‘It’s okay to be white’ messages pop up in Grand Haven

A Nov. 13, 2017 photo of the message found in Grand Haven. (Grand Haven Department of Public Safety)

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — Flyers similar to the alt-right messages that caused a stir in East Grand Rapids are now surfacing in Grand Haven.

The Grand Haven Department of Public Safety says a resident found “It’s okay to be white” flyers posted on several trees and telephone poles in the city right-of-way along Leggat Street.

Officers were notified about the flyers just after 10 a.m. Monday.

Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke said the messages did not contain links to a white supremacist blog, like similar flyers in other communities.

“While we are sworn to protect everyone’s right to free speech, we won’t ever support speech that attempts to divide us or that promotes racism. Everyone is welcome in Grand Haven and there’s no room for hatred,” he stated in a Monday news release.

The caller had taken down the paper signs by the time investigators arrived, but other residents confirmed where the messages were posted.

Placing signs on the street right-of-way without permission from Grand Haven city officials is an ordinance violation that can result in a ticket.

Anyone with information about who posted the signs is encouraged to contact the Grand Haven DPS at 616.842.3460 or Ottawa County Silent Observer at 1.877.88.SILENT.