White nationalist and supremacist groups are ramping up efforts on American college campuses — in what the Anti-Defamation League is calling “unprecedented outreach efforts.”
As of March 6, there have been 107 “white supremacist fliering incidents” on American college campuses since the school year began in September, according to a blog post from the ADL. Sixty-five of those incidents have taken place since January.
Schools in California and Texas have seen the most activity.
Some of these incidents are isolated; most are part of more concerted efforts of organized white nationalist groups.
For example, Identity Evropa, a white nationalist group run by a man named Nathan Damigo, has been particularly active — launching a campaign called “Project Siege” and posting regular outreach updates on Twitter. Another group, American Vanguard, launched their own “Northern Propaganda Campaign.”
Jared Taylor, a sort of elder statesmen to the younger cadre of white nationalists, launched his own “white consciousness” campaign in February to coincide with Black History Month.
On his website American Renaissance he explained why he and others see colleges as such important targets: “because they are bastions of anti-white propaganda.”
“Racist fliers and posters” have been reported on campuses in 32 states, the ADL reported, “adorning parking garages, street signs, billboards, utility poles and along corridors.”
Former Ku Klux Klan head David Duke was booted from Twitter yesterday — and then reinstated a few hours later.
What was behind the episode? There was much speculation online — from his fans and critics.
It turns out it was all an accident.
An agent mistakenly marked the account for suspension during a routine account review, Buzzfeed News reported.
Once news spread of Duke’s suspension, Twitter re-instated his account. According to the company, Duke not violate Twitter’s rules.
“We regularly review accounts and take action if they are found to have violated Twitter’s rules. If an account is found to have been suspended in error, we immediately restore it and notify the owner of our mistake,” a Twitter spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.
It’s not clear which tweets were flagged — prompting the Twitter review — but Duke is one of the country’s most high profile white nationalists or supremacists. Duke has more than 33,000 followers and is a sort of elder statesman in white nationalist circles. He has found a resurgence in relevance and popularity with the rise of the “alt-right.” President Trump has disavowed Duke, but the former KKK grand wizard continues to rally around the president.
In a rare bipartisan move, 97 senators signed a letter to the Trump administration asking that the White House and executive agencies coordinate to contain the damage from a wave of threats against Jewish community centers and prevent new ones.
“We are concerned that the number of incidents is accelerating and failure to address and deter these threats will place innocent people at risk and threaten the financial viability of JCCs, many of which are institutions in their communities,” wrote the group.
The letter hailed the government for actions it has already taken to assist Jewish institutions, and was organized by Michigan Democrat Gary Peters, Florida Republican Marco Rubio, Florida Democrat Bill Nelson and Ohio Republican Rob Portman. The letter requested that the federal government help the institutions beef up their security and help them secure grant opportunities to cushion themselves from the financial impact of the threats.
Scores of JCCs have been on the receiving end of well-disguised bomb threats over the past weeks, sparking safety fears among American Jews. President Trump was at first slow to condemn the incidents.
WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Zionist Organization of America welcomed President Donald Trump’s immigration order banning refugees and new visas for citizens from six Muslim-majority countries, while the umbrella body for Jewish policy groups joined an array of Jewish groups opposed to it.
The order “fulfills the president’s basic duty of protecting the nation by suspending entry by nationals from six nations (Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen) where current screening abilities are inadequate, resulting in an unacceptable risk that individuals who intend to commit, aid or support terrorist acts here will infiltrate into the U.S.,” the ZOA said in a statement on Tuesday.
The ZOA statement comes after an array of Jewish groups, including the Reform movement and the Anti-Defamation League, as well as Democratic Jewish lawmakers, condemned the order. Trump revised the order after an earlier one was stayed by the courts.
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs, an umbrella body for Jewish public policy groups and regional Jewish community relations councils, on Monday evening joined in opposition to the order, but in more measured language.
Purim’s on Saturday night this year, making the Jewish Halloween a particularly opportune time for excessive drinking.
That’s why the Orthodox Union, a synagogue service organization known for its kosher certifying agency, has released an ad campaign urging caution around alcohol on Purim, nodding to the 1980s slogan of anti-drunk driving campaigners: “Friends don’t let friends drink irresponsibly on Purim.”
“Bodily harm through intoxication is not a [religious commandment] on Purim,” says Rabbi Judah Isaacs, director of the OU Department of Community Engagement. Many Orthodox Jews consider alcohol consumption to be part of the holiday of Purim; some Jewish texts say a Jew should drink until they cannot tell the difference between the good and the evil characters in the story of the holiday.
He noted the particular dangers posed by drinking and driving on Purim. Driving is not prohibited on Purim as it is on many other Jewish holidays.
The campaign is part of the umbrella organization’s Safe Homes, Safe Schools, Safe Shuls project.
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