New list of white supremacist memes, symbols, slogans added to ADL guide

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September 26, 2019 07:00
1 minute read.
New list of white supremacist memes, symbols, slogans added to ADL guide

The "Happy Merchant" symbol is one of the many new entries in the ADL's "Hate on Display" database.. (photo credit: ADL)

The Dylann Roof Bowl Cut, the Moon Man and the Happy Merchant are among a group of new symbols, memes and slogans included in the Anti-Defamation League’s “Hate on Display” online database. The group expanded its listings to include white supremacist symbols that in recent years have been adopted by the alt-Right segment of the white supremacist movement and other hate groups.

The database, which provides explanations for the symbols most frequently used by these groups, was started in 2000 to track hate groups and help both law enforcement and the public recognize symbols belonging to extremists or antisemites.

“We believe law enforcement and the public needs to be fully informed about the meaning of these images, which can serve as a first warning sign to the presence of haters in a community or school,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in advance of the release.

Many of the new symbols are being used heavily on social media, including on 4chan, 8chan and Reddit, in addition to on Facebook and Twitter.

Brenton Tarrant, who was charged with terrorism for the New Zealand mosque attacks, posted his affidavit on 4chan before attacking. Similarly, before at least three atrocities this year, suspects were believed to have posted on 8chan in advance of an attack.



An ADL survey found that nearly one-quarter (23%) of all online gamers have been exposed to white supremacist ideology while gaming, while almost one-in-10 (9%) are exposed to discussions about Holocaust denial in online multi-player games.

These latest symbols have appeared at white supremacist events, such as the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville. They were also painted on guns used by Tarrant.



Among the symbols are the “OK” hand symbol; burning Neo-Nazi symbols; an image of a bowl-shaped haircut resembling the one worn by mass killer Dylann Roof; and the “happy merchant,” an antisemitic meme depicting a heavily stereotyped Jewish man who is greedily rubbing his hands.

ADL said it would be producing a print version of the guide to distribute to local law enforcement, and that it will be made available to school districts across the country.


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