Law center finds 21 hate groups in Washington state

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There are nearly 900 hate groups across the country, according to a new report that monitors hate groups and extremists in the U.S.

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The Southern Poverty Law Center defines a hate group as having "beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics."

The group found that 21 of those groups are from Washington state including four groups that identified as white nationalists, two neo nazi groups, and two Ku Klux Klan groups. However, the size of each group is not clear.

Five of the groups are in Western Washington. See SPLC’s map here.

Here are the states with the highest and lowest numbers of hate groups, according to the SPLC: 

Highest

  • California - 79
  • Florida - 63
  • Texas - 55
  • New York - 47
  • Virginia - 42

Lowest

  • Wyoming - 2
  • New Mexico - 2
  • Vermont - 1
  • North Dakota - 1
  • Rhode Island - 1


The report says in 2016, there were 130 Ku Klux Klan groups and 193 black separatist groups active nationwide.

In 2011, the groups peaked at more than 1,000 active hate groups before decreasing to 784 in 2014. Last year's 917 was part of an increase.

The SPLC says the list was compiled using hate group publications and websites, citizen and law enforcement reports, field sources and news reports. Groups that appear in the center of states represent statewide groups.

Hate group activities can include criminal acts, marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing.

This report comes after Heather Heyer, 32, was killed in Charlottesville, Virginia, while counter-protesting during a “Unite the Right” rally organized by white supremacist groups.

James Alex Fields Jr., 20, is charged with second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and one count related to leaving the scene of where he is accused of plowing into the counterprotesters. 

 

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