Dramatic rise seen in white supremacist targeting of US campuses
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Dramatic rise seen in white supremacist targeting of US campuses

ADL says incidents almost tripled in 2018, perpetrators hide their identities

White supremacists exchange insults with counterprotesters as they attempt to guard the entrance to Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Virginia., August 12, 2017. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images via JTA)
White supremacists exchange insults with counterprotesters as they attempt to guard the entrance to Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Virginia., August 12, 2017. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images via JTA)

JTA — White supremacists dramatically stepped up their propaganda efforts targeting neighborhoods and campuses in 2018 to never-before seen levels, the Anti-Defamation League reported Tuesday.

Such efforts almost tripled to 1,187 distributions across the US, up from 421 total incidents reported in 2017.

The number of racist rallies and demonstrations also rose last year, with 91 white supremacist rallies or other public events attended by white supremacists held in 2018, up from 76 the previous year. In addition, hate groups increasingly used so-called “flash mob” tactics to avoid advance publicity and scrutiny.

In most cases the identities of individual members were hidden, according to the ADL.

Illustrative: Headstones toppled and damaged by vandals lie on the ground at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Philadelphia. (AP /Jacqueline Larma)

The number of non-campus community propaganda efforts soared to 868 from 129 incidents. “Alt-right” groups were responsible for the majority of these efforts.

“Posting fliers is a tried-and-true tactic for hate groups, one that enables them to spread hateful ideas and sow fear across an entire community,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL’s national director. “Hate groups were emboldened in 2018, but their increasing reliance on hate leafleting indicates that most of their members understand this is a fringe activity and are unwilling to risk greater public exposure or arrest.”

The ADL recorded 319 incidents of white supremacist propaganda appearing on 212 college and university campuses in 37 states and Washington, DC, up from 292 campus incidents in 2017.

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