Group says white su­prem­a­cists step­ping up col­lege re­cruit­ing

Austin American-Statesman - - VIEWPOINTS - By Su­san Svr­luga Wash­ing­ton Post

Em­bold­ened by the cur­rent po­lit­i­cal cli­mate, groups that the Anti-Defama­tion League iden­ti­fies as white su­prem­a­cist are push­ing to re­cruit col­lege stu­dents and plas­ter cam­puses with their mes­sage, ac­cord­ing to an anal­y­sis by the ADL.

The Anti-Defama­tion League de­scribed “an un­prece­dented outreach ef­fort to at­tract and re­cruit stu­dents on Amer­i­can col­lege cam­puses.”

The group, which seeks to doc­u­ment and pre­vent anti-Semitism and other big­otry, has tracked 104 in­ci­dents since the be­gin­ning of the school year in Septem­ber, with an ap­par­ent surge in in­ten­sity in 2017: More than half of the in­ci­dents hap­pened since Jan­uary.

Af­ter a po­lar­iz­ing elec­tion and in­tense protests over race and po­lice vi­o­lence, racist graf­fiti, stu­dents wear­ing black­face and us­ing slurs, and other ugly in­ci­dents have been re­ported at col­leges across the coun­try.

The Anti-Defama­tion League at­tributes some of that surge to a cal­cu­lated ef­fort by hate groups.

“White su­prem­a­cists have con­sciously made the de­ci­sion to fo­cus their re­cruit­ment ef­forts on stu­dents and have in some cases openly boasted of ef­forts to es­tab­lish a phys­i­cal pres­ence on cam­pus,” Jonathan Green­blatt, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the Anti-Defama­tion League, said in a state­ment. “While there have been re­cruit­ment ef­forts in the past, never have we seen anti-Semites and white su­prem­a­cists so focused on outreach to stu­dents on cam­pus.”

In­ci­dents have hap­pened at schools in 28 states, from Michi­gan to Ten­nessee to Cal­i­for­nia to Vir­ginia.

The ADL at­trib­uted many of the in­ci­dents na­tion­ally to three groups: Iden­tity Evropa, Amer­i­can Van­guard and Amer­i­can Re­nais­sance.

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