White Supremacists Target University Campuses as Propaganda Distribution Surges Across US, Says New ADL Report
The targeting of university campuses by American white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups surged in 2019, a new report by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) disclosed on Wednesday.
Approximately 630 incidents were reported on college and university campuses, nearly double the 320 campus incidents reported nationwide in 2018, the ADL said. Campus incidents accounted for one-quarter of the total incidents of white supremacist propaganda distribution nationwide.
During the 2019 fall semester, ADL counted 410 incidents on campus — according to the report, more than double any proceeding semester.
The steep rise in campus activity reflected a broader boost in the distribution of white supremacist propaganda in the US.
“The 2019 propaganda touched every state except Hawaii, with the highest levels of activity in the states of California, Texas, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, Virginia, Kentucky, Washington and Florida,” the ADL said.
Over the course of 2019, dozens of white supremacist groups distributed propaganda, but three groups — Patriot Front, American Identity Movement and the New Jersey European Heritage Association — were responsible for approximately 90 percent of the activity, the ADL said.
“The barrage of propaganda, which overwhelmingly features veiled white supremacist language with a ‘patriotic’ slant, is an attempt to normalize the white supremacists’ message and bolster recruitment efforts while targeting minority groups including Jews, Blacks, Muslims, non-white immigrants and the LGBTQ community,” Oren Segal — vice president of the ADL’s Center on Extremism — said in a statement.
Over the same time period, there was a dip in the number of white supremacist rallies and flash mobs. According to the ADL’s research, there were 20 percent fewer white supremacist events in 2019 than in the previous year.
However, the extreme racist message of these events was not similarly diluted.
At one May 2019 rally in Russellville, Arkansas, white nationalist demonstrators were recorded “chanting ‘6 million more,’ waving swastika flags, stomping on Israeli flags and holding signs that read, ‘The Holocaust didn’t happen, but it should have’ and ‘YHVH [Yehovah] has the oven preheated,'” the ADL report noted.