Hate groups proliferate in Trump's US

Marsha Scott
February 23, 2018

The SPLC's "Year in Hate and Extremism" report identified an increase in hate groups in IN and the US from 2016 to 2017 - a fact the organization attributes in large part to President Donald Trump - but eliminates Kokomo in its group of in cities infiltrated by hate groups.

On Wednesday, a federal magistrate in Alabama recommended the dismissal of a separate lawsuit that accused the law center of defaming a Florida-based evangelical ministry by designating it as a hate group. For the first time, the SPLC included two male supremacist groups in its report saying their rhetoric toward women is similar to organizations that demean entire communities.

There are now 14 hate groups operating in SC.

Some black nationalist groups, like the Nation of Islam, have contested the SPLC's designation in the past, calling themselves a self-defense organization, Zain Abdullah, associate professor of religion and society and Islamic studies at Temple University, said in an interview with NPR.

"President Trump in 2017 reflected what white supremacist groups want to see: a country where racism is sanctioned by the highest office, immigrants are given the boot and Muslims banned", said Beirich.

OH had 31 hate groups in 2017, the composition of which reflected national trends seen during the first year of the Trump administration, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center's Year in Hate and Extremism report released Wednesday.

The Alabama-based law center reported a sharp increase in neo-Nazi groups, from 99 in 2016 to 121 past year.

The report counts hate groups of all kinds - extremist anti-government militias, anti-semitic groups, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, and others - in all 50 states of the country.

The number of neo-Nazi organizations within the country saw the second-largest amount of growth in the a year ago, rising from 99 groups in 2016 to 121 in 2017.

Beirich described black nationalist hate organisations, which grew by 22 percent past year, as "broadly anti-Semitic, anti-white and usually anti-LGBT".

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Shortly after taking office in 2017, Trump's administration pulled federal funding for a group that works to rehabilitate white supremacists.

The organization says those organizations should not be confused with activist groups like Black Lives Matter.

Meanwhile, KKK chapters declined drastically, decreasing from 130 in 2016 to 72 previous year. And secondly, the perceived support of white nationalist ideals by President Donald Trump.

Last month, the Anti-Defamation League published a report that found 18 people were killed by white supremacists in 2017. "And that's music to the ears of white supremacists", Beirich continued.

In May 2017, 35-year-old Jeremy Christian was arrested and charged with stabbing to death two people and injuring a third when they attempted to prevent him from hurling Islamophobic insults at Muslim passengers.

One of the participants, James Alex Fields, allegedly ploughed his vehicle into a crowd of anti-racist protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring several others.

"These are not organizations that have their members in administrative appointments", Beirich said.

The SPLC also added male supremacy groups to its growing list for the first time ever. "(It) misrepresents women as genetically inferior, manipulative and stupid", the SPLC report said.

The SPLC has been criticized by some for the way it labels groups, including by some groups that reject the "hate group" label awarded to them by the SPLC, but it is widely seen to be a leader in the field.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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