The rise in hate groups and hate crimes in the past year is staggering

Hate is a powerful emotion; it has fueled countless events throughout history. In the 21st century, hate still manages to be a destructive force.

The change of demographics in America brings extremists out of the crevices. Hate groups have had an increase of 14% while a minimum of 52 people in the United States were killed by domestic extremist movements in the past 12 months.

America pushed the envelope when the Supreme Court ushered in marriage equality. Even with the progressive move, the LGBT community continues to be killed because of who they are.

A record of 14 homicides of LGBT people have been reported and half of the murders were hate motivated. The numbers increase when at least 23 trans women were murdered in 2015.

The fear of terrorism burdens the minds of Americans. The Islamic State massacre in Paris, the similar murder of 14 people at a San Bernardino, Calif., and Trump’s call for a Muslim ban paves the path of hatred and fear.

There have been 38 anti-Muslim hate crimes in the U.S. since the attacks in Paris. American mosques and Islamic centers have been victims of bigotry at least 63 times. Many anti-Muslim groups focused their energy on the immigration by Syrian refugees. At least 30 states have prohibited refugees.

Black separatists groups have increased their numbers within the last year. The number of chapters went from 113 to 180, at least 59%. It’s obvious the rise came from the continuing institutionalized racism and the killings of unarmed black men by police. Unlike the racial justice that motivates the Black Lives Matter movement, the separatists condemn Jews and whites instead of working towards solutions to the racial issues in America.

Ku Klux Klan chapters grew from 72 to 190. The growth spurt was granted by the 364 pro Confederate flag rallies that took place in South Carolina after the massacre in June of last year, which channeled white anger over the declining demographic position.

The Klan has managed to create new groups to spread their hate. The new groups include the Confederate White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, the Militant Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (with 20 chapters), the Texas Rebel Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, the Rebel Brigade Knights of the True Invisible Empire, and the Traditional Confederate Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

White supremacist have also learned to utilize the internet as a source. The major hate forum Stormfront now has more than 300,000 members, and the site has been adding about 25,000 registered users annually for several years.

Even though demographics are a contributing factor to the incline of hate groups, another factor is the rhetoric of the presidential candidates. Donald Trump’s crude statements about Latinos and Muslims fueled the radical, extremist right which led to endorsements. He’s also been accused of inciting violence at his rallies.

He’s managed to tap into the fear and anger of the working-class and, to a lesser extent, middle-class white people, especially the less educated.

Trump has created a whirlwind of belligerence and confrontation by acting like George Wallace, who ran in 1968 as a third-party populist with the same undertones of racial resentment.

America has the possibility to change with the wave of diversity. The problem is that the communication between groups is lost. Americans of all creeds will need to work together to build our community or let hate devastate the nation.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Random Reflections on Your Column:

    (1) You are spot-on per the growth rate of hate groups over the past several years being staggering. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which categorizes and tracks hate groups across the country, is no doubt working double-shifts to keep up with what the old ones are doing and what the new ones want to do. If you are looking for further info per hate groups, their website is informative, detailed and accurate. Best of all, Morris Dees and his crowd not only do research but also are adept at coalescing with other groups to do advocacy work. Morris Dees isn’t a household name outside progressive/liberal circles, but he is a national hero to many of us who know of his work. This is a guy who deserves to be invited to the White House to receive one of those gold Medal of Freedom awards. He would probably say he was too busy to go and tell them to mail it to him.
    (2) While I agree that Donald Trump is the most infamous of the present hate-mongers, it is important to note just how many of the original 518 GOP candidates for their presidential nomination fall/fell into the same category and could count hate groups as their supporters. Were there really 518 or did it just seem that way?
    (3) The most obvious and familiar hate groups are easy to recognize, which gives a degree of cover to the less familiar ones (even though they may well count more contributors/members than the more well-known groups. Few people know that Tony Perkins and his evangelical-based Family Research Council are a designated “hate group.” Because it’s a “Christian” group, people don’t associate them with the words or actions of a “hate group.” But that designation is well-earned by Tony and his haters.
    (4) I’m looking right now at a live television shot of people lined up for hundreds of yards to get into a Trump rally in Arizona and what really stands out is the fact that 99.9% of them are white. Which illustrates one of the real problems facing the Republican Party: There aren’t enough white people!
    (5) I am in Charleston watching over my mother, who is 89 and weak after a bout with the flu. It has given me the chance to catch up on some reading. Interesting and well-researched article was entitled “To White People, Equality Feels Like Oppression.” Just thinking about the title gives me the shakes.
    Thanks for kicking up some thoughts for me!

  2. I think the questions that needs to be address is why nothing being done about hate groups? Why is fascism acceptable in the US? There is no doubt that hate groups will arise but why do they flourish?

  3. I observe Americans self select one of two possible categories , moral absolutist or moral relativist. In American history these two groups are the Leviticans vs. Christians.
    Leviticanism justifies racism,misogyny and homophobia by Absolute Divine Morality as described in the old testament.
    Slavery was justified by Leveticans and opposed by Christians.
    Today we see Leveticans horrified and enraged by the very Christian Pope Francis, the first actually Christian Pope. The Golden Rule is Moral Relativism at it’s finest, empathy compassion and consideration. “Who am I to judge?” is a non sequitur to Levicans.
    Absolutism is certainty of Right and Wrong. Compromise is anathema.
    Relativism asks “What is Good?”
    Hatred is the only response possible when disagreeing with Leveticans because you have chosen Wrong.
    Disagreeing with Leveticans is evil and must not be tolerated.
    Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated or destroyed.

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