White supremacist propaganda efforts nearly doubled last year, according to a new report from the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism — marking the highest number of incidents the organization has ever recorded.
According to the ADL, a record 5,125 incidents were reported in 2020 (averaging more than 14 incidents per day), exceeding 2,724 cases in 2019. The ADL defined the propaganda efforts as including the distribution of racist, antisemitic and anti-LGBTQ fliers, stickers, banners and posters.
The ADL noted that white supremacist propaganda, which the group said overwhelming features “veiled white supremacist language with a patriotic slant,” works to normalize white supremacist rhetoric and bolster recruitment efforts amid targeting minority groups.
The ADL found that white supremacist propaganda was found last year in every state except Hawaii, with highest levels of activity found in Texas, Washington, California, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
The ADL reported that at least 30 white supremacist groups disseminated propaganda. However, 92% of propaganda was distributed by just three groups — Patriot Front, New Jersey European Heritage Association and Nationalist Social Club.
The Texas-based Patriot Front particularly took the lead in propaganda distribution, with the ADL finding the group was behind 4,105 of the incidents, or 80% of all propaganda incidents nationally. The number of Patriot Front-led incidents doubled compared to 2019. Patriot Front appeared to target the same geographic locations both years, having distributed propaganda in all but two states (Hawaii and Kansas), according to the ADL.
Among its findings, the ADL recorded 283 antisemitic incidents in 2020, marking a 68% increase from the number of antisemitic propaganda distributions recorded the year before.
The ADL also noted that white supremacists took part in at least 11 mainstream events last year, citing the participation of Nick Fuentes and his America First followers in at least five “Stop the Steal” rallies in support of former President Trump as an example.