Something is brewing here and all around the world. We’ve been feeling it for some time now. While intolerance, bigotry, and racism have always been part of the American fabric, we were pretty successful at closeting these traits, and shaming them to the extent that even those who held discriminatory beliefs knew to mask them. In recent years, the mask has fallen off. Following the polarizing election of Donald Trump, intolerance is officially back in vogue.

Given the current social and political climate, white supremacist groups have stepped up their efforts to target college students in their recruitment efforts. A report by the Anti-Defamation League indicates that these groups are making “an unprecedented outreach effort to attract and recruit students on American college campuses.” According to the ADL, there have been 104 documented incidents, including offensive slurs, students wearing blackface, and racist graffiti, reported at colleges across the country since September. More than half of those incidents have happened since January.

While the Trump administration has been very vocal about thwarting the radicalization and recruitment efforts of what they refer to as “radical Islamic terrorism,” they have yet to address the documented increase in domestic terrorism of white supremacist groups.  This glaring contradiction is not helped by the fact that President Donald Trump, who was endorsed by The Crusader newspaper, refused to denounce the stamp of approval from the Ku Klux Klan-affiliated publication. 

“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 Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a statement. “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.” 

Campuses in at least 25 states have reported everything from racist fliers and posters to rallies and speaking engagements held by white supremacist groups who have changed their tactics to move engagement from virtual radicalization to “real world” action. 

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