The year 2018 marked the fourth consecutive year of growth in the number of hate groups in the United States, according to a new report released Wednesday by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which tracks white supremacists and other groups extremists. The 30% increase coincides with Donald Trump's campaign and presidency. This follows three consecutive years of decline towards the end of the term of former President Obama.
The SPLC reported 784 hate groups in 2014, a figure that rose to 954 in 2017 and then to 1,020 in 2018. The Alabama-based legal center said last year's total had surpassed the previous record recorded in 2011.
The recent increase "is consistent with (Donald) Trump's campaign, and then with his presidency, a period of 30% increase in the number of such groups," said Heidi Beirich, director of the SPLC's Intelligence Project. "In the last three years, in the last years of (Barack Obama's) presidency, hate groups were in decline."
"The figures tell a striking story: this president is not just a polarizing figure, but a radicalization," added Beirich. "Rather than trying to contain hatred, as did the presidents of both parties, President Trump raises it – with his rhetoric and his policy." In doing so, he gave the go-ahead to citizens from America to act according to their worst instincts. "
SPLC points out that the vast majority of hate groups – including neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan, racist skinheads, neo-confederates, and white nationalists – adhere to an ideological form of white supremacy. According to SPLC, the number of white nationalist groups, particularly electrified by the Trump presidency, has increased by nearly 50%, from 100 to 148 in 2018.
"The KKK has not been able to seduce racist youth, with its obsolete traditions, strange clothing and lack of digital literacy," the report said. "The youngest extremists prefer Fred Perry's polos and khakis to the Klan robes."
According to FBI data, crimes motivated by hate targeting Jews and Jewish institutions In the United States, the increase has been about 37% between 2016 and 2017. Overall, hate crimes are primarily targeted at victims, based on race, l '# 39; ethnicity, religion or ancestry, accounting for about 80% of the total. The office has not published any information for 2018 yet.
SPLC also presented a new method for exploring its findings on hate groups across the country with an interactive map. It shows how the number of hate groups has changed over time at the national and state levels. The law center said users can also filter the map to focus on particular ideologies, such as white nationalist groups.
The controversy over the definition of a hate group
Some groups on the list have challenged the findings of the SPLC or have even filed a lawsuit against hate group etiquette. Some have accused the center of the law of political bias.
Liberty Counsel Inc., a Florida-based rights organization, has continued its website that maintains a charities database, and indicates that 45 other non-profit organizations are described as hate groups by the center. legal, reports the Associated Press. Liberty Counsel describes itself as a Christian organization defending family values, but SPLC calls it an anti-LGBT hate group. A federal judge in Virginia threw this lawsuit.
A federal magistrate from Alabama recommended the dismissal of a separate trial that accused the SPLC of defaming an evangelical ministry based in Florida by designating it as a hate group.