The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which tracks the rise and spread of hate groups, recently released a new map documenting the location of all 1,020 documented hate groups across the United States.
Topping the list is California, which is home to 83 hate groups. Perhaps most notorious among them is the Rise Above Movement, which had several of its members arrested and charged last year for their actions at the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Its founder, Robert Rundo, was arrested in Mexico last October after fleeing to Mexico and crossing into Central America. He’s currently being held at a federal detention center in Los Angeles.
Even though Florida ranks #3 out of 50 states in population, it ranks #2 in the number of hate groups mapped by the SPLC, with two more hate groups (75) than Texas (73), which has approximately seven million more people than Florida. Some of the groups the SPLC included are local branches of nationally known white nationalist groups like Identity Evropa (recently rebranded as the American Identity Movement after independent journalism outlet Unicorn Riot published Identity Evropa’s leaked Discord chat logs) and the Proud Boys — both of whom marched in Charlottesville.
Not all groups on the SPLC’s hate map are exclusively white. Some groups are classified as black nationalist, like the New Black Panther Party — which the SPLC says “encourages violence against whites, Jews, and law enforcement officers” — and the Nation of Islam, which is accused of spreading “deeply racist, anti-Semitic and anti-LGBT rhetoric.” Other black nationalist groups include Israel United in Christ, which is part of the “Black Israelite” family of hate groups like the one that was seen spewing hate at Covington Catholic High School students in Washington, DC.
However, those groups are largely impotent in terms of their ability to carry out acts of organized violence, like white nationalists. As Grit Post previously reported, 98 percent of all domestic terrorism in the United States in 2018 was carried out by right-wing extremist groups. That far outpaces any violence committed by Islamic extremists and black nationalists. But in October of last year, the Trump administration announced it would discontinue an Obama-era Department of Homeland Security program aimed at countering violent right-wing extremism.
Since Trump announced his presidential campaign in 2015, the number of hate groups in the U.S. rose from 892 that year to 1,020 last year, amounting to an increase of 32 new hate groups per year since Trump announced his campaign by labeling Mexican immigrants as drug dealers and rapists. To compare, in the nine-year period between 2007 and 2016, when Obama was campaigning for, elected, and then re-elected to the presidency, the number of hate groups increased from 884 to 917 — an increase of just 3.6 groups per year. This means the increase in hate groups under Trump compared to Obama is nearly tenfold.
Click here to see the SPLC’s 2018 hate map and see if there are any hate groups in your area.
Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.