AUSTIN (KXAN) — A recent report by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) claims that antisemitic and white supremacist incidents rose 89% from 2021 to 2022 and are still continuing to rise in Texas.
The report, “Hate in the Lone Star State,” looked at incidents between 2021 and 2023. In 2021, another ADL report ranked Texas as having the sixth most antisemitic incidents. In the latest report, Texas now ranks fifth.
“One of the largest white supremacist extremist organizations in the country is actually based in Texas, that certainly does drive some of these incidents” ADL Regional Director Jackie Nierenberg said. “Texas isn’t the only state, obviously, where we’ve seen increases in these sorts of events and crimes. So it is a nationwide phenomenon, unfortunately.”
According to the report, the ADL tracked 365 incidents in Texas, as well as 1,073 “propaganda incidents” since 2021.
“There is a direct tie between antisemitism and extremism in this country and all over the world,” Nierenberg said. “Historically, they tended to be linked together. Even if you’re not Jewish or part of the Jewish community, you need to be concerned about it. Antisemitism indicates instability, and it indicates an unsafe environment for everybody.”
One point of connection referenced in the report is the attendance of white supremacist groups at anti-LGBTQ+ protests across the state. The report lists several protests, typically organized against drag performances, which frequently drew support from neo-nazi and fascist groups.
Nierenberg hopes that the Texas State Legislature will pass laws addressing hate crimes and to create a statewide hate crimes commission. For the public, she recommends reporting antisemitism to the ADL via an online form.
“Just reporting the act of reporting a hate incident or a crime really does help in addressing the rise of this stuff. The more people report, the better we’ll able to address these incidents. Unfortunately, they are greatly underreported,” Nierenberg said.