COLUMBUS, Ohio — When it comes to white supremacist activity, Ohio ranks third on the list.
That’s the assessment from a new report released by the Anti-Defamation League Center on Extremism. Specifically, the ADL documented 167 white supremacist events in 2022. Those events took place in 33 states, with Ohio being on the list for the third most active state.
The ADL Center on Extremism tracked a variety of propaganda activity, from distribution of racist flyers and stickers to graffiti, posters and gatherings.
“We’re seeing more incidents than ever, really across the board, whether it’s white supremacist, antisemitism, hate crimes, we’re seeing a real increase,” said Kelly Fishman, interim regional director and education director for ADL-Cleveland. “And it’s sad that, in 2023, as we look back on this 2022 data, that we’re still having the same conversation and not to see those numbers go down but rather go up.”
The report noted several events 10TV has covered in the past year, including the protest of a holiday drag storytime, flyers dropped on driveways in Pataskala, and a Black Lives Matter mural vandalized in the Franklinton Arts District.
“It’s scary when we see a rise in hate,” Fishman said. “But I think it’s so important to recognize what’s happening and name it and then work together to fight against it.”
As for specific numbers in Ohio for the past couple of years, the ADL documented 85 instances of propaganda distribution and three events in 2021. In 2022, those numbers jumped to include 128 incidents of propaganda distribution and 15 events.
Fishman said there are a number of factors contributing to the rise, including better reporting but also more participation.