Amidst the fifteen "average Americans" whom President Trump brought for his State of the Union address to the Capitol in his orgy of self-congratulation, the President attempted to paint a picture of a strong nation, one confident, strong, and united in purpose. Merely twelve months after he took office, America no longer is the land of "carnage," with Trump declaring "the state of our union is strong" and once almost literally wrapping himself in the flag:
All of us together, as one team, one people, and one American family, can do anything. We all share the same home, the same heart, the same destiny, and the same great American flag.
President Trump also decided to "call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people." Following the unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia in August, former KKK grand wizard and nation's premier racist outside of the Trump Administration David Duke tweeted "Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth about #Charlottesville & condemn the leftist terrorists in BLM/Antifa."
It seems some young people took Duke's praise of President Trump to heart. Evidently, "white supremacist propaganda on college campuses" in the USA "tripled in 2017" as Newsweek (via Raw Story) reports
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released a report this week that showed a dramatic surge in reported white supremacist flier distribution between 2016 and 2017.
Only 41 incidents were recorded during the fall semester of 2016, a number that sharply rose to 147 in the 2017 fall semester.
Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO, said that protecting freedom of expression and supressing hate groups are both important but a line must be struck.
"While campuses must respect and protect free speech, administrators must also address the need to counter hate groups' messages and show these bigoted beliefs belong in the darkest shadows, not in our bright halls of learning," Greenblatt said in a statement issued alongside the report. "There is a moral obligation to respond clearly and forcefully to constitutionally protected hate speech."
The report followed 216 college campuses across 44 states, including Washington D.C.
According to the report, Texas was the state hit hardest last year, with 61 incidents, closely followed by California, which suffered 43 incidents.
Over half of all the incidents were committed by Identity Evropa a neo-Nazi and white supremacist organization focussed on the preservation of “white American culture” and promotion of white European identity.
The report said that varied messages were delivered through the flier materials, ranging from promoting a white supremacist group to trumpeting the urgent need to “save” the white face.
It is unclear whether this is what Donald Trump, presiding over the country as hatred is ramped up, meant when he declared "together, we are rediscovering the American way." He ignored the topic, which may have been an act of mercy. Otherwise, he might have pointed to a couple of incidents and assured us "you also had some very fine people on both sides."