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SPLC report: Users of leading white supremacist web forum responsible for many deadly hate crimes, mass killings

April 18, 2014 Comments off

SPLC report: Users of leading white supremacist web forum responsible for many deadly hate crimes, mass killings
Source: Southern Poverty Law Center

Nearly 100 people in the last five years have been murdered by active users of the leading racist website, Stormfront, according to a report released today by the SPLC’s Intelligence Project.

Registered Stormfront users have been disproportionately responsible for some of the most lethal hate crimes and mass killings since the web forum became the first hate site on the Internet in 1995, a month before the Oklahoma City bombing. The report found that hate killings by Stormfront members began to accelerate rapidly in early 2009, when Barack Obama took office as the nation’s first black president.

A similar racist web forum, Vanguard News Network (VNN), was used by neo-Nazi and former Klan leader Frazier Glenn Miller, who has been charged with the Sunday murder of three people he mistakenly believed were Jews in Overland Park, Kan. Miller, who apparently changed his last name in recent years to Cross, logged more than 12,000 posts on VNN, whose slogan is, “No Jews, Just Right.”

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The Year in Hate and Extremism 2013

March 6, 2014 Comments off

The Year in Hate and Extremism 2013
Source: Southern Poverty Law Center

After four years of stunning growth, the number of groups on the American radical right dropped significantly for the first time in 2013. The decline in hate groups and, especially, antigovernment “Patriot” groups was driven by a legal crackdown, the failure of various nightmarish radical predictions to materialize, the co-opting by politicians of the extreme right’s issues, and the re-election of President Obama.

SPLC Intelligence Report Profiles 30 Leaders of the Rising Radical Right

July 5, 2012 Comments off

SPLC Intelligence Report Profiles 30 Leaders of the Rising Radical Right
Source: Southern Poverty Law Center

Extremists leading a powerful resurgence of the American radical right are pushing baseless conspiracy theories and demonizing propaganda about minority groups into the mainstream, according to the latest issue of the SPLC’s Intelligence Report, released today.

Thirty key leaders of the radical right, both longtime agitators and newcomers, are profiled in the report. These extremists – including anti-government activists, racist neo-Nazis and propagandists who promote falsehoods about Muslims and the LGBT community – are making headway by exploiting anger over the nation’s ailing economy, non-white immigration and the shrinking white majority.

Intelligence Report — Racist Skinheads: Understanding the Threat

June 28, 2012 Comments off

Intelligence Report — Racist Skinheads: Understanding the Threat (PDF)
Source: Southern Poverty Law Center

Racist skinheads are among the most dangerous radical-right threats facing law enforcement today. The products of a frequently violent and criminal subculture, these men and women, typically imbued with neo-Nazi beliefs about Jews, blacks, homosexuals and others, are also notoriously difficult to track. Organized into small, mobile “crews” or acting individually, skinheads tend to move around frequently and often without warning, even as they network and organize across regions. For law enforcement, this poses a particular problem in responding to crimes and conspiracies crossing multiple jurisdictions. As these extremists extend their reach across the country, it is vital that law enforcement officers who deal with them become familiar with the activities of skinheads nationwide.

What follows is an examination of the history and nature of the skinhead movement, prepared with the needs of law enforcement officers in mind, a glossary of common skinhead terms, a timeline, and a gallery of insignias and tattoos commonly used by racist skinheads.

The Year in Hate and Extremism 2011

March 9, 2012 Comments off

The Year in Hate and Extremism 2011Source: Southern Poverty Law Center
From press release:

The American radical right grew explosively in 2011, a third consecutive year of extraordinary growth that has swelled the ranks of extremist groups to record levels, according to a report issued today by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The rise was led by a stunning expansion of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement.

“The dramatic expansion of the radical right is the result of our country’s changing racial demographics, the increased pace of globalization, and our economic woes,” said Mark Potok, senior fellow at the SPLC and editor of the new report.

“For many extremists, President Obama is the new symbol of all that’s wrong with the country – the Kenyan president, the secret Muslim who is causing our country’s decline,” Potok said. “The election season’s overheated political rhetoric is adding fuel to the fire. The more polarized the political scene, the more people at the extremes.”

Many Americans are enraged by what they see as America’s decline, and opportunistic politicians have done their best to stoke those fears and demonize President Obama in the process. For some, the prospect of four more years under the country’s first black president also is an infuriating reminder that non-Hispanic whites will lose their majority in this country by 2050.

The SPLC report details the growth of hate groups to a record 1,018 in 2011, up from 1,002 the year before and the latest in a series of increases going back more than a decade. But the dramatic growth came in the Patriot movement, which is composed of armed militias and other conspiracy-minded organizations that see the federal government as their primary enemy. These groups saw their numbers skyrocket for the third straight year in 2011, this time by 55 percent – from 824 in 2010 to 1,274 groups last year. In 2008, just before the Patriot movement took off, there were 149 Patriot groups, a number that metastasized to 512 in 2009.

In all, Patriot groups have increased by 755 percent during the first three years of the Obama administration. Their number has now surpassed – by more than 400 groups – the previous all-time high set in 1996, when the first wave of the militia movement peaked shortly after the Oklahoma City bombing that left 168 people dead.

New SPLC Report Finds Growing Hostility, Discrimination Against Latinos in Wake of Alabama’s Anti-Immigrant Law

March 4, 2012 Comments off

New SPLC Report Finds Growing Hostility, Discrimination Against Latinos in Wake of Alabama’s Anti-Immigrant Law
Source: Southern Poverty Law Center

Latinos in Alabama have experienced harassment, hardship and discrimination, regardless of their immigration status, as a result of the state’s anti-immigrant law, HB 56, and the xenophobic climate it has created, according to a report released today by the SPLC.

The report – Alabama’s Shame: HB 56 and the War on Immigrants – features stories told by Latinos from across Alabama. They describe being cheated out of wages, being denied medical treatment and facing a growing hostility since the passage of HB 56. The report calls for the law’s repeal, citing evidence that it attacks the basic human dignity of all Latinos.

“The people in this report are the mothers, fathers and children living under a law that has given a nod and a wink to the worst prejudices harbored by some residents,” said SPLC Legal Director Mary Bauer, author of the report. “If lawmakers are unwilling to repeal HB 56 – knowing this is the type of misery they have created – we can only assume they intended to inflict this cruelty all along.”

The SPLC has challenged the law in federal court and will present oral arguments on March 1 before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.

+ Full Report

SPLC Study Finds that More than Half of States Fail at Teaching the Civil Rights Movement

September 30, 2011 Comments off

SPLC Study Finds that More than Half of States Fail at Teaching the Civil Rights Movement
Source: Southern Poverty Law Center

Though the civil rights movement is one of the defining events of U.S. history, most states fail when it comes to teaching the movement to students, a first-of-its-kind study released today by the Southern Poverty Law Center has found.

The study – Teaching the Movement: The State of Civil Rights Education 2011 – examined state standards and curriculum requirements related to the study of the modern civil rights movement for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It was conducted by the SPLC’s Teaching Tolerance program and includes a forward by noted civil rights activist and historian Julian Bond.

The study compared the requirements in state standards to a body of knowledge that reflects what civil rights historians and educators consider core information about the civil rights movement. It found that:

  • A shocking number of states – 35 – received grades of “F.”
  • Sixteen states, where local officials set specific policies and requirements for their school districts, have no requirements at all for teaching about the movement.
  • Only three states received a grade of “A” – Alabama, New York and Florida – and even these states have considerable room for improvement.
  • Generally speaking, the farther from the South – and the smaller the African-American population – the less attention paid to the movement.

+ Full Report (PDF)

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