White nationalist and white supremacist groups have increased their recruiting efforts on college campuses for the third straight year, the Anti-Defamation League reported Thursday.
The ADL documented 313 incidents of white supremacist propaganda on campuses during the 2018-19 school year, up seven percent from 2017-18 — which itself saw a 77% rise over the year prior.
“This data clearly demonstrates that white supremacists in the United States are emboldened by the current political and social climate,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. “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 biggest perpetrator was the American Identity Movement, formerly known as Identity Evropa. The group was responsible for 71% of tracked campus propaganda, the ADL said, including using anodyne-seeming fliers calling on people to “defend America” and “embrace your identity.”
Another group that spread flyers on campuses was Patriot Front, which uses “patriotic” imagery and messaging to promote white supremacy. In one case, at Miami University in Ohio, fliers were posted in the library and on light poles. One featured a map of the United States with the words “not stolen, conquered”; another said “report all illegal aliens; they are criminals” alongside the phone number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Other anti-Semitic fliers posted on college campuses across the country promoted “Daily Stormer Book Clubs,” groups supportive of the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer, and blamed Jews for the negative treatment of then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
The ADL also said that off-campus propaganda efforts by white nationalist groups were “soaring,” with 672 incidents in the first six months of 2019. Such groups have stormed libraries and bookstores to draw attention to themselves and what they see as “anti-white” cultural elements.
Aiden Pink is the deputy news editor of the Forward. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org