Lehigh Valley

Vandals place controversial stickers all over Emmaus

Stickers say "It's okay to be white."

EMMAUS, Pa. - "Complete and utter ignorance."


That's how people around Emmaus are reacting after finding out that for about three weeks now somebody's been putting up signs and stickers with these words on them: 'It's okay to be white.'

"I mean, we're surrounded by white privilege nowadays, it's just a fact…so it's completely racist to say 'it's OK to be white'," says Joshua Westbrook, who lives on Emmaus Avenue.

Borough Manager Shane Pepe says, "Without getting into a debate with people as to whether or not they believe this is a racist act, it is unacceptable, inappropriate, and distasteful at the very least. In addition, it is illegal and vandalism."

Melody Weisman, a volunteer in Emmaus, says, "I would like to talk with them and know what they mean by that sign. Do they have a specific meaning?"

That's the sticking point for people across the country.

The Washington Post reports the signs began as an idea on the website 4chan.org last month just as a way to stir up trouble.

Put them up, posters reportedly said, and “stand back and watch the fun begin.”

"There's a lot of problems going on in the world today…to have something so stupid like that to be posted around town, especially a town that I have found to be very inviting and welcoming!" Westbrook explains.

The borough manager says as fast as 100 or so have been torn down, more are up the next day.

So a Facebook post is now asking residents to help.

Within hours of it going up, one user commented they'd caught a vandal in the act and even posted a picture.

Others say they're now on the lookout.

Because they say some things are OK.

"I mean, it's OK to be any color you are!" exclaims Weisman.

What's not?

"It's not OK to be ignorant, not by any means in any way shape or form," says Westbrook.

Some cities in other parts of the country have connected the signs with the KKK or other white supremacists groups, but there's no link to any of those groups in Emmaus because, so far, nobody's been arrested or charged here.

The police are now working with residents who are hoping the culprits have been caught on a surveillance camera somewhere to find out the scheme behind the signs.

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