Racial messages appear for second time in downtown Wallingford

WALLINGFORD — Fliers with a racial message appeared Sunday around downtown for the second consecutive weekend.

The phrase “It’s okay to be white” was printed in capital letters on what appeared to be plain 8.5-by-11-inch paper. Some appeared to be laminated.

The signs were ripped down by Sunday afternoon, but remnants were still attached with duct tape to traffic signs, a bus stop and lampposts along Center Street between Route 5 and William Street.

Police confirmed this was the second consecutive weekend the fliers appeared in Wallingford.

Police spokeswoman Lt. Cheryl Bradley said Sunday that on Friday, Nov. 1, a reporter from NBC contacted police about signs that were reportedly posted on traffic signs at the intersections of Church and Meadow streets and Route 5 and Church Street.

“We sent an officer to those locations to remove the signs, however, they were no longer there,” she said.

On Saturday, Nov. 2, Bradley said a resident of North Main Street brought in one of the signs that he had removed from a street sign in front of his residence.

Patrol officers were advised to check their neighborhoods for similar postings and to remove them from street signs. No others were recovered, she said.

Incidents nationwide

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 fliers and post them on Halloween or the weekend after, in an attempt to provoke a reaction.

According to media reports, the fliers appeared nationwide in several cities and on college campuses earlier this month, in November 2018 and in November 2017.

The fliers follow previous examples of white supremacist activity in Wallingford.

In September 2016, police removed a mannequin dressed in a Ku Klux Klan outfit and positioned in a Nazi-like salute from the roof of a vacant building located off George Street.

In July 2015, police received a complaint when a shopper discovered Nazi and Confederate merchandise at the Redwood Flea Market on South Turnpike Road.

Last year, Scott E. Palmer was removed as senior vice commander of Wallingford VFW Post 591 after a Record-Journal report revealed he was a former Ku Klux Klan leader.

Twitter: @LCTakores

A photo of the type of flyers that appeared around downtown Wallingford on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. | Courtesy of the Anti-Defamation League
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