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According to the report, white supremacist propaganda increased in 2020.

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According to the report, white supremacist propaganda increased in 2020.
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According to the report, white supremacist propaganda increased in 2020.

According to the report, white supremacist propaganda increased in 2020.

 

According to a recent report issued to The Associated Press by the Anti-Defamation League, white supremacist rhetoric reached unprecedented heights throughout the United States in 2020.

According to the study released on Wednesday, there were 5,125 cases of racist, anti-Semitic, anti-LGBTQ, and other hateful messages distributed by physical flyers, stickers, banners, and posters. This is almost double the 2,724 registered cases in 2019. Online propaganda is much more difficult to measure, and the anti-hate group estimates that the cases number in the millions.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, which was formed more than a century ago, last year saw the highest level of white nationalist propaganda in at least a decade. Its findings come as federal authorities investigate and prosecute those who stormed the United States Capitol in January, with some of them suspected of having links to or showing support for hate groups and anti-government militias.

“We will still have these bookends of Charlottesville and Capitol Hill as we continue to grasp and put the past four years in perspective,” group CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said.

He said, “The truth is that a lot of things happened in between those moments that set the stage.”

According to Christian Picciolini, a former far-right extremist who founded the deradicalization organization Free Radicals Project, the increase in propaganda is related to white supremacist and extremist recruiters viewing crises as openings.

“They use the confusion and fear created by a crisis to attract new recruits to their ‘us vs. them’ narrative, portraying the ‘other’ as the source of their suffering, grievances, or loss,” Picciolini told the Associated Press. “The pandemic, job losses, a tense election, protests over extrajudicial police shootings of Black Americans, and a national reckoning triggered by our country’s long history of racism have produced a perfect storm in which to attract Americans who are afraid of change and progress.”

According to the ADL, misinformation, which is regularly circulated with the aim of gaining media and internet exposure, assists white nationalists in normalizing their message and bolstering recruiting efforts. The propaganda language is often cloaked in a patriotic slant, making it seem innocuous to the untrained eye.

Some leaflets, stickers, and posters, on the other hand, are overtly racist and anti-Semitic. The terms “Black Crimes Matter,” a mockery of the Black Lives Matter movement, appeared on one piece of propaganda distributed by the New Jersey European Heritage Association, along with cherry-picked crime reports regarding assaults on white victims by Black assailants.

Folks Front, a neo-Nazi party, circulated stickers with the words “White Lives Matter” on them.

According to the study, hate speech was spread by at least 30 recognized white supremacist organizations. However, three organizations accounted for 92 percent of the activity: the NJEHA, Patriot Front, and Nationalist Social Club.

Except for Hawaii, the propaganda was distributed in every territory. According to the survey, the highest levels were found in Texas, Washington, California, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

Despite the overall rise, the ADL reported a drastic decrease in white supremacist propaganda dissemination at colleges and universities, owing in part to the coronavirus pandemic and a shortage of students living and studying on campus. In 2020, 303 incidents of propaganda on college campuses were published, compared to 630 in 2019.

Free speech privileges, Greenblatt admitted, allow for language that “we don’t like and detest.” But, he said, when the speech incites violence or creates circumstances that normalize extremism, it must be countered.

Greenblatt said, “There’s no pixie dust you can sprinkle on this and make it all go away.” “We must acknowledge that the issue has deep roots.”

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