A billboard in West Virginia that stated “White Self Hatred is Sick” was removed less than a week after being put up due to pressure from the governor’s office because a government employee demanded that it was “racist.”
The governor’s office originally told Kevin Oxenrider, the man leading the campaign for the billboard’s removal, that they could not do anything due to the First Amendment — but provided him with the name and phone number of the owner of the billboard. He then urged people to flood them with calls, as well as to call the governor’s office and warn that the sign would harm the state’s tourism.
“I literally had to pull my vehicle over and get myself together as I was shaking so badly from how disgusted I was. Absolutely terrible,” Oxenrider had posted on Facebook along with a photo of the billboard.
Laura Fitz-Gerald, the woman responsible for the billboard, told Big League Politics that the owner was pressured to remove the billboard by the governor’s office who had called them claiming that it would hurt tourism.
Oxenrider works for the state’s Division of Natural Resources, and though the owner had approved the image prior to it being printed and had no problem with it initially, they feared that he would use his position to give them trouble, according to Fitz-Gerald.
“He works for the state at DNR and was doing this all on company time. Due to his position of power, the billboard owners felt intimidated that he could cause them issues with their businesses and permits so they quickly took it down even though we have a six-month contract and are covered by the First Amendment,” Fitz-Gerald told Big League.
When asked by Big League Politics about the claims that the billboard is “racist,” Fitz-Gerald stated that “only self hating white anti-whites would oppose a billboard telling white people not to hate themselves.”
“If it were about black self-hatred no one would object, but since it’s about whites not hating themselves it’s deemed ‘racist,’” Fitz-Gerald said.
The billboard comes during a nationwide campaign by 4chan declaring that “it’s okay to be white.”
The campaign began following Boston College initiating a formal police investigation over signs that simple stated, “I want you to love who you are. Don’t apologize for being white.” The message was simple and positive, yet they were immediately dubbed “racist” by students and the local media.
Why am I seeing posters saying "its okay to be white" on my college campus? How is this okay?
— Tyrone Johnson ???? (@TyroneJohns0n) November 1, 2017
In response, a 4chan user urged others to print the simple message on flyers and place them in public areas.
“The idea was simple. If a seemingly innocuous message like the one posted at Boston College could cause such a reaction, what would happen if a similar message was far more widely distributed? 4chan decided they wanted to find out, and Operation White was soon hatched. The plan being to print out and post all around every major city possible, a simple flyer featuring only the words “IT’S OKAY TO BE WHITE,” Squawker reported.
— Jen&Juice???? (@nnekasensei) November 1, 2017
So, it's not okay to be white? https://t.co/P4bCjg3Zub
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) November 3, 2017
The goal, Squawker explains, was “creating the most overblown reaction from the SJW Left possible. So that this overreaction would then hopefully be taken negatively by middle of the road political centrists.”
Naturally, an over-the-top reaction is exactly what they received. An investigation was launched after signs were placed at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland — and photos from security footage were released online of the person who put them up.
“We are taking this seriously and are investigating this incident. Our research so far has indicated that this may be part of a concerted national campaign to foment racial and political tension in our school and community,” Principal Renay Johnson said in a letter to parents.
Flyers and stickers have also been spotted in New Orleans; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Rocky River, Ohio.
Big League Politics reached out to Oxenrider for comment, but did not receive a response by time of publishing.