Report: White Supremacist Propaganda Hit Record High Last Year

March 9, 2023

The spread of white supremacist propaganda reached record levels in 2022, the Anti-Defamation League said in a report published Wednesday.

The ADL’s Center on Extremism uncovered 6,751 cases of white supremacist groups distributed “racist, antisemitic and anti-LGBTQ+” materials last year, including graffiti, banners, stickers and fliers—a 38% increase over 2021 that the report says is the most ever recorded for a single year.

“Propaganda campaigns allow white supremacists to maximize media and online attention for their groups and messaging while limiting the risk of individual exposure, negative media coverage, arrests and public backlash that often accompanies more public activities,” the report stated. “Propaganda, which affects entire communities, allows a small number of people to have an outsized impact.”

The ADL’s report on propaganda follows last month’s report that found the number of mass shootings in the U.S. linked to extremism increased three-fold in the past decade. That ADL report further found that all extremist killings identified in 2022 were linked to right-wing extremism (as opposed to Islamic or left-wing extremism), with an especially high number linked to white supremacy. 

Wednesday’s report on supremacist propaganda noted that explicitly antisemitic incidents had more than doubled last year, up from 352 in 2021 to 852 in 2022.

“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 ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt on Wednesday.

The ADL report found that the supremacist group The Patriot Front accounted for some 80% of the propaganda in 2022. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, this group’s manifesto calls for the creation of a white “ethnostate.”

The sheer volume of white supremacist propaganda distributions we are documenting around the country is alarming and dangerous,” said Oren Segal, vice president of ADL’s Center on Extremism.

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