Mar 27, 2024 - News

Patriot Front messaging, antisemitism rife in Massachusetts in 2023

Members of The Patriot Front, a white supremacist group, load up their flags and shields into a U-Haul truck after marching through Boston July 2, 2022.

Members of The Patriot Front, a white supremacist group, finish their march through Boston in July 2022. Photo: Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald

Massachusetts was again one of the most active states for the Patriot Front as the Texas-based white supremacy group ramped up its use of antisemitic rhetoric, per a new report.

The big picture: White supremacist propaganda and events are on the rise nationwide, with members sharing racist, antisemitic, anti-LGBTQ+ materials, per a report released Tuesday by the American Defamation League's Center on Extremism.

  • Their activity has stoked tensions at a time when people are already fiercely divided over the Israel-Hamas war and its impact on Palestinian civilians.

Between the lines: The Patriot Front veered away from explicit white supremacist language and antisemitic rhetoric in 2018, but the group started sharing propaganda last year that said "no Zionists in government," according to the ADL's HEAT Map data.

  • The ADL says the message, alongside other inflammatory language, perpetuates the myth that Jewish people control the government, particularly the financial system.
  • The antisemitic messaging started appearing in propaganda they shared in Spencer last February, and the group shared similar propaganda more than 50 times across Massachusetts.

State of play: Antisemitic incidents in Massachusetts more than doubled between 2022 and 2023, per the ADL's data.

  • The ADL attributes the increase to the Patriot Front's return to using antisemitic rhetoric and the Oct. 7 attack in Israel by Hamas.

Zoom out: The number of hate incidents overall in Massachusetts fell by nearly half in 2022 and 2023, but Massachusetts still saw one of the highest levels of white supremacist propaganda nationwide.

  • The only state with more Patriot Front activity was Virginia.

The ADL also reported incidents involving the Bay State Active Club and the National Justice Party, both white supremacist groups.

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