During the 2018-2019 school year, from September 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019, the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Center on Extremism documented 313 cases of white supremacist propaganda on college campuses — a 7% increase from the 292 recorded during the 2017-2018 academic year.
According to ADL’s data, the increase in hateful messages was particularly strong in the 2019 spring semester, as a bulk of Democratic presidential candidates were announcing their bids. The 2019 spring semester saw more extremist campus propaganda than previous semesters.
From January through May 2019, the ADL documented 161 incidents on 122 different campuses in 33 states and the District of Columbia. California (34), Kentucky (18), Oklahoma (16), Ohio (13) and Utah (10) had the highest number of incidents.
Targeting and recruiting young people is a major goal of white supremacist groups to grow and sustain themselves. College campuses are a draw for these dangerous people, and they show little sign of slowing down in the lead up to the 2020 election.
Racist groups started actively distributing propaganda on college campuses in January 2016 and it gained traction in the fall of 2016, according to the ADL. Over three years later and the distribution of fliers, stickers, and posters continue to increase.
Some hate groups have been more active than others. Identity Evropa, which rebranded as the American Identity Movement (AIM) on March 8, 2019, was responsible for 115 incidents (57 as Identity Evropa and 58 as AIM), in the spring semester alone. They were responsible for 71% of all racist campus propaganda during the 2018-2019 school year.
AIM uses slogans such as “European roots American greatness,” “Defend America,” “nationalism, not globalism,” “protect American workers,” “diversity destroys nations” and “embrace your identity.”