NEW YORK – the White supremacy groups plastering their propaganda on the AMERICAN university campuses at a rapidly increasing rate, according to data released Thursday by a Jewish civil rights group.
The Anti-Defamation League said that the documented 292 cases of white supremacist propaganda, including flyers and other racist, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic material, found on the campuses from September last year until May. That is 77 percent more than the 165 cases documented from the previous academic year.
The New York-based ADL has counted on a total of 478 cases since Sept. 1, 2016, at 287 campuses in 47 states and the District of Columbia. It says one group, Identity Evropa, was responsible for 230 of these incidents. The ADL attributed 70 incidents to another group, the more recently formed Patriot Front.
Oren Segal, director of the ADL Center on Extremism, said the groups view the flyers, posters, stickers and banners as effective tools for generating publicity and stirring up outrage.
“I think they see it as a cheap and easy way to relieve anxiety and anxiety on college campuses,” Segal said.
Colleges and universities in Texas and California were jointly addressed in more than a quarter of the 478 cases. In December, for instance, police issued criminal trespass warnings to people suspected of posting racist flyers on the Texas State University campus in San Marcos. The suspects were not students and had no permission for posting flyers on campus, police said.
“White supremacists are actively targeting AMERICAN universities since January of 2016, but the practice has failed to get real traction until the first semester of that year. Since then, propaganda efforts have steadily increased,” an ADL report says.
The report says groups also make use of propaganda as a recruitment tool, with language and images that are not always explicitly racist or hateful. Identify Evropa, for example, circulates posters with messages like “Control Your People” and “Our Future Belongs to Us.”
The same groups targeting colleges also have dotted off-campus locations with their kites on a pace this year, with the ADL count 185 off-campus “propaganda-distributions” since January.
Segal said that the ADL-the data are based on the composition and control of the news reports, community complaints and social media posts by the white supremacist groups themselves.