Authorities sent a graffiti-removal crew to East Long Beach Tuesday after a resident complained about the phrase “Its OK 2 B white” scrawled in large letters along a major roadway.
Cameron Pullano said he was angry when he spotted the graffiti on a wall along Bellflower Boulevard between Conant and Carson streets.
He quickly reported it to the city and took to Twitter, calling the message a dogwhistle posted by cowards.
“Stuff like this really makes you doubt how many people around you would have been on the right side of the civil rights movement,” he said.
The phrase “It’s OK to be white” was concocted specifically to provoke people, according to experts.
Last November, fliers with the message were posted at college campuses across the nation including at UC Davis, whose chancellor wrote an op-ed in response.
“The fliers attempted to subtly convey a message that white people are under attack in the United States,” Chancellor Gary S. May wrote.
He called the fliers a coordinated stunt to provoke division along racial lines.
“Their aim was to provoke a reaction and portray it as evidence of growing anti-white discrimination on college campuses.”
The campaign was organized on 4Chan and other online forums in an attempt to troll people into overreacting, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
“The idea was to create a flier that had an (ostensibly) inoffensive phrase on it that would nevertheless be treated as racist by people who viewed it, particularly liberals or members of the media,” the ADL said on its website.
It looks like Tuesday may have been the first time anyone reported such a message popping up in Long Beach, according to city spokesman Kevin Lee.
Cal State Long Beach spokesman Jeff Bliss said he wasn’t aware of any reports of similar messages being posted at the campus, but he was looking into it.
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