According to the Anti-Defamation League, there were more than 140 reported incidents of organized racist acts on American campuses in 2017. It’s a problem problem outlined further in a recent piece from the Washington Post on hate groups making a recruitment push on campuses.
Those reports are not a surprise to those who have been paying attention to racist incidents in higher education over the last year.
They wouldn’t come as a surprise to many students in the UNC system either, who have dealt with everything from racist and anti-Islam graffiti to harassment of those protesting the “Silent Sam” Confederate statue on UNC’s Chapel Hill campus.
As the Post reports, organized racist groups are concentrating on campuses specifically.
From the Post’s piece:
The targeting of colleges and universities was not a haphazard choice by the white-power groups but rather a calculated strategy.
“It’s striking a blow directly at the heart of our foes,” said Matthew Heimbach, founder of the Traditionalist Worker Party, a far-right organization that seeks a whites-only nation-state and has been labeled a hate group for its anti-Jewish and homophobic stances and its opposition to racial mixing. “It lets them know that there are people that are radically opposed to them, that aren’t afraid of them, that will challenge them. It shakes their thought that they’ve got the campus environment locked down and lets them know that people who oppose them go to their school or are a part of their local community.”
College campuses, Heimbach said, are ideal for recruiting members and gaining publicity because the presence of the hate groups inevitably creates an outcry on campus and in the community. He said the ranks of his organization have tripled over the past year from 500 to 1,500 members, although The Washington Post could not independently verify that assertion.
White Supremacist murders more than doubled over last year, according to the ADL.