White supremacist propaganda on college and university campuses increased more than 258 percent in 2017 compared with 2016, according to a new report released by the Anti-Defamation League.
As the Chronicle of Higher Education reports, the ADL tracked 147 incidents of white supremacist propaganda on campuses during the fall 2017 semester alone. This includes flyers, stickers, banners and posters. Compare that with fall 2016, when the ADL recorded 41 such incidents.
In total, 346 incidents of white supremacist hate propaganda have been tracked in the last year, affecting 44 states and Washington, D.C.
As the report notes, the white propaganda targeted every kind of institution, from community colleges to the Ivy League. California and Texas were the most frequent targets, which Carla Hill, an investigative researcher at the league’s Center on Extremism, told the Chronicle of Higher Education may be because white supremacist organizations are most concentrated in those states.
The only states not to have any reported incidents of white supremacist propaganda on their campuses were Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, New Hampshire and West Virginia.
“White supremacists are targeting college campuses like never before,” Jonathan Greenblatt, who heads the ADL, said in a news release. “They see campuses as a fertile recruiting ground, as evident by the unprecedented volume of propagandist activity designed to recruit young people to support their vile ideology.”
The material spotted on campuses over the last year ranges from the seemingly innocent—black and white flyers of classical sculptures, like Michelangelo’s David, for example—to more violent, in-your-face images, like blood-spattered swastikas.
The report singles out one white supremacist group in particular, Identity Evropa, which the ADL says was responsible for nearly half of the 346 instances of hateful propaganda on campuses.
CNN reports that the group is run by a Iraq War veteran, Nathan Damigo. In an interview with the news outlet in December 2016—just weeks after Donald Trump was elected—Damigo said that he had been targeting 40 colleges across the country to try to bring fresh blood into the organization.
Damigo claimed that “prior to 1965, America was a white country, a country for European people,” because history has never been white supremacists’ strong suit.
“What’s actually happening right now is that we’re being replaced in our own country,” Damigo continued, speaking presumably of the country stolen from Native Americans, built by enslaved Africans and of which a substantial portion used to be Mexico.
“We want to combat the diversity cult that has propagated itself not only on college campuses but throughout much of America,” Damigo added.