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Report: Rise in hate speech cited on NY campuses

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) - New research shows colleges across the country are seeing a drastic increase in white supremacy propaganda on campus.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, this academic year, white supremacist propaganda on college campuses increased 77 percent from the year before. It doesn’t seem to be a major problem at campuses in the Capital Region, but off-campus is a different story.

“Overall, I’d say that this campus is very inclusive,” Alicia Almonte said.

From her time as an undergrad to grad student, Almonte hasn’t experienced much discrimination at the University at Albany.

“If there is any racism, people are quiet about it,” she said. “Like, they do it behind screens. They don’t do it outward.”

Neither Almonte nor Mahnoor Amir has feared for their safety.

“I’ve always felt very welcomed,” Amir said. “If anything, maybe people have said that this campus has opened them up to more diversity.”

But white supremacy and hate crimes have become big issues elsewhere. Nomi Manon is the UAlbany Hillel executive director.

“I definitely hear from other colleges at other schools about things about swastikas being left on bathroom stall walls,” she said.

Hillel is a Jewish organization on campus. Manon said students are more aware that it’s happening more often and not just at colleges but in communities at large. In the Capital Region, Jewish community centers have received bomb threats, and people have found KKK fliers on car windshields and hateful graffiti painted on buildings.

“The political climate right now says that’s okay to do that, and that’s, I think, a huge problem,” Manon said.

“Socially, we’re just becoming more closed off to people that are different from us,” Amir said.

“I mean, history is basically repeating itself,” Almonte said.

Whether it’s on or off campus, they feel it’s become a sad reality.

“I hope people come together,” Almonte said. “I can’t say that it’s going to happen anytime soon, though.”

Manon said at UAlbany, Hillel works with other groups on campus to build bridges and to teach students how to speak responsibly to people who may be different from them.


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