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US Hate Groups Increases by 7% in 2 years, Hit Record

US Hate Groups Hit Record Number Last Year Amid Increased Violence.

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US, Hate Groups, Violence
FILE - A neo-Nazi attends a rally in Newnan, Georgia, April 21, 2018. VOA

The white supremacist group Identity Evropa more than doubled the number of its chapters.

The violent neo-Nazi organization Atomwaffen Division grew from one chapter to 27.

The white nationalist group and podcasting site The Right Stuff boasted 34 chapters.

American hate groups had a bumper year in 2018 as a surge in black and white nationalist groups lifted their number to a new record high, the Southern Poverty Law Center said in a report issued Wednesday.

The Alabama-based legal advocacy organization recorded 1,020 active hate groups last year, up 7 percent from 2017. The previous record tallied by SPLC was 1,018 in 2011 amid a white extremist backlash against the presidency of Barack Obama, the nation’s first African-American president.

US, hate groups, violence
Number of hate groups in US have increased from 497 to 1020 within two decades. Pixabay

The increase was driven by growth in both black and white nationalist groups, the SPLC said. The number of white nationalist groups jumped from 100 to 148, while the number of black nationalist groups — typically anti-Semitic, anti-LGBTQ and anti-white — rose from 233 to 264.

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 immutable characteristics.”

The number of hate groups has grown every year for the past four years, the SPLC said, a 30 percent increase roughly coinciding with President Donald Trump’s election campaign and presidency. The increase followed three years of decline toward the end of the Obama administration.

Hate crimes

Hate crimes have followed a similar trajectory in recent years. After falling for three consecutive years, attacks on blacks, Jews, Muslims and other minorities increased by 30 percent in the three-year period ending in 2017, according to the latest FBI data.

US, hate group, violence
FILE – A man is detained while white supremacist Jason Kessler arrives at the Vienna metro station in Vienna, Va., Aug. 12, 2018. White nationalists are gathering in Washington on the first anniversary of their rally in Charlottesville. VOA

The uptrend continued into last year, with hate crimes in America’s 30 largest cities surging by an additional 10 percent, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.

The majority of hate crimes are nonviolent, but some incidents were deadly. White supremacists in the U.S. and Canada killed at least 40 people last year, up from 17 people the year before, according to the SPLC’s tally.

While most bias-motivated offenses are not committed by members of hate groups, the perpetrators of hate crimes draw inspiration from ideas put out by hate groups, said Heidi Beirich, director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project and author of the report.

‘Go-ahead’ from Trump

Beirich blamed Trump’s anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim statements and policies for heightening deep-seated white nationalist fears of an impending white-minority country.

US, hate group, violence
FILE – In this Feb. 19, 2017 file photo, people carry posters during a rally against President Donald Trump’s executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority nations, in New York’s Times Square. VOA

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that more than half of the nation’s children are expected to be nonwhite in 2020, while the U.S. population is slated to become majority-minority in 2044.

“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,” Beirich said. “In doing so, he’s given people across America the go-ahead to act on their worst instincts.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Black nationalist groups, which advocate separate institutions or even a separate nation, made up about a quarter of hate groups tracked in 2018.

But the SPLC said the black extremist groups “lagged far behind the more than 700 groups that adhere to some form of white supremacist ideology,” the report said.

Among white extremist groups, the SPLC counted 112 neo-Nazi groups, 148 white nationalist organizations, 63 racist skinhead groups, 36 neo-Confederate outfits and 17 Christian Identity organizations.

KKK falling

But not all white hate groups thrived last year. The number of Ku Klux Klan (KKK) chapters fell for the third straight year, dropping to 51 in 2018 from 130 in 2016.

US, hate groups, violence
FILE – Members of the Ku Klux Klan participate in cross burnings in rural Paulding County near Cedar Town, Georgia, April 23, 2016. VOA

With its outdated traditions and penchant for white robes, the KKK, the nation’s oldest racist organization, has failed to appeal to young white tech-savvy racists, the SPLC said.

“It may be that the KKK, having somehow endured since 1866, is finally on its last legs,” the report said.

The SPLC started tracking KKK chapters in 1987 and later expanded its list to include other hate groups. In recent years, as it has put new groups on its list, including anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-LGBTQ organizations, conservative groups have accused the SPLC of unfairly labeling them.

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Last month, the Center for Immigration Studies sued the SPLC in federal court in Washington for “falsely designating” it as a hate group in 2016, saying the SPLC has produced no evidence that the group maligns immigrants as a class.

Beirich said the SPLC is standing by its hate group listings. (VOA)

Next Story

Actress Sunny Leone: Violence is Something That our Children See and Learn

"I do not endorse violence," says Actress Sunny Leone

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Sunny Leone
Actress Sunny Leone took a neutral stance on Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) violence. Wikimedia Commons

Actress Sunny Leone took a neutral stance on Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) violence by saying that she doesnt want to comment on the anti-CAA protest and fee hike issue in JNU, adding that she is pro-peace and she hopes that all concerned parties will come out with a solution on the matter.

“I don’t want to share my opinion on an actual thing that people are fighting over. I feel there are many things that we can do if we put our foot down, if we speak to each other and stop the violence, because violence is something that our children see and learn. Violence doesn’t affect just one person. It affects the entire family because it also emotionally hurt them. I am pro-peace and I do not endorse violence. I am sure that there will be some solution that can come without violence,” said Sunny, while interacting with the media at a promotional event, when she was asked to comment on Sunday’s attack on JNU students by unidentified masked men.

Sunny Leone
“I think it’s time that we start respecting mother earth and giving back to her basically what she has given us,” says Sunny Leone. Wikimedia Commons

At the event, Sunny also spoke about the devastating wildfires in Australia. “I think we have created this path of destruction, and wer are destroying things that are so beautiful in our world. I do believe that we have the ability and the means to clean up our cities and homes. I feel we have to keep our beaches clean, and provide education to children about what it means to throw your thrash in the garbage box.”

She continued: “I think it’s time that we start respecting mother earth and giving back to her basically what she has given us, which is the ability to live on this planet. I know we practice certain things in our homes that help the environment, and I really hope that people start paying attention to these things because it is only going to get worse.”

Also Read- Actress Tanushree Dutta Compares Nana Patekar to Asaram Bapu

Talking about the web series “Ragini MMS: Returns” season 2, which released on December 18, she said: “I am really happy that people have liked season 2. I haven’t got the chance to see it. I have seen only my portions while dubbing but I have heard nice things about it. I wish success to Zee5 and ALTBalaji and I hope it does well for them.”

“Ragini MMS Returns Season 2” features real-life couple Divya Agarwal and Varun Sood. Sunny Leone plays a paranormal expert in the series. (IANS)