David Marcus, The Federalist, February 7, 2018
The Anti-Defamation League has released and updated a troubling study about the rise of white supremacist messaging on America’s college campuses. Incidents tripled in 2017 compared to the prior year. While the total number of incidents in 2017 was only 290, the increase from 147 in 2016 should serve as a wake-up call to address a new and insidious form of white supremacist rhetoric.
By far the most active group spreading these messages was Identity Evropa, a self-described “fraternal organization for people of European heritage located in the United States.” According to the study, this group “use[s] propaganda that avoids recognizable white supremacist imagery and language. For example, IE has used black and white images of classical sculptures, including Michelangelo’s David or Nicolas Coustou’s Julius Caesar.” The messages on these images, in the form of posters or fliers, say things like, “The future belongs to us.”
This is not exactly the white supremacy of the Klu Klux Klan. The new breed of racists has traded in white sheets for collared shirts and khakis. The best known of these new racist activists is Duke University-educated Richard Spencer, who not only presents himself as a reasonable and friendly guy, but co-opts the techniques of progressive identity politics in some cases.
All of this provides opportunity for dosing out the evil, insidious snake oil of white supremacy on our country’s campuses. Not included in the ADL study is the increasing use of fliers and posters saying, “It’s okay to be white.” The phrase may sound innocuous, but it can be an opening to dangerous messaging.