Hate groups in United States grow for third straight year: SPLC

Carla Harmon
February 23, 2018

The SPLC's "Year in Hate and Extremism" report identified an increase in hate groups in IN and the USA from 2016 to 2017 - a fact the organization attributes in large part to President Donald Trump - but eliminates Kokomo in its group of in cities infiltrated by hate groups. The organizations annual report, Year in Hate and Extremism, identified 954 active hate groups in America-a 4% jump from last year.

Black nationalist hate groups have seen the largest increase, from 193 organizations in 2016 to 233 groups in 2017.

Ku Klux Klan groups saw a precipitous fall, going down to 72 groups in 2017 from 130 the year before.

The number of neo-Nazi organizations within the country saw the second-largest amount of growth in the past year, rising from 99 groups in 2016 to 121 in 2017.

White supremacists

The moment was crystalized at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, where a broad swath of the Far Right gathered to oppose the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, founded in 1971, defines hate groups as organisations with beliefs or practices that demonise a class of people. They include The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website that has spawned activist chapters, and Identity Evropa, a white nationalist group known for distributing hate propaganda on college campuses.

"In 2017, being a white nationalist suddenly seemed hip".

Heidi Beirich, director of the SPLC's Intelligence Project, said Klan groups seem to be "collapsing" and struggling to recruit new members because younger white supremacists are turned off by its traditions.

For the first time in its history, the SPLC also listed two male supremacy groups as hate groups, directly naming Houston-based A Voice for Men and Return of Kings, based in Washington, D.C. Anti-Muslim groups increased for a third year in a row, to 114 from 101 in 2016, after tripling in number a year earlier, the report said.

Anti-government groups grew from 623 in 2016 to 689 previous year, the group explained, adding that 237 of those groups were armed militias.

"When you consider that only days into 2018, Trump called African countries 's-holes, ' it's clear he's not changing his tune". The center also points blame at President Donald Trump for the backlash from the Nation of Islam, who view the President as a symbol of the rising white supremacist movement.

The report found that the Trump administration has "thrilled and comforted" white supremacists by appointing advisers with ties to the "alt-right" like Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, and by enacting immigration policies that target Muslims and Latinos. Mass-shooting perpetrators like Dylann Roof and Nikolas Jacob Cruz, who killed 17 teenagers at a high school in Parkland, Florida, on February 14 of this year, were not hate-group members, per say, but visited forums and learned many of their tactics and ideologies there.

There are now 14 hate groups operating in SC. The SPLC released its 2017 report this week, and for the first time ever included two groups it is calling "male supremacist". Of those 12, the III% Security Force, the III% United Patriots, and the South Carolina Light Foot Militia are armed anti-government militias operating in the Palmetto State. There was an increase of more than 60 groups, despite a Republican President and Republican-controlled Congress. Online readers will also find an interactive map showing the names, types and locations of hate groups across the country.

The SPLC's new report states that "The vilification of women by these groups makes them no different than other groups that demean entire populations, such as the LGBT community, Muslims or Jews, based on their inherent characteristics".

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