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KKK groups dwindle as white nationalism becomes 'hip' in 2017

KKK groups dwindle as white nationalism becomes 'hip' in 2017

KKK groups dwindle as white nationalism becomes 'hip' in 2017

The number of USA hate groups increased for the third year in a row, the Southern Poverty Law Center said Wednesday, warning that neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups saw the most expansion last year under the presidency of Donald Trump, who is seen as sympathetic and tolerant towards their actions. White supremacist websites like the Daily Stormer and Stormfront have also helped proliferate hateful ideas to thousands of predominantly young men who are not formerly affiliated with any particular hate group, per the SPLC report.

According to the study, there were 233 black nationalist hate groups in the U.S.in 2017, up from 193 in the previous year. In August, Trump came under fire for saying "both sides" were to blame for the violence at a white supremacist rally in Virginia where a counter-protester was killed.

While white nationalists have grabbed the majority of headlines, black extremist groups are also active, according to federal law enforcement. The rise was driven in part by a backlash from the Nation of Islam and other fringe black nationalist groups that see Trump as an avatar of the rising white supremacist movement, a powerful reassertion of the same centuries-old racism that has always fueled their desire to break away from white America.

Heidi Beirich, director of the SPLC's Intelligence Project, says those numbers rose during fights over the Confederate battle flag or Confederate monuments following a shooting at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015.

The SPLC's Year in Hate and Extremism report identifies 954 hate groups - an increase of 4 percent from 2016.

"Typified by their anti-Semitic, anti-LGBT, anti-white rhetoric and conspiracy theories, these black nationalist groups should not be confused with activist groups such as Black Lives Matter and others that work for civil rights and to eliminate systemic racism", the report concluded. The report points specifically to the former White House appointment of Stephen Bannon and a racially-charged demonstration in Charlottesville, Va., that left one dead.

One faction whose growth continues to be steady is anti-Muslim groups. Founded in 2007, it has grown into the largest anti-Muslim group nationally and, for example, has opposed what it called the Obama administration efforts to resettle thousands of African Muslims in Ohio.

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CAIR said the most prevalent trigger of anti-Muslim bias incidents in 2017 remains the victim's ethnicity or national origin, accounting for 32 percent of the total. Some of these groups hold antiemetic views as well. This past year, the nonprofit replicated the analysis and found that 23% of the posts related to Trump.

"It's not surprising, considering that. these two Identity Evropa groups that are working heavily to make sure their presences are known on university campuses", Lenz said. The FBI warned a year ago of the rise of what it called "Black Identity Extremists", suggesting that the killing of unarmed black men by police could spur further violence. In all, OH has nine listed black nationalist hate groups.

Separately, the SPLC identified 689 anti-government or "Patriot" groups, up from 623 in 2016.

The number of Ku Klux Klan chapters in the U.S.is plummeting as a new generation of khaki-clad racists rejects hoods and robes for a "hipper" brand of hate, according to a report Wednesday by an organization that tracks far-right extremists.

Beirich said these groups made it "glaringly apparent that it would be weird for us to leave them off of the list, given that they're doing the exact same as these other organisations are doing to other populations". Groups that appear in the center of states represent statewide groups.

Anti-Muslim groups tripled from 2015 to 2016 and continued that growth past year, surging to 114 organizations, compared to 101 in 2016.

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