White supremacist propaganda surged in 2020, report says

White supremacist propaganda surged in 2020, report says
FILE - In this Aug. 15, 2020, file photo, protesters and counterprotesters face off in Stone Mountain Village, Ga. Source: AP
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Daily US Times: According to a new report that the Anti-Defamation League, known as ADL, white supremacist propaganda reached alarming levels across the US in 2020.

There were 5,125 cases of racist, anti-LGBTQ, anti-Semitic and other hateful messages spread through physical flyers, banners, posters and stickers, according to Wednesday’s report provided to The Associated Press.

That’s nearly double the 2,724 instances reported in one year earlier. Online propaganda is much harder to quantify, and it is likely those cases reached into the millions, the anti-hate organization said.

The ADL report said that the year 2020 marked the highest level of white supremacist propaganda seen in at least a decade. Its report comes as federal authorities investigate and prosecute those who stormed the United States Capitol in 6 January, some of whom are accused of having ties to or expressing support for anti-government militias and hate groups.

Group CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said: “As we try to understand and put in perspective the past four years, we will always have these bookends of Charlottesville and Capitol Hill.”

He said: “The reality is there’s a lot of things that happened in between those moments that set the stage.”

Christian Picciolini, former far-right extremist and founder of the deradicalization group Free Radicals Project, said the surge in propaganda tracks with white supremacist and extremist recruiters seeing crises as periods of opportunity.

Picciolini said: “They use the uncertainty and fear caused by crisis to win over new recruits to their ‘us vs. them’ narrative, painting the ‘other’ as the cause of their pain, grievances or loss.”

Propaganda, often distributed with the intention of garnering online and media attention, helps white supremacists normalize their messaging and bolster recruitment efforts, the ADL, which was founded more than a century ago, said in its report.

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