Hate in the Empire State: Extremism & Antisemitism in New York, 2020-2021
This report examines extremist and antisemitic trends and incidents across New York state during the two-year time period from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021, and provides recommendations for combatting these threats.
The “Bowlcut” is an image of a bowl-shaped haircut resembling the one sported by white supremacist mass killer Dylan Roof. People who use the “bowlcut” image or other “bowl” references admire Roof and call for others to emulate his racist murders.
Fasces are an ancient Roman symbol for authority and government coopted by Mussolini’s Fascist movement in Italy. Some white supremacists in the United States have recently adopted the symbol both because of its fascist connections and because it is more publicly acceptable than the swastika.
The Happy Merchant is a very common anti-Semitic meme popularized by the alt right, featuring a person with exaggerated stereotypically Jewish features and grasping hands, meant to convey a “greedy Jew.”
ALTERNATE NAMES: Jew Face, Merchant Face, Le Happy Merchant
The Jera rune is an ancient European runic symbol and part of the runic alphabet. It is one of a number of runic symbols that white supremacists have appropriated but is also commonly used by non-racist modern Norse pagans, so care needs to be taken in its evaluation.
The League of the South is a longstanding neo-Confederate white supremacist group that advocates for an independent, white-dominated South. Its symbol is intended to resemble the St. Andrew’s Cross on the Confederate flag.
ALTERNATE NAMES: Southern Nationalist Flag, Black Cross
“Moon Man” is a meme derived from a character in 1980s McDonald’s restaurant commercials that was appropriated by white supremacists, especially from the alt right, who attach it to racist songs, language and imagery.
Like Pepe the Frog, “Trollface” is a widely-used internet cartoon meme that has been appropriated and used by some white supremacists. Care must be taken not to make assumptions of the intent behind its use but to judge it only in context.
The othala rune is part of several runic alphabet systems that were common in pre-Roman Europe. The Nazis adopted this rune, among others, into their symbology, causing it to be a favorite symbol among white supremacists ever since.