Emboldened by the current political climate, groups that the Anti-Defamation League identifies as white supremacist are pushing to recruit college students and plaster campuses with their message, according to an analysis by the ADL.
The Anti-Defamation League described “an unprecedented outreach effort to attract and recruit students on American college campuses.”
“White supremacists have consciously made the decision to focus their recruitment efforts on students and have in some cases openly boasted of efforts to establish a physical presence on campus,” Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a statement. “While there have been recruitment efforts in the past, never have we seen anti-Semites and white supremacists so focused on outreach to students on campus.”
Some of the white-supremacist tactics include flooding campus fax machines with racist fliers, hanging anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant or anti-Semitic posters, visiting campuses to talk with students, giving public speeches, and holding rallies, according to the ADL’s Center on Extremism.
Incidents have happened at schools in 28 states, from Michigan to Tennessee to California to Virginia.
There have been multiple rounds of racist posters at Texas State University, said Debra Monroe, a professor who first saw some after the election that warned that words such as “multiculturalism” were code words for “white genocide,” worrying students and others on campus.
The Anti-Defamation League attributed many of the incidents nationally to three groups: Identity Evropa, American Vanguard and American Renaissance.
“The ADL needs ‘White supremacist’ boogeymen to stay in business,” Reinhard Wolff, director of administration for Identity Evropa, wrote in an email. “We’re not supremacists by any means, but we’re not really concerned with such childish labels. Our adversaries have to resort to name-calling and buzzwords because that’s all they have left at this point.”
American Renaissance’s website urges action, including inviting the founder to speak. “We especially recommend this option to students at universities,” the site says.
[Editor’s Note: Our posters can be seen here.]