Joseph De Avila, Wall Street Journal, March 5, 2019
White supremacist groups have ramped up their use of propaganda to spread racist, anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic messages, according to a new report by the Anti-Defamation League.
The ADL recorded 1,187 incidents of white supremacist propaganda throughout the U.S. in 2018, up from 421 incidents in 2017. The group defines propaganda as the use of fliers, stickers, banners and posters for recruitment purposes.
“It’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the ADL.
Mr. Greenblatt said white supremacist groups are attempting to boost their ranks but also want their identities hidden from the public. Using fliers and banners allows the groups to spread their messages anonymously and increase their profile on social networks like Gab, he said.
The proliferation of white supremacist propaganda comes at a time when hate crimes are on the rise. The Federal Bureau of Investigation recorded 7,175 hate crimes in 2017, compared with 6,121 a year earlier, a 17% increase.
White supremacist groups have increasingly targeted college campuses in recent years with their propaganda, according to the ADL. It found 319 propaganda incidents at college campuses in 2018, up from 292 in 2017.
The white-nationalist group Identity Evropa was responsible for nearly half of the 1,187 propaganda distributions in 2018, according to the report. One flier features George Washington and reads “European roots American Greatness.” In Atlanta, the group distributed fliers that said the city’s mayor was “putting illegal aliens first,” the report said.