Someone is putting up 'It's okay to be white' signs around New Westminster

Chris Campbell

A New Westminster resident is calling out “dangerous” signs about race that were posted on city streets this week.

The signs read “IT’S OK TO BE WHITE” and were stapled to poles up and down Eighth Street between Carnarvon and Royal Avenue, according to Vanessa Woznow, who tweeted out a photo on Thursday.

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The signs are part of a movement and the messages were posted across North America on Thursday, including such cities as Halifax and Ottawa in Canada, and Dallas, Texas. Some media outlets are reporting men in “white masks” stapling the signs in communities.

Woznow does not view the signs as anything innocent. Neither do I.

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“Dear White People of #NewWest. This is not okay. And if I run into these again, I (am) going to tear them down. Again,” she tweeted @vanessawoznow.

In another tweet she wrote, “I don’t believe these signs were put up from a place of, or a belief in racial equity. Rather from the increasingly pervasive and dangerous idea (and movement) that addressing systemic racism and discrimination is somehow harmful to white people.”

This is a shocking thing and not indicative to the views of the vast majority of New West residents. It makes me sad and angry at some people’s inability to listen to what people of colour are saying about racism.

But Woznow tweeted it best: “Our social structures were built around (and unfortunately still uphold) the understanding that it’s okay (or best) to be white. White people are okay. They don’t need to be reassured of this. And they don’t need to put up signs.”

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