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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.

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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)

SPLC Report: Campus Group has History of Associating with Racist Leaders, Espousing Racist Beliefs

August 12, 2011 Comments off

SPLC Report: Campus Group has History of Associating with Racist Leaders, Espousing Racist Beliefs
Source: Southern Poverty Law Center

A student group that claims to defend “Western civilization” and is hosting its first national conference this week in the Washington, D.C., area, has a history of associating with racist ideologues and espousing racist beliefs, according to a report issued today by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

The report describes how Youth for Western Civilization (YWC) has frequently participated in racist circles and promoted racist beliefs despite claims that it’s not a racist group. The group has allowed a notorious white supremacist organization to raise funds for it; one of its top officials was arrested in a violent racist attack; and its officials have invited racist extremists to speak and in turn addressed hate groups themselves. At least one YWC member has met with and spoken to right-wing extremist groups overseas.

Yet YWC, which has chapters on at least nine college campuses and some 1,600 followers on Facebook, hopes to become a national force following its first national conference beginning Friday in Washington.

+ Full Report

U.S. Hate Groups Top 1,000

February 26, 2011 Comments off

U.S. Hate Groups Top 1,000
Source: Southern Poverty Law Center

The number of active hate groups in the United States topped 1,000 for the first time and the antigovernment “Patriot” movement expanded dramatically for the second straight year as the radical right showed continued explosive growth in 2010.

Several factors fueled the growth: resentment over the changing racial demographics of the country, frustration over the lagging economy, and the mainstreaming of conspiracy theories and other demonizing propaganda aimed at minorities and the government.

The report is in the Spring 2011 issue of the SPLC’s quarterly investigative journal Intelligence Report. The Hate Map also contains a comprehensive, state-by-state listing of hate groups and their locations.

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