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ADL records all-time high in propaganda incidents by white supremacists

The Patriot Front was responsible for about 80% of the acts tracked by the Anti-Defamation League.

A sampling of propaganda distributed by Patriot Front in 2022. Source: ADL report.
A sampling of propaganda distributed by Patriot Front in 2022. Source: ADL report.

A new report by the Anti-Defamation League recorded more than 6,750 incidents of white supremacists distributing propaganda in 2022—up 38% from the year before and an all-time high.

The acts included the dissemination of antisemitic, racist and anti-LGBTQ materials, such as fliers placed in yards and driveways; banners hung from overpasses; stickers and posters on stores; and laser projections on buildings and stadiums.

The number of white supremacist events increased from 108 in 2021 to 170 in 2022, per the ADL.

According to the report, the number of times that antisemitic materials were distributed increased from 352 in 2021 to 852 in 2022. “If one person distributes 50 fliers in driveways, that only counts as one incident. But if he or she does the same thing in a week later that is counted as a second incident,” Todd Gutnick, the ADL’s senior director of communications, told JNS.

The distribution of white supremacist propaganda turned out to be geographically concentrated in both blue and red states. The ADL recorded the highest levels of such materials in Texas, Massachusetts, Virginia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, Utah, Florida, Connecticut and Georgia in 2022. Hawaii was the only state where the ADL recorded no similar activity last year, though the organization did track antisemitic incidents there.

Some 80% of the hate propaganda the ADL tracked came from the Texas-based group Patriot Front, which underwent a “rebranding” in 2018 that used a “cynical iteration of ‘patriotism” to promote its white supremacist and neo-fascist ideology.”

The group avoids using traditional white supremacist tropes, instead employing red-white-and-blue banners and lawn signs with messages like “Reclaim America,” “For the Nation Against the State” and “Revolution Is Tradition.”

Of the materials produced by known white supremacist groups, Gutnick said that the ADL addresses them on a case-by-case basis. “Generally, the message has to be racist or antisemitic in intent for inclusion,” he told JNS.

The Goyim Defense League, which has been disseminating hate fliers across the country this past year, is another key player in spreading white supremacist hate, according to the ADL. Those materials blame Jews “for a variety of perceived social grievances, including immigration, pornography and abortion,” according to the ADL report. Hate activity attributed to this group rose 58% from 2021 to 2022, and the Goyim Defense League’s “overarching goal is to expel Jews from America,” it stated.

“There’s no question that 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,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL’s national director and CEO. “In response to this threat, we must recommit ourselves to fight against hate and say ‘Enough is enough.’ ”

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