White supremacist groups have been recruiting college students at an “unprecedented” rate, the Anti-Defamation League said on Monday.
The groups have been hanging anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant posters, speaking on campus and flooding campus fax machines with fliers that warn of “multiculturalism,” according to the ADL.
The civil rights group blames a documented rise of the use of racist graffiti, slurs and even students wearing blackface on calculated efforts by such white nationalist groups to capitalize on a polarized presidential election (via The Washington Post).
“White supremacists have consciously made the decision to focus their recruitment efforts on students and have in some cases openly boasted of efforts to establish a physical presence on campus,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the ADL, in a statement. “While there have been recruitment efforts in the past, never have we seen anti-Semites and white supremacists so focused on outreach to students on campus.”
The ADL has catalogued 104 incidents since the beginning of the school year in September last year, with more than half occurring since January. The group described an “unprecedented outreach effort” by organizations they’ve identified as white supremacist.
Racist posters have appeared on several campuses in at least 25 states, the ADL reports. One Texas State University professor said some contain code words for “white genocide.” One poster from a group called Vanguard America has an image of two white faces over a black background reading, “We have a right to exist.” Vanguard America’s website also has a recent post titled “A Muslim Free America.”
The groups responsible for the white nationalist propaganda sweeping college campuses include Identity Evropa, American Vanguard, American Renaissance.
The ADL also pointed to “some of the more disturbing incidents reported on campus”:
Feb. 21, 2017 – Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Va. – student wearing ODU sweatshirt tweeted a music video called “white power” that spread around campus.
Feb. 15, 2017 – University of Southern California, Los Angeles – vendor (had prior permission) was asked to leave after it was discovered he/she was selling shirts and albums with swastika symbols.
Feb. 10, 2017 – Adolf Hitler valentine cards “my love 4 u burns like 6,000 jews” circulated at Central Michigan University, Pleasant, Mich.
Jan. 18, 2017 – Printer hacked caused anti-Semitic fliers to be printed – Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.
Dec. 6, 2016 – White nationalist Richard Spencer spoke at Texas A&M, College Station, Tex., as a guest of Preston Wiginton.
Read the ADL’s report here.