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Chet Hanks Defends ‘White Boy Summer’ Despite Far-Right Adoption

Tom Hanks’ son, Chet Hanks, has found himself at the center of controversy after a seemingly innocent joke he made turned into a hateful meme. Chet initially coined the term ‘White Boy Summer’ as a playful nod to Megan Thee Stallion’s ‘Hot Girl Summer’ and the seasonal meme ‘Christian girl autumn.’

“I just got this feeling, man, that this summer… it’s about to be a white boy summer,” Chet wrote at the time. “Take it how you want, I’m not talking about Trump, Nascar-type white. I’m talking about me, [rappers] Jon B., Jack Harlow-type white boys, you know what I mean.”

However, what started as a lighthearted joke has since backfired, with reports indicating that the phrase has been co-opted by white supremacists. A report from the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism highlighted that white supremacists and neo-Nazis have been using the slogan as a rallying cry for hateful actions.

“Over the past couple of months, white supremacists and neo-Nazis have been calling for the destruction of Pride flags, killing ‘[N-word] and communists,’ and the creation of militias all under the slogan ‘White Boy Summer,'” the report stated.

The report further suggested that several extremist groups are using the slogan to spread propaganda, recruit new members, and facilitate targeted hate campaigns, including acts of vandalism and hate incidents.

In response to this disturbing turn of events, Chet took to Instagram to clarify his intentions and condemn the hateful use of his phrase. “White boy summer was created to be fun, playful, and a celebration of fly white boys who love beautiful queens of every race. Anything else that it has been twisted into to support any kind of hate or bigotry against any group of people is deplorable, and I condemn it. I hope that we all can spread love to each other and treat each other with kindness and dignity.”

Chet originally created ‘White Boy Summer’ in 2021 in an attempt to lift spirits during the Covid-pandemic, complete with some very specific rules to boost the summer mood.

However, despite his clarifications and good intentions, the phrase’s adoption by hate groups serves as a stark reminder of how easily messages can be appropriated and twisted in today’s digital age. What begins as a seemingly innocent or playful idea can quickly take on a life of its own once it enters the vast expanse of the internet.

It also highlights the responsibility that public figures and influencers have regarding the content they create and share. Even jokes and playful memes can have unintended consequences, especially when interpreted by diverse audiences with differing intentions.

In a world where social media trends rapidly evolve and spread, it’s crucial to be mindful of how words and phrases can be manipulated. While Chet’s original aim was to inject some humor and positivity, the turn of events shows the darker side of viral content and how it can be leveraged for nefarious purposes.

Chet Hanks has made it clear that he stands against hate and bigotry in any form and has urged people to spread love and kindness instead. As the term ‘White Boy Summer’ continues to garner attention, it serves as an example of the complex and unpredictable nature of the digital age, where the power of words can be both uplifting and destructive.

The phrase ‘White Boy Summer,’ once a lighthearted meme, has now become emblematic of a broader conversation about language, intent, and the far-reaching impact of social media. It demonstrates that even the most harmless-seeming expressions can be co-opted for extreme ideologies, necessitating constant vigilance and a commitment to positive discourse.

Source: Global Project Against Hate and Extremism