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Trump's first year sparks surge in hate groups

Trump's first year sparks surge in hate groups

The report showed that there were 689 groups associated with the anti-government "Patriot" movement of which 40 per cent were armed militias.

The report found that the number of black nationalist hate groups in the USA, including the Nation of Islam, grew by 20%, from 193 groups in 2016 to 233 in 2017.

In its annual report, " The Year in Hate", the Southern Poverty Law Center identified 954 hate groups across the United States-an increase of 4 percent over 2016, which SPLC attributes in part to President Donald Trump.

He added that Trump has emboldened white supremacy long before he became president when he gave prominence to the "birther" movement, claiming that Barack Obama, the country's first black president, was born in Kenya. "Now it was young men wearing "fashy" haircuts, khakis and polo shirts", the SPLC report said. "I think that's reflective of a nationwide trend, seeing these groups grow in number".

The number of hate groups in the U.S. grew to 954, marking a 4-percent increase compared to previous year.

White supremacist groups ramped up their recruiting of college students. It said many of them, especially from race supremacists who believe the white identity is under attack by multiculturalism, operate mainly online.

In a call with reporters, Heidi Beirich, head of the SPLC's Intelligence Project, likened the men's rights groups' rhetoric about women to the way the white nationalist organization American Renaissance categorically describes the inferiority of black people. They "have nothing in common" with civil rights organizations like Black Lives Matter, nor do they have any political power. These organizations are "broadly anti-Semitic, anti-white, and usually anti-LGBT", Beirich said. "These are not people who are deciding our policies". The report points specifically to the former White House appointment of Stephen Bannon and a racially-charged demonstration in Charlottesville, Va., that left one dead. "And that's music to the ears of white supremacists", Beirich continued. Neo-Nazi groups in the USA witnessed startling growth, increasing by 22 percent.

"Even within the white supremacist movement, they're seen as anachronistic", said Oren Segal, director of the ADL's Center on Extremism. Until Trump began his campaign, she adds, white supremacist groups used to view politics as a waste of time.

Last year, on the first day of Ramadan and the holiest of the year in Islam, the US was shaken by rising anti-Muslim hate crimes amid double homicide.

The two groups, Beirich said, "demonize women as an entire population".

In the Philadelphia region, the Shoebat Foundation in Newtown, Bucks County and Micetrap Distribution in Maple Shade, Burlington County also remained active in 2017. The SPLC documented some 300 incidents of racist flyers being distributed on more than 200 campuses.

The small number of groups in the men's right category-just two, relative to the 121 listed, for example, under "Neo-Nazi"-testifies to a significant limit to the hate-group count, of which Beirich is very aware".

As this group increases its presence, "its connections to more hardline racist groups have also grown stronger", SPLC noted. "That's not the image of what they have of what white nationalism should be".

Meanwhile, KKK chapters declined drastically, decreasing from 130 in 2016 to 72 a year ago.

On Wednesday, a federal magistrate in Alabama recommended the dismissal of a separate lawsuit that accused the law centre of defaming a Florida-based evangelical ministry by designating it as a hate group.

"Pennsylvania is an interesting geographic location", Lenz said.

This year's annual report says the number of hate groups in the country has increased 20% since 2014.

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