ADL: White su­prem­a­cist pro­pa­ganda re­ports quadru­pled in 2019

Boston Herald - - Obituaries - By RICK SOBEY

Re­ports of white su­prem­a­cist pro­pa­ganda in­ci­dents in Mas­sachusetts more than quadru­pled last year, ac­cord­ing to data re­leased Wed­nes­day by the An­tiDefama­tion League — whose lo­cal leader said the racist mes­sages “in­spire peo­ple to com­mit vi­o­lence and act out on their ha­tred.”

Last year in the Bay State, 148 in­ci­dents of white su­prem­a­cist pro­pa­ganda were re­ported, com­pared to 35 in­ci­dent re­ports in 2018.

Across the coun­try, re­ports of white su­prem­a­cist pro­pa­ganda dis­tri­bu­tion hit an all-time high last year — a to­tal of 2,713 cases of lit­er­a­ture dis­tri­bu­tion, com­pared to 1,214 in­ci­dents in 2018.

“It’s a ma­jor con­cern when these groups plas­ter a com­mu­nity with mes­sages of hate,” ADL New Eng­land Re­gional Di­rec­tor Robert Trestan told the Her­ald. “These mes­sages en­cour­age and in­spire peo­ple to com­mit vi­o­lence and act out on their ha­tred.”

Trestan noted an in­crease in an­tiSemitic as­saults in the United States. The FBI last year re­leased data show­ing hate crime mur­ders reach­ing a 27-year high in 2018, in­clud­ing the dead­li­est anti-Semitic at­tack in U.S. his­tory when a shooter killed 11 con­gre­gants at a Pitts­burgh syn­a­gogue.

Lo­cally, au­thor­i­ties in­ves­ti­gated sus­pected ar­son fires out­side Chabad Cen­ters in Ar­ling­ton and Need­ham, Trestan noted.

“It’s re­ally im­por­tant for lead­ers of all lev­els to speak out against this pro­pa­ganda, and for mem­bers of the pub­lic to not ig­nore it,” he said. “If you see it, re­port it to lo­cal law en­force­ment. We want to make sure the right re­sources are be­ing de­ployed there to keep peo­ple safe.

“If we ig­nore it, we’re al­low­ing it to be­come a nor­mal part of our com­mu­nity, and that is not con­sis­tent with Mas­sachusetts’ val­ues,” Trestan said.

On Mas­sachusetts col­lege cam­puses, 30 in­ci­dents of white su­prem­a­cist pro­pa­ganda were re­ported.

Some of the Bos­ton-area col­lege cam­puses where white su­prem­a­cist pro­pa­ganda was dis­trib­uted last year in­clude Bos­ton Univer­sity, North­east­ern Univer­sity, Mas­sachusetts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy, Emer­son Col­lege, Suf­folk Univer­sity, Went­worth In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy and Mas­sachusetts Col­lege of Art and De­sign, the ADL said.

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