Vox Populi

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Southern Poverty Law Center: Hate Map

Each year since 1990, the SPLC has published an annual census of hate groups operating within the United States. The number is a barometer, albeit only one, of the level of hate activity in the country. The hate map, which depicts the groups’ approximate locations, is the result of a year of monitoring by analysts and researchers and is typically published every January or February. It represents activity by hate groups during the previous year.

What is a hate group?

The Southern Poverty Law Center 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 immutable characteristics. We do not list individuals as hate groups, only organizations.

The organizations on our hate group list vilify others because of their race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity – prejudices that strike at the heart of our democratic values and fracture society along its most fragile fault lines.

The FBI uses similar criteria in its definition of a hate crime:

[A] criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.

We define a “group” as an entity that has a process through which followers identify themselves as being part of the group. This may involve donating, paying membership dues or participating in activities such as meetings and rallies. Individual chapters of a larger organization are each counted separately, because the number indicates reach and organizing activity.B

What is the SPLC’s hate map?

Each year since 1990, the SPLC has published an annual census of hate groups operating within the United States. The number is a barometer, albeit only one, of the level of hate activity in the country. Other indicators of hateful ideas include the reach of hate websites, for example. The hate map, which depicts the groups’ approximate locations, is the result of a year of monitoring by analysts and researchers and is typically published every February. It represents activity by hate groups during the previous year.

Tracking hate group activity and membership is extremely difficult. Some groups do everything they can to obscure their activities, while others grossly over-represent their operations. The SPLC uses a variety of methodologies to determine the activities of groups and individuals. These include reviewing hate group publications and reports by citizens, law enforcement, field sources and the news media, and conducting our own investigations.

For further discussion of hate groups in America, click here.

To access the SPLC Hate Map, click here.


Source: Southern Poverty Law Center


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