"Number of U.S. Hate Groups Is Rising, Report Says," New York Times Atlanta-based Kim Severson reported Thursday. But that "report" was not some government finding, but came straight from The Southern Poverty Law Center, a left-wing activist group whose fund-raising is based on finding as many dangerous right-wing groups as possible.
Severson on Thursday replayed SPLC's findings that hostility toward Obama and racial resentment were fueling "hate groups and antigovernment organizations." That's a conveniently broad brush with which to tar players in the conservative movement, and the group has put the label in the past on mainstream social conservative groups like the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America. But Severson didn't even bother to call the group liberal.
Fed by antagonism toward President Obama, resentment toward changing racial demographics and the economic rift between rich and poor, the number of so-called hate groups and antigovernment organizations in the nation has continued to grow, according to a report released Wednesday by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The center, which has kept track of such groups for 30 years, recorded 1,018 hate groups operating last year.
The number of groups whose ideology is organized against specific racial, religious, sexual or other characteristics has risen steadily since 2000, when 602 were identified, the center said. Antigay groups, for example, have risen to 27 from 17 in 2010.
The report also described a “stunning” rise in the number of groups it identifies as part of the so-called patriot and militia movements, whose ideologies include deep distrust of the federal government.
In 2011, the center tracked 1,274 of those groups, up from 824 the year before.
“They represent both a kind of right-wing populist rage and a left-wing populist rage that has gotten all mixed up in anger toward the government,” said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center and the author of the report.
The SPLC conveniently managed to leave out the violent extremists in the Occupy Movement, though give Severson half-credit for mentioning the group:
The Occupy movement is not on the list because its participants as a collective do not meet the center’s criteria for an extremist group, he said.