Trade Me under fire for selling 'It's ok to be white' T-shirts

Author
NZ Herald ,
Section
Business,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 22 May 2019, 1:11PM
The phrase is known to be associated with white supremacist groups around the world. (Photo / Trade Me)
The phrase is known to be associated with white supremacist groups around the world. (Photo / Trade Me)

Trade Me has been slammed for selling "It's okay to be white" stickers and T-shirts, with the Human Rights Commission saying there's no place for it.

Nelson seller vjm_publishing has both stickers and T-shirts for sale, saying the slogan will show buyers are "capable of thinking for yourself".

He describes the products as "Counter-signal the Marxists and other anti-white bigots with these decals, featuring the most successful /pol/ meme of 2017!

"An 'It's okay to be white' T-shirt will let people know that you are not a racist who thinks that a child can be born into sin if others with the same skin colour have acted badly in the past.

"Wear this shirt as a white person to troll your local Communists, or wear this shirt as a brown person to troll stuck-up middle-class urbanites. Either way it's funny!"

Four large sheets of stickers were being sold for $12.

Four large sheets of stickers were being sold for $12.

The phrase is known to be associated with white supremacist groups around the world, with the slogan originating from website 4chan in a bid to inflame people who identify themselves as left-wing.

The slogan is prominently used by far-right groups including neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

The Human Rights Commission told Newshub there is no place for this type of message in New Zealand.

"Despite what the advertisements say, it seems likely that the stickers and T-shirts are intended to convey a message of intolerance, racism and division. There is no place for that in New Zealand."

Trade Me told Newshub it doesn't intend to remove the post, and said the listing does not breach its rules and regulations.

It said listings that marginalise individuals or promote one race at the cost of another break the company's rules and believed the listing doesn't cross that line.

The seller has previously been banned from other social media websites.

A post on the seller's own website claims he was temporarily banned from Facebook for saying "Hitler didn't do anything wrong".

The seller also suggests on his website New Zealand should "euthanise all our MPs to prevent further suffering".

In 2017, posters with the words "It's okay to be white" were plastered around Napier, leading to fury and frustration from the local council.

Three posters were pasted together on a specially built sign pillar directly opposite the Sound Shell and just a short walk from the Napier i-Site Centre where hundreds of visitors from two visiting cruise ships disembarked.

At the time, Napier Mayor Bill Dalton said: "Sadly, you can't prevent that sort of thing. It's the act of a nutter and it achieves nothing."

Hawke's Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas agreed, saying it was "crazy" and unsettling to hear, as so many people did so much to keep the city and the region looking its best.

She said anyone seeing such posters should tear them down, or report them to the council and their staff would deal with them.

"We don't need to see that sort of rubbish."

 

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