Incidents of white supremacists distributing propaganda in the US hit a record high last year, according to a Thursday report.
The Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism tallied 6,751 incidents of white supremacist propaganda in 2022. The figure marked a 38 percent increase over the previous year.
The propaganda activity included the mass distribution of material targeting Jews, the LGBTQ community and other minority groups.
The use of hateful banners, often hung up over highway overpasses, jumped to 252 incidents last year, a 38% increase over 2021.
Recorded incidents of antisemitic propaganda more than doubled from 352 incidents in 2021 to 852 last year. There were 219 incidents on school campuses, mostly colleges –actually a decrease from previous years.
White supremacist propaganda was reported in every state except Hawaii. The states with the most incidents were Texas, Massachusetts and Virginia.
The report said white supremacists use the campaigns to maximize attention for their groups and messages while limiting risk, because propaganda allows a small number of individuals to reach large communities.
A handful of white supremacist groups — the Patriot Front, the Goyim Defense League and White Lives Matter — together accounted for 93% of the propaganda incidents.
The Patriot Front, a Texas-based neo-fascist group, was responsible for 80% of all incidents. The group alone disseminated propaganda material in every state in the continental US. The Patriot Front is a white supremacist organization, but some of its propaganda material was not explicitly racist, including calls to end “foreign wars” and “defend American labor.”
Activity by the Goyim Defense League jumped last year, with at least 492 propaganda incidents, compared to 74 in 2021.
The record number of incidents in 2022 was mostly due to the Goyim Defense League’s growth and the appearance of several smaller antisemitic white supremacist groups.
The Goyim Defense League aims to expel Jews from the US and spreads antisemitic conspiracy theories to turn Americans against Jews, the report said. The group’s propaganda falsely blames Jews for controlling issues including immigration, pornography, abortion, feminism, the Trump administration and the historical slave trade.
White supremacist events also increased by 55% to 167 last year, with the most taking place in Massachusetts, California, Ohio and Florida. The White Lives Matter group accounted for the plurality of events, hosting 43%.
“White supremacists and antisemites are trying to terrorize and harass Americans and have significantly stepped up their use of propaganda as a tactic to make their presence known in communities nationwide,” ADL chief Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. “This is a cowardly attempt to intimidate marginalized communities and those who don’t align with their twisted worldview and draw in new recruits.”
The ADL recorded 2,717 antisemitic incidents across the country in 2021, a 34% increase from the previous year, and the highest since it began tracking in 1979. Data for 2022 has not yet been released. Some of the increase is due to different and improved reporting methods.