4chan, the online chatroom has proved to be quite a divisive message board. Some people describe it as a haven for white supremacists, while others view it simply as a refuge for pranksters and trolls. I think both can be true, there is a particularly nasty and overtly racist element that does frequent the 4chan message boards, but there is also another member of the 4chan community. 4chan is visited by trolls and pranksters whose sole purpose in life is to "trigger" the left-wing 'SJW' or social justice warrior community at all costs. Sometimes with hilarious results!
Sabotaging Shia LaBeouf's anti-Trump protest
One of 4chan's greatest victories in this regard was the attack on the Transformers actor Shia LaBeouf and his 'He Will Not Divide Us' performance artwork which begun in response to the election victory of Donald Trump in January.
In its original format, #Shia Labeouf stood in front of a camera which was placed in New York City and repeatedly chanted "He will not divide us," and invited others to participate. Soon after its launch, 4chaners made it their life's ambition to sabotage the work, prompting many to come out and say provocative things into the camera, "triggering" Shia as a result!
Shia LaBeouf has reinvented the work several times and moved it from its original New York location. One of the formats of the artwork was a white 'He Will Not Divide Us' flag that was placed in a remote field in Tennessee and a camera was left monitoring the location. 4chaners were not deterred by this, after some frankly ingenious investigative work, 4chaners found the flag and replaced it with a 'Kekistan' flag! Kekistan is a symbol that is used in alt-right memes and is intended to represent an ironic sense of nationalism.
Prank provokes desired effect
4chan has a reputation for pulling pranks that is designed to provoke a reaction. The latest work to be spawned from the site is the 'It's okay to be white' posters. A 4chaner wrote on the website Squawker that the "operation" was designed to elicit an extreme response from members of the SJW community and to turn the politically centred or "normies" as they are referred to in the online community against the SJW community. 4chaners wasted no time and got to work distributing the posters in locations in the #United States, Canada and Britain. The prank appears to have provoked the desired effect within days of them being posted. On Social Media there has been a fierce backlash to the posters, one Twitter user wrote: "I'm the b that will write not in between the It's okay." Thousands of pictures have been shared online showing the posters being taken down, which have mainly been distributed on college campuses. The poster controversy has been described as racist by one newspaper in Edmonton, Canada.
Noticeable anti-white rhetoric
These posters, however reactionary they may be, do speak to a larger problem that is occurring in America right now. There has been a noticeable uptick in anti-white rhetoric emanating from college campuses in the United States. The recent case of University professor Brett Weinstein being forced to leave his college campus due to threats he received for saying that a proposed ban on white people from his University was racist in itself is a testament to this growing problem on college campuses.
4chan can provoke outrage at times, at times rightfully so, as there is a nasty element that does hold disgusting racist views that lurks in the shadows of the message board. But as this latest prank shows, it can shed light on something that is being rarely talked about. The left is always quick to point the finger towards the right when it comes to the accusation of racism, but the left has its own issues to deal with in regards to racism. In no way am I comparing this wave of anti-white discrimination to the historical and present-day struggles of people of colour, it would be factually inaccurate of me to do so. But to anyone who is offended by a seemingly benign statement like "Its okay to be white" has to ask themselves what their own issues are regarding the contentious topic of race. #Online Message Board