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Report: Hate Group Count Hits 20-Year High Amid Rise in White Supremacy

Are you concerned about hate groups?

by Countable | Updated on 2.21.19

What’s the story?

  • The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization that tracks hate groups, has found a 30 percent increase in U.S. hate groups over the past four years and a 7 percent increase in hate groups in 2018.
  • The SPLC designated 1,020 organizations as hate groups in 2018—a 20 year high.

What does the report say?

  • The SPLC defines a hate group as an organization that "based on its official statements or principles, the statements of its leaders, or its activities — has beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people typically for their race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity."
  • "Much of the energy on the radical right this year was concentrated in the white supremacist milieu," the report says. "After a lull that followed the violence in Charlottesville, which brought criminal charges and civil suits that temporarily dampened the radical right's activism and organizing, newer groups gathered momentum."
  • Though many groups are adding members, the SPLC found the Ku Klux Klan appears to be in decline.
"The KKK has not been able to appeal to younger racists, with its antiquated traditions, odd dress and lack of digital savvy. Younger extremists prefer ... polo shirts and khakis to Klan robes," the report says.

What is the reaction to the report?

  • Not surprisingly, the impetus for the rise in hate group activity has been linked to President Donald Trump.
  • "The numbers tell a striking story — that this president is not simply a polarizing figure but a radicalizing one," Heidi Beirich, director of the SPLC's Intelligence Project, said in a statement.
"Rather than trying to tamp down hate, as presidents of both parties have done, President Trump elevates it — with both his rhetoric and his policies. In doing so, he's given people across America the go-ahead to act on their worst instincts."
  • But as NPR and other outlets have reported, the SPLC has been accused of “blurring the line between watchdog and activist” in the Trump era.
  • “Critics accuse the group of overblowing the threat of hate and including groups and individuals on its lists who might not belong,” NPR explains, “from anti-immigrant groups to exclusionary religious organizations.”
  • These include the Catholic Family Ministries (listed as a "general hate group"), the Conservative Republicans of Texas (branded “anti-gay”), and the Center for Immigration Studies (an anti-immigration conservative think-tank).
  • The CIS and two other groups are suing the SPLC for their inclusion, saying they shouldn't be considered hate groups.
  • "We stand by our hate group listings," Beirich said in a press call. "I would suggest that people take a look at our extremist files ... The Center for Immigration Studies, the group has a history of making racially inflammatory statements associating with white nationalists and circulating the work of racist writers."

What do you think?

Are you concerned about the rise in hate crimes? Or is the SPLC “overblowing the threat of hate”? If there is a rise, does the president hold some responsibility? Take action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman

(Photo Credit: Carla Kote via Flickr)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(396)
  • Stewart
    Voted Yes
    02/21/2019
    ···

    Now more then ever the Republican Party has given a platform for white supremacists to voice their opinions. White nationalism should not be protected under the first amendment.

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  • James
    Voted No
    02/21/2019
    ···

    First of all The Southern Poverty Law Center has nothing to do with Poverty in the South! It is a horrible Left Wing mostly Anti American, Anti Christian, Pro Communist entity in America! They never did nor do they now do anything for Poor Southern Black People which they lead most to believe! They are extremely Left Wing and Anti Christian! Do your research! Get this crap out of here! They have nothing to do with poor Southern Black People!

    Like (48)
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  • SeanK
    Voted Maybe
    02/21/2019
    ···

    It would be nice if the definition of hate group was less broadly defined. I would also like to see mutple studies rather than one source.

    Like (27)
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  • Ron
    02/22/2019
    ···

    I take anything the SPLC says with a grain of salt, they themselves are being sued as a hate group. They claim a general rise in hate groups but have a very narrow view of which groups they focus on.

    Like (23)
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  • JTJ
    Voted No
    02/21/2019
    ···

    You democrats want so badly for republicans to be racist, even to the point of faking hate crimes. The truth is that Democrats are the party of intolerance, division and hate. The splc has not been credible for years. This is 100% fake news.

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  • burrkitty
    Voted Yes
    02/22/2019
    ···

    Remember when I said fish rots from the head? The reason we have a rise in hate groups Is because we have disgustingly shameless people in the highest public offices defiantly being racist and sexist and in general god awful disgraceful human beings in extraordinarily public ways. People would not act like this unless they thought they could get away with it. This behavior is enabled.

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  • PieceKeepr
    Voted Maybe
    02/21/2019
    ···

    If we are talking about real hate groups like the KKK or the Black Panthers, then yes I am concerned. If we are talking about most of the garbage that the SPLC labels as hate, then no I am not. I don't know why anyone pays them any attention considering how many times they have been discredited.

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  • Dave
    02/22/2019
    ···

    Civil rights organization that tracks hate groups, has found a 30 percent increase, gee you think, I am surprised it's so low, with the hater in chief and vise hater in chief.

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  • Luke
    Voted Yes
    02/21/2019
    ···

    White supremacy/nationalism is one of the greatest threats we face today. Most acts of domesticated terror are from these right wing racists. How about you do something about them instead of innocent refugees and miscellaneous brown people?

    Like (25)
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  • Ben
    Voted No
    02/21/2019
    ···

    The Southern Poverty Law Center? Is this really where we’re getting information from?

    Like (21)
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  • Mary
    Voted Yes
    02/21/2019
    ···

    Why would anyone say no to this question unless they are part of the problem???

    Like (18)
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  • Ds
    Voted No
    02/22/2019
    ···

    the SPLC itself is a hate group. This is like asking us to affirm a white supremacist group that the KKK references with regularity.

    Like (16)
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  • ManfromNebraska
    Voted No
    02/22/2019
    ···

    Splc is politically motivated group and who hate Christians. They are the hate group!

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  • Miles
    Voted No
    02/21/2019
    ···

    Funny this is posted after Jussie Smollett gets exposed. When data is examined closely, hate crimes in fact have stayed the same or gone down in the last 20 years. At face value, the stats show they are rising because more law enforcement agencies are involved in reporting them than before & 1/3 are faked/labeled incorrectly. That doesn’t fit the narrative though.

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  • Jeff
    Voted No
    02/22/2019
    ···

    The SPLC IS a hate group.

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  • AbolishWaste
    Voted Yes
    02/22/2019
    ···

    I appreciate the work of the Southern Poverty Law Center. It is very sad to see the deplorable state of our democracy. I hope the Democrats and the non-Trump Republicans will do their jobs and fight Trump’s “make America HATE again” playbook. Seriously, don’t express your political beliefs in violence against others.

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  • Colleen
    Voted No
    02/22/2019
    ···

    As we have seen this week, a black man not only sent a threatening letter to himself he paid 2 Nigerians to put a noose around his neck and pour bleach on him. then he claimed that they claimed that he was in maga country. Is that white supremacy? How many other times has this happened? I think that there is no white supremacy. It is a made up load of horse pocky to get control over whites. It is also used as a tool to get whites to try to prove they are not racist. This has got to stop. Inventing hate crimes where there are not any is just as bad as the so called hate crime itself Look at how eager everyone was to believe smullette, and how eager thy were to rake the catholic kid over the coals even though there was over an hour of video proving he did nothing. The media is causing the racial devide with their half truths and lies

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  • Riley
    Voted No
    02/22/2019
    ···

    The left is trying so hard to push racism down everyone's throat. I'm personally getting sick of it. Racists are a dieing breed in America no matter how much the left tries to keep it alive.

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  • Chickie
    Voted Yes
    02/22/2019
    ···

    How can you stop hate? How do you change the thinking of a White Supremacist? It isn’t easy when the part time resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue spreads racism and divisiveness like Philadelphia Cream Cheese on a bagel. If it’s not addressed, the rift will continue to grow wider apart. It is up to each of us to do our best to end those negative thoughts. Perhaps it should start with the children as that is where the seeds are being planted. If educators, coaches, religious leaders and others who work with children can participate in an open forum to decide the best way to instill a better understanding of being kind towards others. It sounds trite but we have to start someplace.

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  • Lance
    Voted No
    02/21/2019
    ···

    Don’t see a problem with the Hate groups that seem to be all democrats controlled groups after all they started the Klan and now ha e this Anifa groups their Brown shirts

    Like (10)
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