For the fourth straight year, hate groups in the United States have grown in number. Donald Trump used his campaign and continues to use his presidency to stoke the flames of white fear and resentment, and it shows, according to a new report.
On Wednesday, the Southern Poverty Law Center released its yearly report that looks at the number of hate and extremist groups in the United States. “The Year in Hate: Rage Against Change” says that white supremacy has flourished “amid fears of immigration” and the nation’s “shifting demographics.”
In short, white people are afraid of being the minority and that is a fear that is played upon daily by “President” Donald Trump.
The report says that “white supremacist anger reached a fever pitch last year as hysteria over losing a white-majority nation to demographic change—and a presumed lack of political will to stop it—engulfed the movement.”
Many of Trump’s white nationalist and white supremacist followers have lost faith in him, according to the report. They see all his talk of building a wall as being just that—talk. Richard Spencer, one of the major voices of white nationalism tweeted in November: “The Trump moment is over, and it’s time for us to move on.”
The U.S. Census projects that white people will no longer be the majority by 2044, and the report posits that this helped to “propel hate to a new high last year.” This is a demographic change that many hate groups and extremists inaccurately refer to as “white genocide.”
SPLC defines a hate group as “an organization that–based on its official statements or principles, the statements of its leaders, or its activities–has beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity. The FBI uses similar criteria in its definition of a hate crime.”
As of 2018, there were 1,020 hate groups in the United States—up 7 percent from 2017. Within those groups, white nationalists groups grew by nearly 50 percent, increasing from 100 chapters in 2017 to 148 in 2018.
SPLC counts among those numbers black nationalist hate groups, which it said have also been galvanized by Trump’s rhetoric. The report makes the clear distinction, however, that unlike white hate groups, black nationalist groups do not have a firm foothold in the mainstream. White hate groups have had supporters inside the White House. Black nationalist groups have not.
The number of hate groups has been growing consistently over the last four years. There has been a 30 percent growth that coincided with Trump’s candidacy and his presidency. The last time numbers went up like this was in 2011 “when rage against the first black president was roiling.”
The report openly calls out Donald Trump for “mainstreaming hate.” It notes that with the help of Fox News, Trump has been able to push his anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim agendas. He has referred to Mexican immigrants as “criminals” and “rapists.” He referred to majority-black nations as “shithole countries.”
Trump’s messages get repeated by the likes of Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, who both have large platforms which they use to further stoke fear and spread blatant misinformation. And as previously state, he put people with extremist views in his administration—people who have helped craft policy that affect this nation.
The report also notes the role social media and sites such as Facebook have played in helping to spread hate and hate messaging. If the situation with Alex Jones and InfoWars taught us nothing else, it showed us how these companies can be complicit.
The report predicts that hate groups will continue to grow in 2019. The violence will continue to grow. And “Trumpism—a form of race-based populism—is likely to be with us for many years to come as the nation continues to come to terms with its changing demographics and the impact of globalism.”
God help us all.