Interactive Hate Group Map Lets You Know Where the Bigots Are Living In Your State
How many hate groups do you think exist in your state? You can now find out using the interactive Hate Group Map courtesy of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the results might surprise you. All told, the map locates over 900 hate groups throughout the 50 states — at least one in each state, though many are home to 40 or more. Washington D.C. alone has 15 known groups.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, one of the oldest and most respected Civil Rights organizations in the country, has been coming out with an annual map of hate groups since the 1990s, but now that we're living in the 21st century, the map has gone interactive, making it easier for people to look up which groups are operating in their state or even their town. For instance, I now know that I'm sharing a state with not one, but two chapters of the KKK, and that there are also some organized white nationalists just a few towns over from where I currently live.
The map is compiled using hate groups' own publications and websites, in addition to new reports, and accounts from citizens and law enforcement. Only groups that are still active as of 2013 are included, though the Southern Poverty Law Center notes that being active and being violent are not necessarily the same thing. So if you live in California you probably don't have to worry that the 77 hate groups known to operate in the state are going to kill you. But then again, as the SPLC also points out, "All hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics." So that's still not good.
In today's world we like to think of hate groups as a thing of the past. After all, whether you want to talk about a "post-racial world" or about "new racism," neo-Nazis and Klansmen seem like they ought to belong in a different era. Plus, even when we do think about hate groups, we tend to envision them as something that "doesn't happen here." But the truth is that there is at least one hate group in every state in this country, be they white supremacists, black separatists, anti-LGBT bigots or any number of other people you might not want to find out live next door.
And that's the most disturbing part: often times members of hate groups don't seem like members of hate groups. Often, they seem totally normal. After all, it's not like Klansmen wear their hoods to the grocery store. Which is why it can be a shock to look at the map and realize just how close to home all of this can be.
So, are there any hate groups in your town? Check out the map to find out.