Anti-Defamation League Records Dramatic Increase in Propaganda Distribution by US White Supremacist Groups
White supremacists in the United States dramatically stepped up their propaganda efforts targeting neighborhoods and campuses in 2018, far exceeding any previous records, the Anti-Defamation League revealed on Tuesday.
Data compiled by the Jewish civil rights organization showed that white supremacists’ propaganda efforts increased 182 percent last year, with 1,187 distributions across the US in 2018 — up from 421 total incidents reported in 2017.
The number of racist rallies and demonstrations also rose last year, the ADL noted, although on a more modest scale. At least 91 white supremacist rallies or other public events attended by white supremacists were held in 2018, with hate groups increasingly employing “flash mob” tactics — quickly assembling for unannounced, angry demonstrations before dispersing — to avoid advance publicity and scrutiny.
The Ku Klux Klan was prominent among the white supremacist and neo-Nazi organizations to have stepped up its propaganda efforts in 2018. The ADL recorded 97 incidents in which Klan fliers were left on doorsteps or driveways in neighborhoods, a 20 percent increase from the preceding four-year average of 77 annual incidents. At least 11 different Klan groups took part in leafleting efforts across the US, the ADL said.
“Posting fliers is a tried-and-true tactic for hate groups, one that enables them to spread hateful ideas and sow fear across an entire community,” said Jonathan Greenblatt — ADL CEO and national director — in a statement.
Greenblatt added that hate groups “were emboldened in 2018, but their increasing reliance on hate leafleting indicates that most of their members understand this is a fringe activity and are unwilling to risk greater public exposure or arrest.”