In January 2018, students from the Community College of Denver found flyers from a white supremacist group on campus.
Nine days later, similar literature from that same group — Identity Evropa — popped up on the University of Northern Colorado’s campus in Greeley.
These schools were not outliers.
Over the course of the year, white supremacist groups targeted 13 colleges and universities across Colorado, part of a dramatic increase in hate propaganda seen across the country, according to a new report from the Anti-Defamation League.
Colorado ranked third in the U.S. for the highest number of white supremacist propaganda distributions, the report found, behind only California and Texas. In 2018, the state had at least 72 propaganda distributions.
Overall, the ADL found that propaganda efforts have skyrocketed nationwide. White supremacist efforts in this regard increased by 182 percent nationally in 2018, with 1,187 distributions, up from 421 total incidents in 2017, according to ADL data.
Experts say the propaganda is part of an effort by extremist groups to target young and impressionable populations, while appealing more to mainstream conservatives. It’s a way to re-brand and promote their ideology, without suffering physical or professional consequences, experts said.
Colorado, the data show, is on the front lines of this wave.