White Supremacist Events and Outreach: ADL 2017 Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents

  • November 2, 2017
Sieg Heils in Charlottesville

ADL is aware of at least 33 public events convened or attended by white supremacists, and at least 188 incidents where printed white supremacist materials were distributed at universities, homes, and public places. Although white supremacism is inextricably linked with hatred of Jews, the Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents includes white supremacist activity in its metrics only when that activity includes overt anti-Semitic elements. 

Rallies and events convened or attended by white supremacist groups in the first three quarters of 2017 include:

  • February 13: Neo-Nazi group Traditional Workers Party convened a conference attended by Key Stone United / Keystone State Skinheads, and the Blood and Honour Social Club in Harrisburg, PA;

  • April 15: Members of Identity Evropa and the Fraternal Order of Alt Knights participated in a “Patriots Day Rally” in Berkeley, CA;

  • April 18: Alt Right leader Richard Spencer spoke at Auburn University in Auburn, AL;
  • May 25: League of the South and Identity Evropa protested at the “Old Joe” monument in Gainesville, FL;
  • June 11: Members of three different KKK groups protested an LGBTQ Pride parade in Florence, AL;
  • September 9: A Traditionalist Workers Party flash mob marched through town in East Columbus, IN.

Until late 2016, white supremacist activity on college campuses was infrequent. Starting with the fall 2016 school year, white supremacists began a much more open effort to spread their message and recruit new adherents at colleges and universities. Literature distribution, usually in the form of fliers scattered around campuses, is one of the most important tactics. The most active white supremacist groups employing this tactic are Identity Evropa and Vanguard America. In the first three quarters of 2017, ADL is aware of at least 188 incidents of literature distribution, most of which occurred on campuses.

Charlottesville:

Although the “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA, on August 11-12 is included in the Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents in the category of harassment, the event clearly had an outsize impact on different facets of American society, including the Jewish population. For many younger Jews, hearing white supremacists chanting “Jews will not replace us” may have been their first encounter with public anti-Semitism. For Jewish adults and seniors, watching Nazi salutes and hearing chants of “sieg heil” and “blood and soil” (the latter is a translation of the Nazi slogan “Blut und Boden”) evoked memories or family recollections of the most overwhelming trauma in modern Jewish history. The white supremacist groups which participated in the Charlottesville rally have a well-established record of anti-Semitism, and individual leaders of the movements present at the rally, including former Klansman David Duke, are prolific promoters of anti-Semitism in the U.S.

ADL continues to monitor emboldened and energized white supremacist movements as well as other facets of anti-Semitism across the country.

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