Rise in Far-Right Campus Activism Result of ‘Current Political and Social Climate,’ ADL Chief Says
Data released by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Thursday revealed a rise for the third year running in the distribution of white supremacist propaganda on American campuses.
From Sept. 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019, the ADL’s Center on Extremism documented 313 cases of white supremacist propaganda on college campuses — including fliers, stickers and posters — compared to 292 during the 2017-18 academic year, representing a 7-percent increase.
This year’s increase comes on top of a 77-percent increase during the previous (2017-2018) academic year documented by the Jewish civil rights organization.
The 2019 spring semester saw more extremist propaganda on campus than any preceding semester, with 161 incidents on 122 different campuses across 33 states and the District of Columbia. For the complete academic year, California had the most incidents with 58, followed by Kentucky with 22 and Oklahoma with 19, the ADL said.
“This data clearly demonstrates that white supremacists in the United States are emboldened by the current political and social climate,” ADL CEO and National Director Jonathan Greenblatt said. “Our campuses and communities should be places for learning and development, not places for racists and bigots to propagate hate speech and search for potential recruits.”
The propaganda messages ranged from veiled white supremacist language to explicitly racist images and words that attack minority groups, including Jews, blacks, Muslims, non-white immigrants and the LGBTQ community.
Nearly all of the incidents originated from the alt-right segment of the white supremacist movement. The group responsible for the most fliering was the American Identity Movement (AIM),with 115 incidents. Patriot Front, a white supremacist group that was founded in 2017, followed with 30 incidents.