March 30, 2018
UPDATE 4/10/18: Target announced that they had identified and fired the employee responsible for the propaganda incidents.
"We sincerely apologize to guests who received an inappropriate message in their Target purchase and thank them for calling it to our attention," a company spokesperson told reporters. "After being made aware of the situation, we immediately launched a thorough investigation to address the concerns and put a stop to it."
Original story, posted 3/30/18: In the past month, the Anti-Defamation League has received at least two complaints from individuals who discovered white supremacist propaganda inside diaper boxes they ordered from Target.
In one of the incidents called to ADL's attention, a Target customer in Washington, D.C., opened a box of diapers to find an index-size, laminated card printed with the words “It’s Okay to be White.”
On the opposite side of the card, there were references to numerous white supremacist websites and groups, including The Right Stuff, the Daily Stormer and the Traditionalist Worker Party. A second package, with the same white supremacist card inside, was delivered to a Target customer in Florida. The package originated in Indianapolis, according to the attached invoice.
According to news reports, a family in Hixson, Tennessee, found a similar card in a box of Pampers purchased at a local Target store. When they contacted the company, they were told an investigation was pending.
ADL has reached out to local and federal law enforcement, as well as Target about the incidents. Federal law makes it illegal to tamper with a consumer product that is sold in interstate commerce by knowingly placing or inserting any writing in the product, or in the container for the product.
“It’s okay to be white” fliers have appeared since 2017 on college and high school campuses, and banners emblazoned with the phrase have been hung from highway overpasses in Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Washington.
These fliers are a byproduct of a larger trolling campaign that emerged out of 4chan, a popular Internet discussion forum infamous for the studied offensiveness of many of its members and its association with the white supremacist alt right movement.
“It’s okay to be white” has a long history in the white supremacist movement. The white power music band Aggressive Force used the phrase as the title of a song that dates back to 2001. Additionally, ADL has tracked white supremacist fliers featuring the phrase since 2005, and Klan groups have used #IOKTBW on Twitter since 2012.