Basingstoke police launch hate crime investigation after A4 posters that said “It’s okay for you to be white” were placed around the city.

  • Although the original posters were taken down by local residents at first, more posters have since been put up.
  • Signs were placed at major roads in Hampshire and along school routes. 
  • Slogan was adopted in US by neo-Nazi groups and politically-organised racists 
  • These posters were displayed in Bristol City Centre, England, for the first-ever time last year.

After A4 posters that said “it’s okay for you to be white” were placed around Basingstoke, police launched an investigation into hate crimes.

On Thursday, the posters were displayed outside a college and placed at lampposts along major roads. 

Hampshire Constabulary said it was treating the incident as a hate crime after being contacted by shocked residents last week.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Highways Agency were informed about the posters and they have been removed.

In the beginning, residents began to tear down the posters by themselves. However, more were discovered over time.

Posters have appeared on residential streets in the Hampshire town of Basingstoke

Residents initially tore down the posters, but more have since been plastered along major roads and school routes

Hampshire Constabulary confirmed that it was treating these incidents as hate crimes, and residents said they were shocked by the number of people who have been seen in the area.

Posters carrying the phrase were displayed outside a college, on lampposts on major roads, and on school routes

Placards bearing the phrase were placed outside of a college and at lampposts located on major roads.

Many residents have taken to writing over the controversial slogan as more posters have appeared

As more posters appeared, many residents took to the streets and wrote over the slogan.

ne of the posters put up around the town of Basingstoke, Hants, which has since been adapted

The posters were placed around Basingstoke in Hants. They have since been modified

However, residents have now taken to writing over the slogan with a marker pen to make it read ‘it’s okay to be trans + dyslexic’ and ‘it’s okay to be gay’.    

Priya Brown of Basingstoke stated to BBC that the posters had been erected by a ‘neo Nazi and white supremacy’ group.

Originator of the slogan “It’s okay for you to be white”

 The ‘It’s okay to be white’ campaign was reportedly created on popular internet forum 4chan as an alt-right slogan in the United States, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

The saying was adopted by neo-Nazi groups and politically-organized racists, including former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke. 

It was intended to provoke a reaction from the left-leaning media to an allegedly harmful message.

Posters were first placed around American universities, including University of Washington and University of California. 

Similar posters were seen in Bristol’s city center in January 2013, the first time such signs had been published in England.

She stated that the posters had been placed on schools’ routes, and many people saw them including children.

“My friend who had been walking the dog about 7.30 am, alerted to me. The incident was discovered later by me as I was driving to school with my kids. 

‘This wasn’t nice and it was on every single lamppost on Cliddesden Road.

‘Later I had a governor’s meeting as well at [Basingstoke College of Technology] and that’s how I found out that they were outside the college as well.

“There were some residents that were very upset by it. Some posters were taken down. My friend’s husband also took down as many posters as possible.’

According to Anti-Defamation League, the “It’s okay for you to be white” campaign was apparently created via popular 4chan forum in 2017 as an alt-right slogan.

The saying was adopted by neo-Nazi groups and politically-organized racists, including former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke. 

This slogan had the goal of creating a “left-wing media backlash” in reaction to a “harmless message”.

Posters first began to be placed at American universities like the University of Washington, University of California and University of Regina. 

In Bristol, however, the same posters made in similar style appeared last January – their first appearance in England.

 They did, though, appear in Scotland just a few months earlier. 

Police Scotland received information that the slogan was seen in Dundee on September 19, 2019, and then in Peth on December.

The slogan has also appeared on t-shirts sold by British far-right political commentator Milo Yiannopoulos.

Cambride University’s’super villain’ of the Internet Mr Yiannopoulos was educated at Cambride University. He used to call Donald Trump ‘daddy’ and became America’s alt right poster boy, after building a huge following via social media. 

It has been also linked to the “All Lives Matter” campaign.  

Hampshire Constabulary spokeswoman said, “We were informed of the presence of many posters on lampposts along Cliddesden Road, New Road, and close to Basingstoke College of Technology.

‘Some of the posters have since been removed and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s street cleaning team has been tasked to remove them fully.

“This incident has been reported as hateful and we are now working with local communities. 

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council were contacted for comments.