White Supremacist Propaganda Gains Momentum on Campuses
College campuses across the country are wrestling with a surge in white supremacist propaganda distribution, a new Anti-Defamation League report has revealed.
During the last academic year, colleges across the country experienced 313 cases of white supremacist propaganda in the form of fliers, stickers, and posters, a 7 percent increase from the 2017-2018 academic year. The 2019 spring semester in particular saw a huge surge, with 161 incidents on 122 different campuses across 33 states and the District of Columbia.
State wise, California topped the list with 58 incidents, followed by 22 in Kentucky and 19 in Oklahoma. The report found the alt-right segment of the white supremacist movement behind most of the incidents. The American Identity Movement was responsible for the most of the fliers with 115 incidents, followed by the Patriot Front which was behind 30 incidents.
“This data clearly demonstrates that white supremacists in the United States are emboldened by the current political and social climate,” Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO and national director, said.
Additional groups that were behind other incidents included the Daily Stormer Book Clubs, The Church of Creativity and The New Jersey European Heritage Association.
The League reported a similar spike in off-campus white supremacist propaganda incidents with 672 incidents documented in the first five months of 2019, compared to 868 in 2018.
Most of the propaganda messages targeted minority groups, including Jews, Blacks, Muslims, non-white immigrants, and members of the LGBTQ community, while others sought to promote the white “American Identity.”
“Given the alarming increase of these incidents, words alone are not enough – it must be followed by action,” Greenblatt added. “Educating faculty and students on the values of diversity and inclusion, along with improving training for campus officials charged with responding to bias incidents and hate crimes, are just a few of the ways campuses can fight back against this scourge of hate targeting our youth.”
Last year, various institutions became the target of racist robocalls through on-campus phone lines by an Idaho-based white supremacist group, The Road to Power.
The group made racist and hateful robocalls on Drake University’s campus phone lines in November, forcing 3,500 students, staff and faculty members to gather and protest against the incident.
Earlier this year, a white nationalist group also posted racist signs and stickers across the University of Utah’s campus. In February, more than a dozen members of a Identity Evropa hiked up the hill to Utah’s block U last weekend, carrying an anti-immigration banner reading “STOP THE INVASION END IMMIGRATION!” and blue and red flares.