Colleges see spike in white supremacist propaganda on campuses: report
The amount of white supremacist propaganda appearing on college campuses across the country has increased at an exponential rate, according to new findings.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said Thursday that it found a sharp rise in reports of white supremacist fliers or other promotional materials between 2016 and 2017.
Just 41 incidents were reported on college campuses in 2016, a number that ballooned to 147 reports the following year, according to the ADL.
In a statement issued alongside the report, ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said that college administrators need to find a line between protecting free speech and responding to hate groups.
“While campuses must respect and protect free speech, administrators must also address the need to counter hate groups’ messages and show these bigoted beliefs belong in the darkest shadows, not in our bright halls of learning,” Greenblatt said. “There is a moral obligation to respond clearly and forcefully to constitutionally protected hate speech.”
The report counted incidents from 216 college campuses in 44 states and Washington, D.C. Specific incidents of white nationalist messages included both attacks on minority groups, both racist and anti-LGBT, as well as calls to preserve white nationalism.
More than half of the incidents were caused by a group called “Identity Evropa,” which calls for the preservation of “white American culture” while avoiding more commonly used white supremacist language.
The ADL has also counted 15 reports so far in 2018. Texas and California saw the brunt of the incidents last year, with 61 and 43 reports, respectively.
President Trump has faced criticism from Democrats and other critics over his handling of rising white nationalist trends in the U.S. since taking office, including violence in Charlottesville, Va., last year that led to the death of one counterprotester.