The number of radical hate groups rose significantly last year in what civil rights advocates described as a nearly unprecedented increase spurred by sharper political rhetoric and the growth of the Internet.
There were 14 percent more hate groups in 2015 than in 2014, according to a new annual count released Wednesday by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The number anti-government “Patriot” groups, which were considered in a different category, also rose by 14 percent.
“All in all, I think last year is best described as a year that very nearly approaches the political upheavals of 1968 — a time of real trial for this country,” Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center and editor of its report, told reporters during a conference call.
“Last year was a very dramatic year marked by very high levels of political violence, enormous rage in the electorate, the growth of hate groups and also hate speech in mainstream politics to an extent we have not seen in decades.”
Potok attributed the rise of hate groups to a combination of factors including the prevalence of conspiracy theories in mainstream outlets, fears about immigration, financial frustration among white working-class Americans and new attention on police violence against young black men.Read the rest of the story HERE and follow a link to a related story below:
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