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Members of the National Socialist Movement (NSM) rally near City Hall on April 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.
According to a new report released Wednesday by civil rights organization the Southern Poverty Law Center, hate groups in America are steeply on the rise, fueled by antagonism to President Obama. The report cites a record surge in the number of hate groups across the country, topping at 1,018 last year. These groups, whose ideologies are organized against racial, sexual, religious and other affiliations, have increased every year since 2000, the center said.
California, the most populous state, led the nation with 84 hate groups last year, followed by Georgia with 65 and Florida with 55. There’s been especially dramatic growth nationwide within the so-called patriot movement, comprised of armed militias and conspiracy-minded organizations, with numbers skyrocketing by 55 percent, from 824 groups in 2010 to 1,274 groups last year. Groups listed in the report include neo-Nazis, black separatists and others targeting Muslims, Jews, immigrants and the gay and lesbian community.
Have you seen or experienced an increase in hate crimes or propaganda in your own area?
Rich Roberts, public information officer, International Union of Police Associations