Home Madison UPDATE: UW Says Apparent Racist Posters “Part of Protest”

UPDATE: UW Says Apparent Racist Posters “Part of Protest”


UPDATE: UW now says via Twitter that a series of posters were placed around campus and that they were do not appear to have been placed by racist white students, but rather as part of a protest by students of color.

The single “UW 4 Whites Only” poster was circulated widely among students and social media in the early hours of Friday morning, but appears to have been misunderstood without the context of the other posters, which carried messages like “UW does not care for trans folks” and “I’m tired of having to teach my teachers.”

“While we support the right to freedom of expression, we also have policies that prohibit the posting of unauthorized material on campus property,” the university said in a statement. “As with any incident like this, we are gathering more information and will be following up as appropriate.”

Vershawn Hansen, a UW senior who posted the photo on social media around 2 am Friday, said he and many other students of color initially thought the posters were placed by racist students “who don’t want us here.”

“I was shocked,” Hansen said in an interview Friday morning. “I was very ticked off.”

Hansen said he removed his initial Instagram post after learning the posters may have been placed by students of color. “I’m not sure how to feel now,” he said. “Our feelings are still valid, because that’s still our reality.”


A photo of a poster reading “UW 4 Whites Only” on the UW campus circulated on social media overnight.

The poster, apparently posted Thursday night or early Friday morning, consists of the message painted on a copy of the Daily Cardinal newspaper. It was hung on the sign outside Science Hall on North Park Street.

It is not clear whether it was posted by a student of color as a statement regarding a sense that they are not welcome on campus, or by a racist white student saying they want no students of color on campus.

The first images of the poster began appearing on social media in the early hours of Friday morning.

In a tweet Friday morning, the university said UW Police are investigating and there will be “more info to come.” Messages to university communications staff and UW Police were not immediately returned early Friday morning.

This story has been updated and will continue to be updated as more details become available.