SPLC Says Hate Groups Continue to Rise
A new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) found a 30% increase in U.S. hate groups over the past four years and a 7% increase in hate groups in 2018 alone. The Center's annual "Year in Hate and Extremism" report designated 1,020 organizations as hate groups in 2018, a high of at least 20 years. The Center found that the majority of hate groups in the United States are driven by white supremacist ideology including neo-Nazis; the Ku Klux Klan, which is on the decline; white nationalists; racist skinheads; and neo-Confederates. The watchdog group blames Donald Trump, his administration, right-wing media outlets, and the ease of spreading hate on social media platforms for the alarming increase. The growth, it says, is largely driven by "hysteria over losing a white-majority nation” to demographic change. “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." However, in reaction to more overt white supremacy, the center says that Black nationalist groups are also flourishing. It said the groups are often anti-Semitic, anti-LGBT and anti-white but, unlike white nationalist groups, have little support and basically no sway in politics. More here.