MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Over the weekend, hundreds of white supremacists, Neo-Nazis and KKK members gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia. Even before the demonstrations turned violent, people were condemning the rally for spreading hate.
According to the Government Accountability Office, 106 people in 62 incidents have been killed by far right violent extremists in the US between 2000 and 2016.
So, what are the hate groups in the US? Good Question.
“That’s a hard question to answer because a lot of people keep their white supremacy activity more secretive,” says University of St. Thomas sociologist Lisa Waldner.
Waldner says these groups have all layers of involvement from being a passive member on the Internet to attending rallies.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there were 917 hate groups in 2016. The largest number was Black Separatist (193), followed by Ku Klux Klan (130), Anti-Muslim (101), White Nationalist (100), General Hate (100), Neo-Nazi (99), Anti-LGBT (52), Racist Skinhead (78), Neo-Confederate (43), and Christian Identity (21).
The SPLC also says the number of hate groups are up from when it started counting in the 1990s, but are down from the high of 1018 in 2011. It says the biggest jump was in the number of reported anti-Muslim groups which went from 34 in 2015 to 101 in 2016.
A map shows the groups are spread all over the US and not just concentrated in the South or rural areas. In Minnesota, the SPLC identifies 10 hate groups, including two black separatist, a Neo-Nazi, a hate music and a KKK group.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has been criticized in the past for having too broad a definition of hate.
“You have to be somewhat cautious at using their labels, but they are a good source of information for just generally understanding what types of groups are out there, where they’re located and what types of activity they’re engaged in,” says Waldner.
For example, one of the hate groups identified in Minnesota is called the Remnant Newspaper. The SPLC says the radical Catholic group publishes anti-Semitic material. Michael Matt, the head of the organization says it is simply a Roman Catholic newspaper and “denounces and condemns without reservation any and all forms of racism, violence and hatred against anyone for any reason.”