Brian Levin, J. D. Director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, California State University – posted 03/08/2012
The number of domestic hate and extremist groups in the United States grew to record levels in 2011, led by a surge in anti-government radicalism, according to a report released today by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a prominent civil rights organization based in Montgomery, AL. In 2011 there were 1,018 “hate groups” nationally, representing a slight increase from the previous record, one year earlier in 2010, when there were 1,002 hate groups tallied.
The 2011 figures are the eleventh consecutive annual increase and the highest number since the SPLC began enumerating hate group totals in the 1980s. In 2000 there were just 602 of these groups nationally. While 2011 hate crime numbers are not yet tabulated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the agency counted 6,624 hate crimes in 2010 in the United States, an increase of only 26 from a 14 year low recorded the previous year. A 2010 analysis by the Institute for Homeland Security Solutions found that from 1999-2009 white supremacist and anti-government domestic extremist plots were only surpassed by those undertaken by radical Salafist and al-Qaeda followers during the decade.
California, the nation’s most populous state, led the nation with 84 hate groups last year according to the SPLC, followed by Georgia with 65, Florida with 55 and New Jersey with 47. The report broke down the number of hate groups in the United States by type and number for 2011:
Ku Klux Klan 152
Neo Nazi 170
White Nationalist 146
Racist Skinheads 133
Christian Identity 55
Black Separatists 140
General Hate 190
While anti-gay and anti-Muslim groups experienced increases, the number of Ku Klux Klan groups actually declined significantly from 221 in 2010 to 152 in 2011. A handful of domestic Muslim hate groups, like the As-Sabiqun movement were not tallied, although the SPLC did an