WESTPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — A troubling trend across the nation reached an all-time high in Connecticut last year.
Although far from the most populated state, Connecticut ranked 9th in the country for the most White Supremacist incidents in 2023.
“The trends are really disturbing,” said Stacey Sobel, the Anti-Defamation League Connecticut regional director. “In Connecticut, we experienced a 115% increase.”
According to the Anti-Defamation League, approximately one in 10 Connecticut communities were targeted in 2022.
In April, racist flyers were found in several neighborhoods in West Hartford. Similar flyers were found in Bristol in June, and then Berlin in July. Later in the year, a noose and racially-charged messages found at Rham High School sparked multiple rallies. And in December, Southbury residents discovered racist booklets in driveways.
“White supremacists tend to target Black, immigrant, LGBTIQ and Jewish people but their acts really frighten entire communities,” Sobel said.
The ADL’s report found white supremacist events, flyers at colleges and banners over highways are specifically on the rise.
The small presence of these groups may make a big impact, but advocacy groups like the NAACP said the majority in Connecticut can unite to make a bigger impact.
“It’s really important that we stand up and recognize it, that we talk about it, that if you see something you report it to ADL or law enforcement,” Sobel said. “We work together and make sure white supremacists know Connecticut is no place for hate.”
According to the ADL, there have been several incidents already this year.
Just this week they were notified of stickers in Westport from a group the ADL said was responsible for 185 incidents in Connecticut last year.