American white supremacists are facing a dilemma: They want to share their hateful ideology, but they don’t want to face the consequences. They want to find an audience for their racism and anti-Semitism, but they don’t want to get caught. Under increased scrutiny from law enforcement and the media, how do they disseminate their racist ideas and recruit new members, but also limit the risk of doxing, firing and ostracism that comes with public exposure?
Within the past few months, they seem to have landed on an answer that keeps their groups in the spotlight while shielding the individual identities of their members: far more propaganda efforts and fewer pre-announced public events.
There’s a very good chance you’ve seen a white supremacist flyer or banner in the past year. Data collected by the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism shows a staggering 182 percent increase of propaganda incidents in 2018, with 1,187 cases reported, compared with 421 in 2017. This is the highest number of reported propaganda efforts on record.
And the messages are everywhere: Hanging from freeway overpasses, stuck to utility poles, plastered to shop windows or left on the windshields of parked cars. They’re even found tucked into books inside neighborhood book swap boxes, libraries and book stores. [Continue reading…]