Posted by: Paul Chiariello | March 1, 2011

In US, Active & Public Hate Groups Top 1000 for First Time: Why?

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, active and public hate groups reach 1002 in the US.

A ‘hate group‘ is defined as a groups centered in part around or identified by its “beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.”  ‘Practices‘ include “criminal acts, marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing.”

The chart below shows the steady rise over the past decade:

2010 Hate Groups Graph

An interactive map that shows 1) the number of hate groups per state, 2) their location and 3) if you zoom in on the map, the name of the group and its nature.

An article of the study on the SPLC website can be found here.

The Year in Hate & Extremism 2010

All photos/charts from SPLC website.

Factors that SPLC identified included

  • Growth in the radical right.
  • Resentment and reaction to changing demographics.
  • Economic frustration.
  • General ethos of mainstreaming/ popularizing conspiracy theories.
  • Political acknowledgement/support conspiracy theories.
  • Increasing socio-political propaganda of groups.

A second group, with the most dramatic increase, according to the report, is with the radical right anti-government “Patriot” movement.  The view of such organizations is that the federal government is enemy numero uno.  These groups grew by 61% from the previous year.

A third set of groups that have recently also increased are “Nativist extremist groups” which “go beyond mere advocacy of restrictive immigration policy to actually confront or harass suspected undocumented immigrants or their employers.”  An example of this is the the border militia of Shawna Forde.  She is currently sentenced to death for breaking into an immigrant family’s home and executing the father, mother and child.


Hate groups, patriot groups and nativist groups increase over 22% from 2009 to present and 40% from 2008 to present.

In numbers they rose to 2145 active and public groups at present.


One small way to give back and help fight is to sign petitions against policies that discriminate against minorities.  Like fast tracking of policy in NJ to restrict zoning for a mosque.


  1. Holy Shit, and I mean Holy! Why the fire in the souls are spreading again. I better find a safe harbor to duck the bullets all over the world. Where do you say is the safest here on earth with the lowest mutual hatred rate?

    Maybe my Russian teacher is right, if I don’t want to be bothered ever. Siberia is the only pace without hate where I can just live in an igloo off the grid. Maybe North Pole at Alaska is great for me to disappear too before the final blow of hate transference!

    • Take a break from the caffeine energizer bunny, lol.

      One of the graphs on the site shows that, for instance in the Patriot groups, there was a similar rise in the 90s corresponding with the the dot com bubble. As the economy gets on its feet I imagine there will be a similar decrease in these groups again.

      Also, with a much longer historical perspective, this is nothing compared to massacring Jews during depressions in medieval Europe or the religious riots during the economic downturn in Nigeria in the 80s.

      This is something that happens and we need to be aware of it and challenge it instead of just accept it. And it is a challenge that can be won.

  2. […] an article on the increase of Hate Groups in the US click […]

  3. Paul, this is quite interesting (and dispiriting). I agree that broad economic conditions are a very strong factor in such rises; but a confluence of causes has to be acknowledged too… after all, the hatred, scapegoating and targeting of groups have always been historically “cultivated” — they are embedded in societal relations, and come to an ugly head when structural/economic problems blow up. As for your last comment — please share your thoughts on how this challenge can be won! This is something I think about daily, and often feel that conversation, sharing life stories/contexts, etc. are a small but important hope in the process. Stories seem to work better than appeals to logic/reasoning…

    • I know, a ‘confluence of causes’ is even written out in bullet points in the post. Just pointing out its been a while since we’ve had a genocide in the EU or US and the best temporal marker for the prevelance of hate groups is the economic cycle.

      and you should sign the mosque petition. that is one step for sure. another is telling people of the existence of the problem, but optimistically. also, informing people of what the “Other” is actually like.

      most of this stuff stems from ignorance. personally, I love arguing with bigots. the fruit on one such convo was the post “Muslims want to chop off your head:

      what do you think???

    • So passing on this post and some of my others on such is one way of fighting it ;)

  4. […] is in response to a comment on my blog post entitled “In US, Active & Public Hate Groups Top 1000 for First Time: Why?”  The comment wasa: what can be […]

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