Knoxville drivers greeted by banners warning that diversity is anti-white genocide

Police in Knoxville have removed two vinyl banners bearing a white supremacist message from an Interstate 640 overpass.

Banners bearing the message “’diversity’ is a code word for white genocide” in red ink were reported Monday morning by a 911 caller.

Officers took down the banners, which were about 30 inches tall and 123 feet long, from a Norfolk Southern Railroad bridge that spans the interstate.

Police aren’t sure who printed the banners or tied them to the overpass, but they’ve offered to return them if the owner calls to claim them.

Banners or signs carrying similar messages have been displayed in recent months in Arkansas and Oregon, and flyers with the slogan were passed out at Eastern Kentucky University.

The messages are based on a phrase frequently seen in white nationalist circles and alleges that those who claim an anti-racist position actually have a bigoted, anti-white agenda.

The phrase is attributed to “The Mantra,” a frequently cut-and-pasted specious argument attributed to former Reagan appointee Bob Whitaker that each race should be restricted to its ancestral homeland to protect whites from genocide.