Women held signs at a prayer vigil, condemning white supremacy and Asian racism. Photo by Chris Stone
Women held signs at a prayer vigil condemning white supremacy and anti-Asian racism. Photo by Chris Stone

There were 152 incidents involving white supremacist propaganda in California in 2021 amid a continued high level nationwide, the Anti-Defamation League reported Thursday.

Last year marked the second-highest level of incidents reported nationwide since the New York-based advocacy group began tracking such data. There were 4,851 incidents in 2021 compared to 5,125 in 2020.

By comparison, there were just 2,724 incidents nationwide as recently as 2019.

The propaganda incidents included fliers, stickers, posters and stenciled graffiti with racist, anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ messages.

The white supremacist group known as Patriot Front, whose members maintain that their ancestors conquered America and bequeathed it to them and no one else, were responsible for the vast majority of incidents in California

“Unfortunately, these figures paint a scene we know all too well — anti-Semitic, racist, and bigoted rhetoric and propaganda is on the rise,” said Tammy Gillies, regional director for the ADL in San Diego.

“San Diego County has seen a number of white supremacist banner drops over our freeways including one by the Goyim Defense League just last month,” she said. “Though not always white supremacist propaganda, we also see racist graffiti scrawled at our children’s schools and anti-Semitic fliers distributed in our county.”

She said this propaganda can incite hostility toward the Jewish community and other minority groups and lead to hate crimes.

The ADL reported incidents of white supremacist propaganda last year in every state except Hawaii, with the highest levels of activity reported in Pennsylvania (473), Virginia (375), and Texas (327).

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.