A troubling surge in white supremacist propaganda in the last year has the ADL’s Center on Extremism (COE) concerned.
The COE has released a wide-ranging report which details the alarming growth of white supremacist propaganda in 2020, an almost two fold increase from the year before. The material studied includes fliers, stickers, banners and posters, which contain anti-Semitic, racist and bigoted subject matter.
The data from 2020 shows a “huge increase” from 2019. Over 5,000 cases were reported, more than 14 per day, compared to just over 2,700 in 2019.
“Hateful propaganda is a tried-and-true tactic for white supremacists, and in 2020, they distributed the highest-ever volume of propaganda like banners, posters and stickers,” tweeted ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.
The ALD noted that 2020’s spike in white supremacist propaganda is the highest level it has ever recorded. However, the number of propaganda incidents taking place on college campuses dropped by over half, likely due to restrictions in place from the pandemic.
The surge in activity was evident in all states except Hawaii, with the largest increases in Texas, Washington, California, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
In 2020, the ADL tracked over 30 white supremacist groups distributing material. However, three groups, Patriot Front, New Jersey European Heritage Association and the National Socialist Club, were involved in distributing 92 percent of the material, with Patriot Front largely responsible for most of the propaganda distribution.
“Propaganda gives white supremacists the ability to maximize media and online attention, while limiting the risk of individual exposure, negative media coverage, arrests and public backlash that often accompanies more public events,” said the ADL in a statement. “The barrage of propaganda, which overwhelmingly features veiled white supremacist language with a patriotic slant, is an effort to normalize white supremacists’ message and bolster recruitment efforts while targeting minority groups.”