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'It's okay to be white' signs posted at Concordia

(KVLY)
Published: Nov. 1, 2018 at 6:43 PM CDT
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Vandalism and messages surrounding white supremacy continue to appear around the F-M area. Just last night, posters saying "It's okay to be white" were plastered over dorms and classroom building across Concordia College in Moorhead.

"When people are coming in it's like, 'Concordia. It's okay to be white.' And I'm like, 'What the hell?' To me, it makes me really uncomfortable, it feels like a personal attack to a lot of people on campus," Elizabeth Peterson said.

Disappointment— a word we heard many times as we talked with Concordia students about the signs that popped up all over campus Wednesday night.

"We have such a closely-knit campus and it's got such a community feel—it kinda disappointed me to see this. It was kinda discouraging to know that there were people who felt like that," freshman Austin Kulzer said.

"Yeah no one said it wasn't okay to be white?" junior Parker Erickson said.

"They're just spreading this hate and making all of their fellow students feel super uncomfortable and unsafe on campus where it's meant to be their home away from home," Peterson said.

Making some students feel angry at the unwelcomed atmosphere the posters created.

"But when you're expressing it in a way that's hurtful to other minorities on campus that's when it really draws the line," Erickson said.

But one man we talked to felt the opposite, saying he didn't see a problem with what the message suggested.

"Concordia's just a place where we welcome diversity, all kinds of belief systems, races and genders. But as soon as you're white, you're not welcome to share that opinion. It's kinda overwhelming and frustrating for someone like me, because it's like what am I doing wrong? I'm not doing anything wrong! Why can't I be proud of who I am?" junior Josiah Kopp said.

Kopp later added that he understood how the posted signs could be problematic, but hoped that hate wasn't the reason they were hung.

"It takes a lot of courage to say something like that, but if their motives are wrong, then shame on me for being proud of them saying that," Kopp said.

But now in place of those divisive posters, are signs promoting acceptance saying, 'Diversity is beautiful. All are valued and welcome at Concordia.'

"When it comes to minorities feeling unsafe, that shouldn't be something that happens on campus. It should be that everyone's included, everybody is equal," freshman Matt Rohleder.

Concordia College sent a statement out saying that the signs have been taken down because they violate the school's policies and institutional values.