Report: Number of Hate Groups Spike as Trump ‘Electrifies Radical Right’
The Southern Poverty Law Center has released their assessment of hate groups in what they are calling “a resurgence of white nationalism” in 2016.
SPLC’s report on extremism in America outlines the repackaging of white nationalism and it’s growing popularity in the US. In 2016 the number of hate groups increased by 3% from 2015. In total, the SPLC states there are 1,018 active white nationalist groups – the highest number in more than 3 decades.
As for the reason in this spike, the SPLC cites Donald Trump’s campaign and continued rhetoric of racism against Muslims, Mexicans and immigration as a whole. Trump’s twitter feed was identified as the “key” to the spread and encouragement of white extremism during the campaign and beyond.
The report described this phenomenon as Trump having “electrified the radical right.”
Mark Potok, senior fellow for the SPLC, said: “By far, the most dramatic change was the enormous leap in anti-Muslim hate groups.”
Potok went on to assert that Trump’s campaign rhetoric heled to fuel the spike in anti-Muslim sentiment among white Americans. He also explained that the tactics of the hard right have gone from blatant to “intellectual”; with the most prominent of white nationalists creating think-tanks, non-profit organizations, and media outlets that purvey fake news.
In the report, the SPLC pointed to 1,097 “bias incidents” which occurred within the 34 day following the November 8th election that included harassment, name-calling, vandalism, and assault. And 1/3rd of those same incidents “directly referenced either Trump, his ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan, or his infamous remarks about grabbing women by the genitals.”
This information comes on the heels of reports that the Trump administration has redirected the efforts of a program designed to counter violent religious ideologies fostered in America to solely focus on “radical Islamic terrorism”.
Originally, the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program was created to identify lone wolf attackers and a variety of groups that promote domestic terrorism; including specifically radical Christian terrorists.
CVE has a history of collaborating with social media giants such as Google and Facebook; as well as communities and educational programs designed to promote counter-radicalization campaigns. The groups highlighted by the CVE were Christian extremists and white supremacists, but now CVE will only target Islamic radicalization – ignoring the big problem America has with radicalized Christians.
America has had a long-standing problem with Christian extremists committing acts of terrorism, and murdering US citizens that now will go ignored by the Trump administration.
To understand the threat of radical Christian terrorism, the New America Foundation (NAF) published a report in 2015 showing just how deadly and dangerous radical Christian terrorists can be.
The data showed that Americans killed domestically in Islamic related “jihadist attacks” totaled 26; however the number of US citizens murdered in “right-wing attacks” nearly doubled.
The study explained that law enforcement agencies reported concerns about right-wing groups 74% of the time; as compared to reporting Islamic extremists only 39% of the time.
And previous publishing of the SPLC show that there is are “increasingly frightening numbers, cells of angry men in the United States preparing for combat with the U.S. government. They are usually heavily armed, blinded by an intractable hatred, often motivated by religious zeal.”
These mostly “white, right-wing Americans, nearly all with an obsessive attachment to guns, who may represent a greater danger to the lives of American civilians than international terrorists.”
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