Published On: Fri, Mar 9th, 2012

US Report: More hate groups in America, Tea Party on list, Occupyiers are not

The number of hate groups in the U.S. has grown each year for the past 11 years, according to a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center. In 2000 the center reported that there were 602 hate groups; in 2011 that number had climbed to 1,018.

Check out the report – here

Image/Wokandapix via pixabay

“We’ve never had a count that high before,” Mark Potok, the author of the report, told ABC News. “It’s just steady significant growth, 3, 4, 5 percent every year going back to the turn of the millennium.”

Potok said the increase from 2000 to 2008 was primarily fueled by the immigration debate.

“Around 2000, we saw very dramatically neo-Nazi groups, Klan groups and similar kinds of groups simply drop their propaganda about the alleged evils of black people, of gay people, of Jewish people in order to concentrate pretty much 100 percent on illegal immigrants,” he said. ”In 2008, we have two more factors come into play. We have Obama and the economy.”

Potok attributes the rise in anti-Muslim groups to the debate over the ground zero mosque in 2010 and to “opportunistic politicians and activists.”

“It was a completely artificial thing,” Potok said. “That anti-Muslim wave is the work of propogandists and nothing more.”

In regards to the rise in anti-gay groups, Potok believes it is likely the result of desperation that public opinion is not on their side.

“Basically, we’re seeing real anger, real fury, on the part of some religious right groups, and I think that’s related to the fact that they are losing,” he said. “Every year the majority of Americans who support same sex marriage grows. … What we’re seeing is a kind of rage on their part.”

Potok expects the rage to grow and the number of hate groups to continue to rise if President Obama is re-elected.

“I think it has the potential to get worse before it gets better,” Potok said. “As  it becomes more likely that Obama will ultimately win, these groups are getting angrier and angrier. They’re looking at four years under a black guy who they hate.”

Here is how the gay and lesbian community describe the history:

The Patriot movement first emerged in 1994, a response to what was seen as violent government repression of dissident groups at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in 1992 and near Waco, Texas, in 1993, along with anger at gun control and the Democratic Clinton Administration in general. It peaked in 1996, a year after the Oklahoma City bombing, with 858 groups, then began to fade. By the turn of the millennium, the Patriot movement was reduced to fewer than 150 relatively inactive groups.

Even as most of the nation cheered the election of the first black president that November, an angry backlash developed that included several plots to murder Obama. Many Americans, infused with populist fury over bank and auto bailouts and a feeling that they had lost their country, joined Patriot groups.

The long-running rise seemed for most of that time to be a product of hate groups’ very successful exploitation of the issue of non-white immigration. Obama’s election and the crashing economy have played a key role in the last three years.

At the same time, a third strand of the radical right — what the SPLC designates as “nativist extremist” groups, meaning organizations that go beyond normal political activism to harass individuals they suspect of being undocumented immigrants.

  • SPLC Director Mark Potok even doubles as a Huffington Post columnist.
  • SPLC has actually done some good by identifying and monitoring real hate groups such as the KKK, neo-Nazis and Skin Heads.
  • SPLC is already the wealthiest civil rights group in America
  • SPLC came under fire for comparing the “Tea Party” movement and other grassroots conservatives to “terrorists.”
  • Potok slandered “Tea Party” goers, suggesting that “they are shot through with rich veins of radical ideas, conspiracy theories and racism,” and are widely linked to “hate” and “vigilante groups.”
  • The group arbitrarily tagged as an official “hate group” Americans for Truth about Homosexuality (AFTAH).
  • Focus on the Family a “quintessential hate group”

Who is the Southern Poverty Law Center:

The Southern Poverty Law Center is a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society.

Founded by civil rights lawyers Morris Dees and Joseph Levin Jr. in 1971, the SPLC is internationally known for tracking and exposing the activities of hate groups.

Our lawsuits have toppled institutional racism in the South, bankrupted some of the nation’s most violent white supremacist groups and won justice for exploited workers, abused prison inmates, disabled children and other victims of discrimination.




photo/ John Hain

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