COLUMBIA — The number of hate groups active in America grew to 1,018 in 2011, up from 1,002 the year before, according to a report issued by the Southern Poverty Law Center on Thursday.
The Southern Poverty Law Center attributes the increase largely to three major factors: the poor economy, the continued growth of the Hispanic population and the prospect of America re-electing a black president.
The report has identified 26 hate groups currently active in Missouri. Sixteen states have more hate groups than Missouri. California has the most, with 84 active groups, followed by Georgia with 65. Michigan and Arkansas also have 26 active hate groups.
Boone County has no active hate groups, according to the report.
The Southern Poverty Law Center also tracks “hate incidents” that range from racist graffiti to assault and murder. Missouri had four of these incidents in 2011, the most serious of which included an arson in Independence. Columbia was the location of one of these incidents, when an MU student spray-painted racist graffiti outside of Hatch Hall on Feb. 12, 2011. Benjamin Elliott was charged with the crime.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has fought hate groups since its formation in 1971 in Montgomery, Ala. The organization created a program called Klanwatch in 1981 that began to monitor Ku Klux Klan groups across the nation. In 1998 the program was renamed the Intelligence Project and was expanded to monitor all active hate groups in America.
Active hate groups in Missouri
White nationalist groups
White nationalist groups espouse white supremacy and advocate the separation of races. They often focus on a belief that minority races are inferior. They oppose immigration as well as cultural diversity. White nationalist groups can range from those that use violent tactics and racial slurs to those that present themselves as nonviolent and use more controlled language.
- American Third Position (Ridgedale)
- Conservative Citizens Foundation Inc. (St. Louis)
- Council of Conservative Citizens (St. Louis)
- Council of Conservative Citizens (St. Louis)
- South Africa Project
A main tenet of neo-Nazi groups is a hatred for Jews and a loyalty to the political ideology of Nazi Germany. These groups believe that Jews are engaged in a mass conspiracy that controls governments, financial institutions and the media. Neo-Nazi groups also champion hate for racial minorities as well as gay and lesbian individuals and sometimes Christians.
- American Aryan Reich (St. Louis)
- Aryan Nations 88 (Hawk Point)
- Creativity Movement (Kansas City)
- National Socialist Movement (Springfield)
Ku Klux Klan groups
Since its formation in 1865, the Ku Klux Klan has been one of the most infamous hate groups in America. The group’s traditional aim was to intimidate and terrorize black Americans, but its members have also attacked immigrants, Jews, gays and lesbians, Catholics and others. The Klan boasted a national membership of more than 4 million people by the mid-1920s, and wielded considerable political power in some states. Today the Klan is only a shell of its former self, comprised of about 8,000 individuals nationally, split among dozens of warring groups that bear various versions of the Ku Klux Klan name.
- True Invisible Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (Park Hills)
- True Invisible Empire Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (Potosi)
- United Northern and Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
- United Realms of America Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (Shelbina)
Racist skinhead groups
A youth subculture that arose in the 1980s, racist skinhead groups are characterized by a hate of immigrants, racial minorities, gays and lesbians, and Jews. Members are often identifiable by their clean-shaven heads giving the movement the name skinheads. Skinheads employ everything from extreme violence to vandalism to propagate their message of hate and intimidation. Skinhead groups have a considerable presence in prisons and juvenile detention facilities nationwide.
- Aryan Terror Brigade
- Blood and Honour America Division (Lake St. Louis)
- Supreme White Alliance
- Volksfront (Bridgeton)
Christian Identity groups
This is a broad category of loosely affiliated groups that all practice a form of Christianity with racially charged theology centered on the belief that white Europeans are God’s chosen people. The Southern Poverty Law Center said, “Of all the movements that have appeared among white racists in America, Christian Identity is surely one of the strangest.”
- Church of Jesus Christ Christian/Aryan Nations (Granby)
- Faith Baptist Church and Ministry (Houston)
- Reformed Church of Israel (Schell City)
- Watchmen Bible Study Group (Wappapello)
Black separatist groups
Black separatist organizations generally oppose racial assimilation and interracial marriages. These groups often advocate separation of races and even the creation of a separate autonomous nation for black people within America. One of the largest black separatist organizations is the Nation of Islam led by Louis Farrakhan.
- Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ (Kansas City)
- Nation of Islam (St. Louis)
- Nation of Islam (Kansas City)
Neo-Confederate is a term used to describe groups trying to advance a pro-Confederate revival in America. This movement is aggressively nativist and opposes immigration while advocating racial segregation. These groups are anti-homosexuality and promote traditional gender roles. Many neo-Confederate groups openly urge secession.
- League of the South (West Plains)
General hate groups
This encompasses groups that have unique hateful doctrines and beliefs that are not easily categorized. Some of the groups are vendors that sell hate materials from various sectors.
- Invictus Books (Wentzville)