The Oklahoma City University School of Law has expelled an already suspended student who breached campus to post “It’s Okay to be White” signs last month.
OCU Police Director Bill Citty said the student was barred from campus and violated the terms of his suspension by hanging the flyers on the door and exterior of a school building Halloween night.
“The reason you look into those types of things is you want to make sure the individual is not a threat to other students,” Citty told The Oklahoman. “You have to look into those issues in this day and time — people worry, students worry, staff worry, parents worry. You have to make sure.”
Citing privacy law, the university hasn’t identified the student but said he poses no immediate threat to the campus community.
The “It’s OK to be White” phrase, which has been linked to white nationalist groups, gained traction on the online forum 4chan in 2017 and encouraged users to post the signs to spark social unrest and cause mainstream media to go “completely berserk.”
Similar flyers have popped up on college campuses across the U.S. in recent years, including the University of Vermont and Champlain College. The most recent sighting was at East Tennessee State University last month, where the signs were found plastered across a memorial honoring Black students who desegregated the institution in the 1950s.
The ex-student has spoken out since his expulsion last month, revealing to alt-right media outlet The Red Elephants that an agent with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force had questioned him about the signs. He said that the agent, whom he described as a “good dude,” assured him he’d committed no crime.
In an email, OCU spokesperson Rod Jones confirmed to Atlanta Black Star that there are no criminal charges pending against the man in question.
This isn’t the first time the student has found trouble with the university. This year, he found himself at the center of a semester-long investigation after someone took a screenshot of his Tinder bio, in which he claimed he was looking for a girl who “hasn’t been with a Black guy.”
The image was forwarded to his dean, resulting in his suspension.
Addressing his latest misstep, the student told The Red Elephants “I really didn’t think I did anything wrong” by posting the signs.
In a statement to the campus community after the discovery of the flyers, OCU Law School Dean Jim Roth applauded the group who removed the handbills and alerted university officials.
“Despite what the intentions of that message may have been, the message reminds me of one fact that I know our community embraces — it’s okay to be EVERYBODY,” Roth said in a statement. “Exclusion and hate will NOT be tolerated here. You are accepted at OCU Law no matter how you pray, what you look like, or who you love. And you always will be.”