ORANGE COUNTY, CA (CNN) – White supremacist propaganda is growing at an explosive rate in the U.S., according to a new report from the Anti-Defamation League out this week.
The group reports incidents of white supremacist propaganda distributions have doubled between 2018 and 2019.
According to the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) new report, in 2019 white nationalist or supremacist propaganda exploded across the United States.
“The ADL has been tracking extremists for decades, and this year was the highest number of propaganda distributions we have ever seen in our hundred year history,” says Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and National Director of ADL.
Greenblatt says their report found incidents of white nationalist or supremacist groups putting up flyers, stickers, banners and posters in public places has more than doubled from just over 1,200 in 2018 to more than 2,700 in 2019.
“I think there’s a charged political environment and they’re trying to capitalize on the division that is so pervasive throughout society,” says Greenblatt. “You’ve seen elected officials literally adopting some of their language, using their memes, and injecting their poison into the political conversation.”
Last year, the President of the United States attacked “progressive” congresswomen of color. Tweeting: “why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
Even though three of them were born in the United States, and the fourth is a naturalized citizen.
Online white supremacists praised the President’s comments. One saying: “this is the kind of white nationalism we elected him for.”
The propaganda is often made to look innocuous; but there is often a website associated with it that leads you to the true hate-filled intentions of the group.
Last year at Chapman University in Orange County, California, white nationalist stickers were pasted over school flyers about an educational project exploring immigration and borders.
“They’re flying all over the country,” says Peter Simi, associate professor at Chapman University. “They do this on college campuses quite a bit, they really focus on college campuses.”
Dr. Simi has studied hate groups for decades, even living with members of the groups to get deeper insight.
He says the groups are working to intimidate groups of people they hate, and entice like-minded people to join their ranks.
Patriot Front is one of the groups spreading large amounts of propaganda.
At times, its members come out from behind their computer keyboards and head out to the streets with their anti-immigrant message.
Its public gatherings are not widely publicized. They are over quickly, but enough time to create videos aimed at promoting their anti-immigrant, racist agenda.
“We don’t see any signs that this extremist activity is going to slow down, it could accelerate,” says Greenblatt.