The Southern Poverty Law Center's documented hate groups
That's the number of hate groups operating in the US, according to data from the Southern Poverty Law Center. The Alabama-based nonprofit activist group tracks civil rights and hate crimes and defines a hate group as an organization with "beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics."
"Over the course of a year, we have a team of investigators that scours the internet for racist publications and real world activities to find out which groups exist, which groups are still active and which groups come along," said Ryan Lenz, a senior investigative reporter for the SPLC's Hatewatch project.
Some are classified as anti-LGBT groups, and some are black separatists, who don't believe in interracial marriage and want a nation only for black people, according to the group.
Total number of Black Separatist groups in 2015.
Black separatists typically oppose integration and racial intermarriage, and they want separate institutions -- or even a separate nation -- for blacks. Most forms of black separatism are strongly anti-white and anti-Semitic, and a number of religious versions assert that blacks are the Biblical "chosen people" of God.
Black separatists typically oppose integration and racial intermarriage, and they want separate institutions — or even a separate nation — for black people in America. Most contemporary forms of black separatism are strongly anti-white and anti-Semitic, and a number of religious versions assert that blacks — not Jews — are the Biblical "chosen people" of God.
Although the Southern Poverty Law Center recognizes that much black racism in America is, at least in part, a response to centuries of white racism, it believes racism must be exposed in all its forms. White groups espousing beliefs similar to black separatists would be considered clearly racist. The same criterion should be applied to all groups regardless of their color.
As Martin Luther King Jr. once said: "Violence begets violence; hate begets hate; and toughness begets a greater toughness. It is all a descending spiral, and the end is destruction — for everybody. Along the way of life, someone must have enough sense and morality to cut off the chain of hate."
A leading example of a black separatist group is the Nation of Islam led by Louis Farrakhan. In 1997, and in less explicit ways since then, Farrakhan made clear that he had renounced none of the anti-white, anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic and anti-gay views of the previous Nation leader, Elijah Mohammed. Those beliefs include the view that Yacub, a renegade black "scientist," created whites 6,600 years ago as an inherently evil and ungodly people — "blue-eyed devils." Farrakhan has described Catholics and Jews, who he said practice a "gutter religion," as preying on blacks. He regrets the "tone" of a former principal subordinate who called for slaughtering white South Africans, but agreed with the message. He called for racial separatism and inveighed against interracial relationships.
If a white group espoused similar beliefs with the colors reversed, few would have trouble describing it as racist and anti-Semitic. Although the racism of a group like the Nation may be relatively easy to understand, if we seek to expose white hate groups, we cannot be in the business of explaining away the black ones.
Increase in total number of anti-Muslim hate groups up from 2015.
Anti-Muslim hate groups are a relatively new phenomenon in the United States, with many appearing in the aftermath of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Beginning in 2010, anti-Muslim legislation increased and opposition to the development of an Islamic Center in lower Manhattan made headlines.
Anti-Muslim hate groups are a relatively new phenomenon in the United States, with many appearing in the aftermath of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Beginning in 2010, anti-Muslim legislation increased and opposition to the development of an Islamic Center in lower Manhattan made headlines. Few of the anti-Muslim groups in operation before 2001 still exist, but those that do are key players in the movement today.
All anti-Muslim hate groups exhibit extreme hostility toward Muslims. The organizations portray those who worship Islam as fundamentally alien and attribute to its followers an inherent set of negative traits. Muslims are depicted as irrational, intolerant and violent, and their faith is frequently depicted as sanctioning pedophilia, coupled with intolerance for homosexuals and women.
These groups also typically hold conspiratorial views regarding the inherent danger to America posed by its Muslim-American community. Muslims are viewed as a fifth column intent on undermining and eventually replacing American democracy and Western civilization with Islamic despotism, a conspiracy theory known as “civilization jihad.” Anti-Muslim hate groups allege that Muslims are trying to subvert the rule of law by imposing on Americans their own Islamic legal system, Shariah law. The threat of the Muslim Brotherhood is also cited, with anti-Muslim groups constantly attacking Muslim civil rights groups and American Muslim leaders for their supposed connections to the Brotherhood. Many of these groups have pushed for the Brotherhood to be designated a foreign terrorist organization.
Anti-Muslim hate groups also broadly defame Islam, which they tend to treat as a monolithic and evil religion. These groups generally hold that Islam has no values in common with other cultures, is inferior to the West and is a violent political ideology rather than a religion.
In recent years, the most influential groups — namely ACT for America and the think tank Center for Security Policy (CSP) — have sought to develop closer relationships with elected officials both at the state and local level. A shift in targets has also taken place recently with the Syrian refugee crisis, as anti-Muslim groups have increasingly directed their ire toward the American refugee program. Refugees are commonly depicted as potential terrorist infiltrators by these organizations. Small anti-refugee groups have popped up across the country and fought the relocation of refugees at the hyper-local level.
Hate groups in the aggregate and the number operating in the U.S. as of 2015
Below is the number of groups in each category, for more information on the groups below, click below