According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, hate is alive an well in the Commonwealth.

A report by SPLC lists 22 “hate groups” operating in Virginia to promote racism, white supremacy, black supremacy, bigotry and anti-government paranoia. In addition, the SPLC found six “Patriot” groups, including a self-styled “citizens militia” in Roanoke.

That’s a lot of hate.

Included in the SPLC’s list:

American Immigration Control Foundation/Americans for Immigration Control
Confederate Hammerskins
Fraternal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
Fraternal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
Heritage and Destiny
In the Spirit of Chartres Committee
National Socialist Movement
National Socialist Movement
National Socialist Movement
New Black Panther Party
The Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation
United Northern and Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
Virginia Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
Virginia Publishing Company

Says the SPLC:

Currently, there are 932 known hate groups operating across the country, including neo-Nazis, Klansmen, white nationalists, neo-Confederates, racist skinheads, black separatists, border vigilantes and others.

And their numbers are growing.

Since 2000, the number of hate groups has increased by 54 percent. This surge has been fueled by fears of Latino immigration and, more recently, by the election of the country’s first African-American president and the economic crisis.

These factors also are feeding a growing antigovernment militia movement, which in the 1990s led to a string of domestic terrorist plots, including the Oklahoma City bombing.

This growth in extremism has been aided by mainstream media figures and politicians who have used their platforms to legitimize false propaganda about immigrants and other minorities and spread the kind of paranoid conspiracy theories on which militia groups thrive.

The “patriot groups” listed by the SPLC includes:

Constitution Party
Oath Keepers
U.S. National Party
Virginia Citizens Militia *
We Are Change
We the People

“Generally, Patriot groups define themselves as opposed to the “New World Order,” engage in groundless conspiracy theorizing, or advocate or adhere to extreme antigovernment doctrines,” the SPLC says.

The SPLC report is not surprising. Listen to conversations at public gathering places and you will hear too much anger, too much hate and too many racial epithets. In Floyd County, you hear ethnic slurs against the area’s growing Mexican community.

Socialists say hate thrives when times are bad.

The growth of hate in Virginia and the nation appears to prove that theory.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]