ADL Finds Increase In White Supremacist Activity Targeting Colleges Since Election

March 6, 2017 10:00 a.m.

Since the beginning of the school year in September, and particularly since January, college campuses across the country have seen an uptick in activity from white supremacist groups targeting students, according to a report from the Anti-Defamation League out Monday.

The report found there have been 104 incidents involving white supremacists on college campuses since September, 63 of which have occurred since the beginning of 2017.

“White supremacists have consciously made the decision to focus their recruitment efforts on students and have in some cases openly boasted of efforts to establish a physical presence on campus,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. “While there have been recruitment efforts in the past, never have we seen anti-Semites and white supremacists so focused on outreach to students on campus.”

The ADL linked this uptick in white supremacist activity on college campuses to rhetoric in the 2016 election.

“White supremacists, emboldened by the rhetoric of the 2016 presidential campaign, are stepping out of the shadows and into the mainstream,” the report reads, noting that white nationalist Jared Taylor wrote in January that “the election of Donald Trump is a sign of rising white consciousness.”

The report found the “vast majority of incidents” on college campuses involving white supremacists involved fliers and stickers. It linked a majority of the incidents to two groups, Identity Evropa and American Vanguard, while noting a white supremacist group founded by Jared Taylor, American Renaissance, has launched a campaign to place posters on college campuses. White supremacist hacker Andrew Auernheimer, known by his psuedonym “weev,” also sent racist fliers with swastikas to campus printers across the U.S., per the report.

White supremacist fliers and stickers have appeared on campuses in at least 25 states, according to the ADL.

But white supremacist groups have been stepping up their physical presence on college campuses, too, the report found.

Identity Evropa launched “Project Siege,” which urges members to “create space for our ideas” on college campuses by talking to students, according to the report. A student employee at the University of Wisconsin—who’d been convicted years ago of setting fires at predominantly black churches—tried to form a Madison branch of the American Freedom Party, a white nationalist group that cheered on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Prominent white nationalist leader Richard Spencer also spoke at Texas A&M in December, the report noted.

Read the full report below:

Support The TPM Journalism Fund
  • Contributions allow us to hire more journalists
  • Contributions allow us to provide free memberships to those who cannot afford them
  • Contributions support independent, non-corporate journalism
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: