ADL Launches Online Database of Hate Symbols: Interactive Resource for Parents, Law Enforcement and Educators Offers Instant Access to Dozens of Extremist Images and Logos
New York, NY, October 18, 2000 Ö The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind online database of extremist symbols that will enable parents, educators and law enforcement to identify the influence or possible presence of hate groups in schools and communities.
The database, which is accessible as a major new component of ADLís Web site, provides information about more than three dozen hate symbols commonly exploited by neo-Nazis, white supremacists and racist skinheads, as well as organized hate groups. Hate On Display: Extremist Symbols, Logos and Tattoos is an interactive and user-friendly tool that allows users to scan a menu of racist images. Users simply point and click on a symbol to access information on the image and its potential association with extremist groups. The database will be constantly updated as new information on hate symbols and their use by extremists becomes available from law enforcement, ADL Regional Offices and tips from the public.
"This is another step forward in the battle against hate in our schools and communities," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "We are giving parents, educators, community leaders and law enforcement instant access to a wealth of information on hate symbols with the goal of raising awareness to these potential warning signs."
ADLís Hate on Display presents information on a variety of hate symbols, giving their origin, connotation, and possible connection to organized hate groups. For many symbols, the online database includes hyperlinks to related ADL reports and publications on extremist groups and their rhetoric. For those communities and police departments without Internet access, the Hate on Display resource will also be available in print form.
The database enables any user to report symbols and even send images to ADL at a specially designated e-mail address: email@example.com. Once the accuracy of the report is assessed, the information may be used to update the symbols database. Visitors to the database also will be encouraged report when a hate symbol surfaces in a particular community. The information will enable ADL to respond more rapidly to extremism through its national network of 30 regional offices.
A New Threat: Symbols on the Internet
Although neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups have long used recognizable symbols Ė such as the Nazi swastika Ė to intimidate and provoke, the Internet has made these and other less common symbols widely accessible. These include symbols posted in areas where children and teen-agers might easily find them online.
"Racists, anti-Semites and bigots glorify these symbols by using animated, full-color graphics that can have great appeal to rebellious teens, and even children," Mr. Foxman said. "These are the calling cards of hatemongers and unfortunately the Internet, this great educational resource, makes it so easy to download and save these symbols directly from hate sites. Parents and educators must be aware of this potential danger right at home."
TYPES OF SYMBOLS
The ADL Hate on Display database offers analysis of a variety of symbols:
- General racist symbols: Used interchangeably by a wide spectrum of racist groups, they include the Celtic Cross, the Odin Rune, the Confederate Battle Flag, the "Aryan Fist," Runic alphabet and Anarchy sign.
- Neo-Nazi symbols: Neo-Nazi groups have expropriated commonly identifiable images such as the swastika and Nazi eagle, although less easily identifiable variations also exist, including various runes.
- Skinhead symbols: Among symbols popular with racist skinheads are the "three sevens link," boot images, a clenched fist, and others. Most of these symbols help identify skinheads to each other and focus on their subculture.
- White Power music: "Hatecore" music, and the fringe industry of record labels that sells recorded music by white supremacist groups, relies on a series of emblems for record albums covers and promoting concerts.
- Group Symbols: These help extremist organizations that spread racist and anti-Semitic propaganda to distinguish their individual groups from others with a similar ideology.
- Prison Tattoos: Spiderís web and other images popular with racist gangs.
- Number symbols and acronyms: Shorthand for racist and anti-Semitic ideas.
- Occult Symbols: Symbols such as an inverted cross, a pentagram and the "Cross of Nero" are used by occultists and those with anti-Christian beliefs.
EDITORS NOTE: Click here to view the ADL Hate On Display database. For additional information on hate symbols or to speak with an expert on hate groups and extremism in the U.S., contact the ADL Media Relations Department at (212) 885-7749.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.