A new report published by the Anti-Defamation League provides a troubling look into the uptick of white supremacists and far-right groups who have increasingly found a safe haven in Florida. The “Hate in the Sunshine State: Extremism & Antisemitism in Florida, 2020-2022" claims that Florida is now home to the most people charged in the Jan. 6th insurrection (10% of the 855 individuals implicated). 34.4% of those individuals are said to “maintain ties to extremists in the state including Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and Three Percenters.”
“Florida is home to an extensive, interconnected network of white supremacists and other far-right extremists,” the Anti-Defamation League says in the report, warning that new groups have surfaced in the state in recent years while existing groups “have broadened their audience both online and on the ground.”
This information was drawn from George Washington University’s Program on Extremism. From January 2020 to August 2022 alone, ADL Center on Extremism (COE) recorded over 400 instances of white supremacist propaganda distribution in Florida. Florida has 15 chapters of the Proud Boys that are “actively recruiting new members.”
Unfortunately, when you have more uptick in membership in these groups, the potential for hate crimes also increases. According to the report, hate crimes against Jewish people accounted for 80% of the religiously motivated incidents in 2020, and antisemitic hate crimes have risen 300% since 2012.
Several members of the Proud Boys, including their leader Enrique Tarrio, were charged with seditious conspiracy. Despite the comprehensive statistics given in the report, it doesn’t seem like there will be anything to slow this growth in Florida.