Racial messages appear for second year in downtown Wallingford

Record-Journal staff

WALLINGFORD — Flyers with a racial message turned up in town this month, as they did about a year ago.

About a dozen flyers — with the phrase "It's okay to be white" in capital letters printed on plain 8.5-by-11-inch paper — were observed pasted to mailboxes, bus stop shelters and utility poles in downtown Wallingford and along Quinnipiac Street on Monday.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, the phrase “It’s okay to be white” originated in the white supremacist movement and has been popularized by members of the controversial online discussion forum 4chan.

Members began a campaign in 2017 in which participants were encouraged to print out the flyers and post them on Halloween or the weekend after, in an attempt to provoke a reaction.

At least one of the signs, pasted to a bus shelter, was altered with a black marker to say “It’s not okay to be racist.”

Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. said Monday that he hadn’t seen the flyers, but that “short of putting a police officer on every street corner watching, I’m not sure there’s a way to absolutely stop anything.”

“It’s one of those obnoxious things that we discourage, and anything that makes someone feel uncomfortable is just not wanted,” he added.

— Lauren Takores

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