The US saw a major spike in white supremacist and anti-LGBTQ propaganda last year, hitting a record level, a report by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has said.
Last year, the country saw a record number of incidents related to dissemination of such propaganda, with the group registering 5,125 cases. The new report was released by the New York-based Jewish advocacy group on Wednesday.
The figure turned out to be nearly two times higher than in 2019, when some 2,700 such incidents were registered. At the same time, the number of incidents on college campuses dropped by more than half, “perhaps due to Covid restrictions,” the report says.
Instances of propaganda have been registered all across the US, Hawaii being the only exception. Texas, Washington, California, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Virginia and Pennsylvania have seen the highest levels.
The barrage of propaganda, which overwhelmingly features veiled white supremacist language with a patriotic slant, is an effort to normalize white supremacists’ message and bolster recruitment efforts while targeting minority groups including Jews, Blacks, Muslims, non-white immigrants, and the LGBTQ community.
The vast majority of the propaganda cases – some 4,105 – have been attributed to Texas-based Patriot Front. The far-right group emerged back in 2017, forming as a splinter of the Vanguard America in the aftermath of the disastrous Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, marred by violent clashes and a car ramming attack on counter-protesters.
Since its formation, the Patriot Front has been very active in spreading its propaganda, with the group using “its own iteration of ‘patriotism’ to promote its white supremacist and neo-fascist ideology,” the ADL report states, highlighting the techniques used by the group.
The group continues to avoid using traditional white supremacist language and symbols in its messaging, instead using ambiguous phrases such as “America First,” “United we stand,” “Better Dead Than Red,” “Two Parties. One Tyranny,” “Reclaim America” and “Not Stolen. Conquered.”
New Jersey European Heritage Association (NJEHA) was named the second most active group spreading propaganda, with the report attributing further 508 incidents to it. Unlike the Patriot Front, the NJEHA has been spreading rather crude and overtly neo-Nazi materials including such slogans as “Antifa is a Jewish communist militia,” “Black Crimes Matter” and “Reject White Guilt”, according to the report.
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