MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Emboldened by President Trump’s rhetoric, white supremacist groups have increased their distribution of flyers and banners in public spaces across the country, spreading racist and antisemitic propaganda and seeking to recruit new members.
In response, the SPLC today launched an interactive, online tool that tracks where the flyers and banners are being distributed. The tool, which will be updated periodically, features a map depicting the distribution, by state, of more than 1,000 flyers and banners placed by white supremacist groups since the beginning of 2018. It also identifies the organizations responsible.
“The increased presence of hate flyers and banners in public places around the country demonstrates that white nationalists are growing more comfortable in spreading their hateful messages,” said Heidi Beirich, director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project. “As part of our efforts to call out and denounce hate, we are showing the public where these flyers are being distributed.” The number of flyers with messages of hate in public places has dramatically increased in the past year. In 2017, hate groups posted flyers 200 times in non-campus, public spaces, versus 942 times in 2018.
Previously, most of the flyers documented by the SPLC had been placed on college campuses, with at least 299 such incidents in 2017, versus 292 times in 2018. Stepping away from college campuses and focusing more on public places provides the groups with greater exposure and potential for media coverage.