White supremacist groups are making an "unprecedented effort" to recruit students on college campuses, according to a new report by the Anti-Defamation League, a civil rights group which tracks anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry.
The ADL reports there were 107 incidents of groups they identify as white supremacist fliering on college campuses since the school year started in September 2016, and more than half of those incidents have taken place since January 2017. Other recruiting efforts include holding rallies, hanging anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant or anti-Semitic posters, visiting campuses to talk with students and giving public speeches, according to the ADL's Center on Extremism.
This recruiting comes in the midst of an increase in the number of hate groups and hate crimes, which have been reported by groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center, the FBI and the NYPD. The ADL points to the 2016 election and the current political climate as the reason for the emboldened efforts of white supremacists.
"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 A. Greenblatt, ADL's CEO, said in a press release. "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 been reported at schools in 28 states, including Virginia, California, Texas and Michigan.