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Number of hate groups declines in Ohio

22 February 2018

The number of USA hate groups increased for the third year in a row, the Southern Poverty Law Center said Wednesday, warning that neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups saw the most expansion last year under the presidency of Donald Trump, who is seen as sympathetic and tolerant towards their actions.

And it counted a total of 954 active "hate groups" in 2017, an increase of 4 percent over the previous year. Anti-Muslim groups increased by 13 percent while anti-immigrant groups jumped by 57 percent.

The report showed 35 hate groups in OH in 2016.

Hard-line black nationalist groups and the African-American Nation of Islam have also grown sharply, their chapters rising to 233 from 193 in 2016.

As a president, Trump turned those white nationalist narratives to policy, Walid said, from the "aggressive" crackdown on undocumented immigrants to the series of Muslim ban executive orders.

The study found a decline in the number of Ku-Klux-Klan associate groups, according to the study.

Anti-government groups grew from 623 in 2016 to 689 past year, the group explained, adding that 237 of those groups were armed militias.

There were 17 hate groups active in New Jersey previous year, a slight increase from the 15 active groups in 2016.

While black nationalist hate groups as defined by SPLC are usually "fringe groups with no connection to political power", Beirich said white nationalists have been emboldened by their connection to Trump administration figures who have expressed sympathy for their causes. Black nationalist groups tend to increase in response to white nationalism.

Black nationalist hate groups, according to the SPLC, promote conspiracy theories and use "anti-Semitic, anti-LGBT, and anti-white rhetoric".

Meanwhile, KKK chapters declined drastically, decreasing from 130 in 2016 to 72 past year. "The alt-right is where the action is right now".

Another SPLC investigation released earlier this month found that 43 people have been killed and more than 60 people were wounded by men who were involved with the "alt-right" movement in the past four years.

In August, Trump came under fire for saying "both sides" were to blame for violence at a white supremacist rally in Virginia where Heather Heyer was killed after a white supremacist plowed his auto into a coward of counter-protesters. "This was most notable in his comments after Charlottesville, where he equivocated between anti-racist protesters and white supremacists - and that was an event that left one anti-racist activist dead".

In May 2017, 35-year-old Jeremy Christian was arrested and charged over stabbing to death two people and injuring a third when they attempted to prevent him from hurling Islamophobic insults at Muslim passengers.

The moment was crystalized at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, where a broad swath of the Far Right gathered to oppose the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee.

One of the participants, James Alex Fields, allegedly ploughed his auto into a crowd of anti-racist protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring several others.

"These are not organizations that have their members in administrative appointments", Beirich said. White supremacist websites like the Daily Stormer and Stormfront have also helped proliferate hateful ideas to thousands of predominantly young men who are not formerly affiliated with any particular hate group, per the SPLC report.

The male supremacist movement "misrepresents all women as genetically inferior, manipulative and stupid and reduces them to their reproductive or sexual function", the SPLC said in its report.

Number of hate groups declines in Ohio