In 2022, the ADL Center on Extremism (COE) tracked a significant increase in white supremacist propaganda efforts, which included the distribution of racist, antisemitic and anti-LGBTQ+ fliers, stickers, banners, graffiti and posters, as well as laser projections. Our data shows a 38 percent increase in incidents from the previous year, with a total of 6,751 cases reported in 2022, compared to 4,876 in 2021. This is the highest number of white supremacist propaganda incidents ADL has ever recorded.
In addition to the overall increase in incidents, 2022 also saw antisemitic propaganda more than double, rising from 352 incidents in 2021 to 852 incidents in 2022. For the third straight year, the number of overall propaganda incidents on campuses dropped, from 232 to 219, the lowest since ADL began tracking campus incidents in 2017.
Propaganda campaigns allow white supremacists to maximize media and online attention for their groups and messaging while limiting the risk of individual exposure, negative media coverage, arrests and public backlash that often accompanies more public activities. Propaganda, which affects entire communities, allows a small number of people to have an outsized impact.
Propaganda was reported in 2022 in every U.S. state except Hawaii, with the highest levels of activity (from most to least active) in Texas, Massachusetts, Virginia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, Utah, Florida, Connecticut and Georgia. The ADL H.E.A.T. Map provides a visual representation of the propaganda efforts by geographic location.
Throughout 2022, at least 50 different white supremacist groups and networks distributed propaganda, but three of them – Patriot Front, Goyim Defense League (GDL) and White Lives Matter (WLM) - were responsible for 93 percent of the activity.
As has been the case since 2019, Texas-based Patriot Front was responsible for the vast majority – 80 percent – of propaganda distributions in 2022. The group distributed propaganda in every state except Alaska and Hawaii but was most active (from most to least active) in Massachusetts, Texas, Michigan, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Utah.
Since rebranding in October 2018, Patriot Front has used a cynical iteration of “patriotism” to promote its white supremacist and neo-fascist ideology. In 2022, the group added yard signs to its repertoire, and stayed on “brand,” using red, white and blue colors in its propaganda. The group continues to avoid using traditional white supremacist language and symbols in its messaging, instead using ambiguous phrasing like “For the Nation Against the State,” “Revolution is Tradition,” “Reclaim America,” “America First” and “One Nation Against Immigration.”
The Goyim Defense League (GDL), an antisemitic network that has significant crossover with other white supremacist groups and movements, was responsible for at least 492 propaganda incidents in 2022, representing roughly seven percent of the total propaganda nationwide and 58 percent of the year’s antisemitic propaganda incidents. This is a significant increase from the 74 GDL propaganda incidents recorded in 2021.
GDL’s overarching goal is to expel Jews from America. To that end, their propaganda casts aspersions on Jews and spreads antisemitic myths and conspiracy theories in hopes of turning Americans against the Jewish people. GDL’s 2022 propaganda blames Jews for a variety of perceived social grievances, including immigration, pornography and abortion.
GDL propaganda was recorded in 43 different states, with the vast majority of incidents (from most to least active) in California, Florida, Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, Illinois and New York.
White Lives Matter (WLM), a network of white supremacists who engage in “pro-white activism” on a designated day each month, was responsible for the third highest number (six percent) of propaganda incidents in 2022 and roughly 14 percent of the antisemitic propaganda incidents.
The Center on Extremism recorded 430 incidents of WLM propaganda in 2022, more than three times the 140 incidents recorded in 2021. These incidents occurred in 36 different states with the highest number of incidents (from most to least active) in Washington, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, North Carolina and Texas.
WLM propaganda ranges from “White Lives Matter” stickers with a QR code to the group’s Telegram page, to messages about the "great replacement" conspiracy theory. Some WLM propaganda promotes or shares links to the antisemitic film "Europa: The Last Battle."
On at least 19 occasions, WLM propaganda was accompanied by materials from other white supremacist groups and movements, including propaganda from GDL, Folkish Resistance Movement, New Jersey European Heritage Association, League of the South and various Active Clubs.
Folkish Resistance Movement (FRM) was responsible for 170 propaganda distributions in 2022, down from 205 in 2021. The group’s 2022 propaganda, which made up roughly three percent of propaganda nationwide and 17 percent of antisemitic propaganda incidents, was recorded in 21 different states. The majority (67 incidents) of FRM’s propaganda was reported in Texas, with the remaining 20 states averaging five incidents each.
Formed as Folksfront in early 2019 and rebranded as FRM in late 2021, FRM distributes propaganda that features crossed runes that resemble a swastika and explicit white supremacist slogans such as “Our blood is our faith, our race is our nation” and “Blood and soil.” Approximately 84 percent of FRM’s propaganda is antisemitic, and sometimes includes a broken Star of David accompanied by phrases such as “Break Debt Slavery” or “Resist Zionism.”
Active Clubs, a nationwide network of localized white supremacist crews that often overlap with the White Lives Matter network and other white supremacist groups, were responsible for 92 propaganda distributions in 2022. Propaganda from this network was recorded in 16 different states, but the vast majority of incidents were in Virginia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
Active Clubs are largely inspired by Robert Rundo’s white supremacist Rise Above Movement (R.A.M.) and many of the clubs use stickers from Will2Rise, R.A.M.’s merchandising arm. Some of the more established Active Clubs created their own recruitment propaganda.
Antisemitic Propaganda Distribution
2022’s massive uptick in antisemitic propaganda was largely due to GDL’s growth and their initiation of propaganda campaigns. The formation of several new antisemitic white supremacist groups in 2022 also contributed to the rise in antisemitic incidents. These new groups – the Texas-based Aryan Freedom Network, NatSoc Florida, the Iowa-based Crew 319, the Southern California-based Clockwork Crew (aka Crew 562), Florida Nationalists and the short-lived, New York-based Aryan National Army – were responsible for seven percent (or 62 incidents) of the antisemitic propaganda distributions in 2022.
As in previous years, extremists used fliers, posters, stickers, banners and graffiti to share their antisemitic views. In Florida, NatSoc Florida and/or GDL used laser projectors to cast antisemitic messages on buildings on at least seven occasions. Individuals associated with GDL, Crew 562 and Crew 319 drove around in moving vans draped with antisemitic propaganda. Two such incidents occurred in California and one in Iowa.
Campus Propaganda Distribution
In 2022, there were 219 incidents of white supremacist propaganda distribution on campuses, a six percent decrease from 2021 and the lowest number since ADL began tracking in 2017. While the majority of these incidents occurred on college or university campuses, at least 11 incidents were reported on K-12 campuses.
Patriot Front was responsible for 162 (or 74 percent) of the 219 on-campus incidents. Other groups distributed propaganda on campuses in much smaller numbers, including GDL, WLM, FMR and Active Clubs.
On-campus propaganda was recorded in 39 different states, with the highest levels of activity (from most to least active) in Texas, Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan.
White Supremacist Banners
In 2022, white supremacist groups increasingly used banners, often draped over highway overpasses, to publicize their hate. ADL recorded at least 252 banner drops, a 38 percent increase from the 183 counted in 2021.
As was the case in 2021, Patriot Front was responsible for the majority (75 percent) of the year’s banner drops, with 192 incidents, repeating previous years’ messaging: “No More Foreign Wars,” “Revolution is Tradition” and “Liberty or Death.” WLM, FRM, GDL, NatSoc Florida and National Socialist Club also used banners in 2022.
White Supremacist Events
In 2022, ADL documented 167 white supremacist events, a 55 percent increase from the 108 recorded in 2021. Events took place in 33 states, with the most activity (from most to least active) in Massachusetts, California, Ohio and Florida.
The White Lives Matter network was responsible for 43 percent of these events. WLM have been organizing small, monthly demonstrations since April 2021, which attract between five and 15 people and usually take place along the roadside, on an overpass, at a park or outside a government building.
The neo-Nazi National Socialist Club (NSC) held 32 events, ranging from private gatherings to flash demonstrations. NSC’s 2022 events included protesting the Somali population in Maine, a literary event in Rhode Island and several drag queen story hour events in Massachusetts.
Patriot Front was responsible for 26 events, notably four of the largest flash demonstrations, including marches in Chicago, Washington D.C., Boston and Indianapolis. Patriot Front also protested LGBTQ+ events in Texas and Ohio. In June, 31 members of Patriot Front were arrested near Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, after police stopped a U-Haul truck near a “Pride in the Park” event. The Patriot Front members found inside the truck were dressed uniformly and equipped with riot shields, and were charged with criminal conspiracy to riot.
Earlier in the year, several white supremacists associated with the National Socialist Movement were arrested for their alleged role in the hate crime assault of a Jewish man during a January neo-Nazi roadside rally in Orlando, Florida.
White supremacists also held private gatherings such as fight nights, white power music concerts and conferences, including the America First Political Action Conference in Orlando, the annual American Renaissance Conference in Tennessee and the National Justice Party’s National Party Meeting in Ohio, which was the best attended extremist event of the year.
Note: At the time of this report, data collection for ADL’s annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents was still in progress. As we gather more information, these numbers are subject to change. For the most recent data, please refer to the ADL H.E.A.T. Map.