The distribution of white supremacist propaganda has reached its highest point ever, according to a new report.
A report published this year by the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism concluded that in 2019 there was an increase in propaganda distribution by white supremacist groups across the country.
The ADL included racist, anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ fliers, stickers, banners and posters in its propaganda count.
Year-over-year, 2019 saw an increase in propaganda distribution by these groups with 2,713 cases of distribution reported. A doubling of activity from 2018 when the number was 1,214.
The 2,713 cases recorded this year is the highest the ADL has ever recorded.
In 2019, propaganda was recorded in every state except for Hawaii.
The states with the highest level of activity were:
- New York
- New Jersey
According to the ADL’s Hate, Extremism, Anti-Semitism and terrorism map, Pennsylvania saw 128 incidents of propaganda, events and anti-Semitism in 2019. This is a decrease of 36 from 2018, when the state had 164 incidents.
Philadelphia saw 48 total incidents – half of those being white supremacist propaganda and another the other half being incidents of anti-Semitism.
In Harrisburg, the state capital, 2 incidents were reported in 2019. one white supremacist propaganda and the other an incident of anti-Semitism.
Pittsburgh saw 11 total incidents last year. Of those incidents, nine were white supremacist propaganda, one incident of anti-Semitism and another was a terrorist plot or attack.
The plot or attack referenced was the arrest of Mustafa Mousab Alowemer for attempting to provide material support to ISIS and for planning to detonate an explosive device at the Legacy International Worship Center in Pittsburgh, according to the report.
The HEAT map also shows incidents recorded in the northeastern and southcentral parts of the state, including the cities of Hazelton, Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, and towns such as Troy, Ulysses, Carlisle, Gettysburg and Waynesboro.
The ADL reported 20 percent fewer white supremacist events in 2019 than 2018, down from 95 to 76 events.
According to the report, America’s Ku Klux Klan movement continued to decline in 2019.
The combined efforts of seven different Klan groups resulted in only 53 propaganda distributions – a significant drop from the 102 incidents in 2018 and well off the Klan’s five-year average of 82, the report noted.
Distribution of propaganda on college campuses is a traditional form of recruitment by white supremacist groups across the country.
Of the 2,711 incidents reported last year, one-fourth (630) took place on college campuses.
This is nearly double the 320 campus incidents counted in 2018.
In the fall of 2019, ADL documented 410 incidents – more than double any proceeding semester and a 159 percent increase from the 158 incidents counted during the spring semester earlier in the year.
The ADL found that the semester-to-semester increase was caused by a propaganda distribution campaign by white supremacist group Patriot Front. The group honed in on college campuses during the months of September and October..
The 2019 propaganda efforts targeted 433 different campuses in 43 states and the District of Columbia. 90 percent were targeted only once or twice.