2016 Was ‘An Unprecedented Year for Hate’
The Southern Poverty Law Center has released its survey of hate and extremism for 2016, including an updated map of 917 hate groups across the United States. This time, the number of hate groups in California outpaced all other states, climbing from 68 to 79 between 2015 and last year. On a per capita basis, Florida had the highest number (63). Across the board, 2016 was “an unprecedented year for hate,” said SPLC fellow Mark Potok.
The organization was quick to tie this ugly phenomenon to the rise of Donald Trump.
“A surge in right-wing populism, stemming from the long-unfolding effects of globalization and the movements of capital and labor that it spawned, brought a man many considered to be a racist, misogynist and xenophobe into the most powerful political office in the world,” the report reads. “Donald Trump’s election as president mirrored similar currents in Europe, where globalization energized an array of extreme-right political movements and the United Kingdom’s decision to quit the European Union.”
The SPLC says it saw a 197% increase in anti-Muslim hate groups last year and a 23% jump in neo-Confederate organizations. The number of KKK chapters fell.
Here are some noteworthy trends seen across the Golden State:
• Southern California continues to be a hotbed for extremism. Here are some theories why.
• Not even the Bay Area is immune. Two more hate groups were added to the Bay’s list last year.
Just days after the new report came out, the Anti-Defamation League said 11 Jewish community centers across the country, including one in San Diego, had received bomb threats. The hoaxes follow a wave of vandalism at Jewish institutions. President Donald Trump issued a statement Tuesday calling the incidents a “horrible and painful” reminder of the work that must be done to root out prejudice.