White Supremacist Propaganda Doubled in 2019, ADL Report Says

White supremacist propaganda has doubled in the U.S. in 2019, according to a recent report from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

The report, which was published last week by the ADL Center on Extremism, found that white supremacist propaganda efforts in 2019 increased to 2,713 reported cases from 1,214 cases in 2018. White supremacist propaganda includes the distribution of racist, anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ fliers and posters, according to the ADL.

“Propaganda allows white supremacists 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,” the report stated.

The Report

  • The ADL’s report found that one-fourth of the white supremacist propaganda incidents took place on college campuses in 2019 as groups have targeted college students since January 2016, according to the report.

  • White supremacist propaganda efforts targeted 433 different campuses in 40 states across the U.S. and the District of Columbia. From September to December 2019, the ADL found 410 propaganda incidents that took place on college campuses.

  • Three white nationalist groups were responsible for 90 percent of the propaganda activity (Patriot Front, The American Identity Movement and The New Jersey European Heritage Association). The ADL found that the Texas-based, white nationalist group Patriot Front was responsible for 66 percent of all propaganda incidents in the U.S.

  • The American Identity Movement (AIM), another Southern Poverty Law Center designated hate group, was responsible for 16 percent of all propaganda in the U.S. (12 percent of non-campus and 30 percent of on-campus), according to the report. AIM’s goal is to preserve “white culture” and distribute its propaganda with phrases like “Defend America”, “Nationalism not Globalism” and “Embrace Your Identity.”

  • The New Jersey European Heritage Association, which was founded in 2018, was responsible for nine percent of white supremacist propaganda incidents in the U.S. in 2019. The group accounted for ten percent of all non-campus propaganda incidents and five percent of on-campus incidents.

  • Across the Midwest, the report found that there 245 pieces of literature, including fliers, stickers and posters, distributed in 2019, a 118 percent increase from the 112 white supremacist propaganda incidents reported in 2018.

  • South Dakota saw a 200 percent increase in white supremacist propaganda incidents while Minnesota had a 170 percent increase, according to the ADL report. Indiana also saw an increase in white supremacist propaganda, with 92 percent, the report found.

What They’re Saying

The ADL has tracked 7,067 incidents of extremism or anti-Semitism in the U.S. in 2018 and 2019. White supremacy is also being spread internationally, according to a previous report released by the ADL in September.

The report found that white supremacy related violence has surged in Europe, as white supremacists in Europe and the U.S. “are learning from each other, supporting each other, and reaching new audiences.”

“As white supremacy grows and connects across borders, it has become essential to understand how followers are growing their networks and recruiting new members,” Sharon Nazarian, ADL Senior VP for International Affairs, said in a previous statement. “On both sides of the Atlantic, racist and xenophobic views are seeping into mainstream social discourse. This growing network of hate has emboldened white supremacists who see themselves as part of a global movement to ‘save the white race.’”

To combat white supremacy, the ADL recommends government leaders to speak out against hate, to create hate crime laws and to train law enforcement on how to identify, report and respond to hate violence.

“White supremacist groups use propaganda literature to spread their hateful message while simultaneously remaining anonymous and avoiding public backlash,” David Goldenberg, the regional director for the ADL Midwest, said in a statement on the recent report. “As certain groups increasingly feel empowered to spread hate in this current environment, our leaders must continue to speak out and not allow these attitudes to be normalized in our communities.”