HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — An Anti-Defamation League map sheds light on the increase of anti-Semitic or white supremacist incidents in North Carolina over the past several years.
The ADL uses its HEAT Map in order to track anti-Semitic, white nationalist or extremist events across the United States.
Most of these incidents reported involve the distribution of white supremacist propaganda, though the scope of events ranges from plots to attack electrical infrastructure to calling in bomb threats at Jewish schools across the state and white supremacist flyers being found in neighborhoods.
Breaking down the data
- 2017 saw 30 reported incidents of antisemitism, white supremacist propaganda, events or extremist violence in the state
- 50 were reported in 2018
- 73 incidents were reported in 2019
- 209 incidents were reported in 2020, a 186 percent increase from the previous year
- 135 incidents were reported in 2021
- So far, 132 incidents have been reported in 2022. However, the ADL says that the data for 2022 has not been finalized.
In addition to the 132 incidents reported by the ADL between January and November 2022, in December there were multiple anti-Semitic incidents reported across North Carolina, including two neo-Nazi banners hung on overpasses in Moore County, a swastika painted on a building ahead of a holiday-themed drag event and someone "hacking" a high school loudspeaker to say things like "Heil Hitler."
2023 so far
On Feb. 15, a man allegedly waved a flag with a swastika on it at a Boone temple, according to police. The flag was found draped over the sign for the Temple of High Country and the police are looking for the suspect, who may have been photographed at a nearby business.
The town of Boone read a proclamation against antisemitism on Wednesday.
“As your police chief, I am cautious to offer my personal opinions during ongoing investigations as they are not useful in matters of law. I understand what this flag represents, hate. The flag and its meaning certainly opposes my personal values and those of our police department. Additionally, I feel strongly that this hateful act has no moral place in our community,” wrote police chief Andy Le Beau.
Incidents by group
Numerous incidents represented on ADL's HEAT Map involve specific groups. These range from Ku Klux Klan branches to neo-Nazi organizations to "alt-right" groups. The group with the largest apparent footprint in North Carolina among the reported incidents is Patriot Front, with 378 reported incidents, a white supremacist group that formed in the wake of the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.
Antisemitic, neo-Nazi groups
- Goyim Defense League
- National Socialist Action
- National Socialist Legion
- New Jersey European Heritage Association
Ku Klux Klan groups
- East Coast Knights
- Knights Party
- The Knights
- Loyal White Knights
- American Identity Movement
- Daily Stormer Book Club
- Identity Evropa
White supremacist groups
- Church of Creativity
- Hundred Handers
- League of the South
- Old Glory Skins
- Patriot Front
- Sons of Appalachia
- White Lives Matter
The rest of the events, around 125, have no known or listed group affiliation.
The data is based on incidents that were reported to the ADL, which means the number could be higher if incidents went unreported or were not reported as extremism or hate-based.
While the 2020 neo-Nazi plot to attack substations involving multiple Marines stationed at Camp Lejeune is included on the list, the substation attack on Moore County is not on the database, as no specific group or ideology has taken credit for the attack and no suspects have been identified, though it shares similarities multiple attacks allegedly planned by neo-Nazi groups across the country.