subaltern can speak out and be heard. If enough people gather their voices together and make enough “noise” then change will be made. If people continue to remain silent because it’s easier due to the fact that the injustices happening aren’t directly related or happening to them, then nothing will change, it will only continue to get worse. In this case Rev. Don advises that, “he feels it is important to speak out after instances like this”. His hope is to encourage anyone to speak out if he or she is feeling discouraged for whatever reason. In order to combat this systemic injustice, then we all need to come together and speak out when we see these kind of injustices. There is power in numbers, and it requires more than solely the oppressed group to speak out in order to see change. It requires us all to speak out.
2 thoughts on ““It’s OK to be White””
Your post was very interesting! It is very disturbing to hear that this sticker was posted near campus. It makes me very angry to see these kinds of posters and messages, whether online or in person. Obviously, people who express these views are ignorant of the struggles of people of color and the systemic factors that continue oppress non-whites.
This makes me value these DSI showcase assignments a lot more! It is crucial that we continue to learn and grow and see the world for what it actually is, in the hope of changing things for the better.
The ADL, founded to defend the rapist-murderer Leo Frank, is hardly a viable source to determine who or what is “hateful”.