The State Of Hate In Every State

Which hate groups are active in your state? The Southern Poverty Law Center(SPLC) identifies 939 active hate groups in the United States. Earlier this week Liberal America ran a piece called Is the KKK Active in your State? To residents of 41 states, the answer was yes. With that story, the Pacific Northwest could breathe a self-satisfied sigh of relief, since the KKK does not have an organized presence in Washington, Oregon, or Idaho. Sadly, however, all of those states are home to other hate groups. White Nationalist, Neo-Nazi, and Racist Skinhead groups operate throughout the Pacific Northwest.

SPLC hate map 2014
Source: Southern Poverty Law Center

The SPLC notes that in 2013, 939 different hate groups were active in the United States. Every state except Hawaii, had at least one hate group. California led the way in the total number of hate groups with 77, followed by Florida with 58, and Texas with 57. However, if one measures hate groups per capita, Arkansas leads the way with one hate group for every 123,000 residents. Closely following Arkansas in hate groups per capita are the states of Montana, Mississippi, Vermont and Tennessee.

Sure hate takes on a different flavor from one part of the country to another. In Montana, White Nationalist and Neo-Nazi groups attract members, whereas Arkansas is dominated more by traditional KKK organizations and Christian Identity groups. The little town of Harrison, Arkansas with a population of just 13,000 is home to seven different hate groups, including three competing KKK organizations. The insecurity of the local racists must be quite extreme, given that the town has just 34 black residents.

To be fair, Harrison is trying to shed its racist image, but with the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan national headquarters stationed there it will not be easy. Of course hate groups are not confined to conservative Southern and Western states. An Aryan Nations Neo-Nazi group calls the town of Norton, Vermont (near the Canadian border) home. About the only thing Norton, Vermont shares with Harrison, Arkansas is its small size (Norton is even tinier, having only 214 residents), and the fact that it, like Harrison, is about 96 percent white.

With over 900 active hate groups operating in the United States, nearly every American lives near an organized hate group. The map will help you identify which hate groups are active in your state.

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Keith Brekhus is a longtime political activist who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He has a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He was a Green Party candidate for Congress in 2002. His most recent political job was working as a Field Organizer in Arizona’s White Mountains, in support of Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful 2014 re-election campaign.
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Keith Brekhus is a progressive sociologist who resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. Keith is a former Green Party candidate for US Congress (2002 in Missouri's 9th District). He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus.