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Hate Groups

May 8, 2009 • Volume 19, Issue 18
Is extremism on the rise in the United States?
By Peter Katel

Introduction

Followers of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement demonstrate at the opening of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie, Ill., on April 19, 2009.  (Getty Images/Scott Olson)
Followers of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement demonstrate at the opening of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie, Ill., on April 19, 2009. (Getty Images/Scott Olson)

National crises create opportunities for extremists. Today the global economic crisis now wreaking havoc on millions of American households is hitting while the first black president is in the White House and the national debate over illegal immigration remains unresolved. Already, some far-right extremists are proclaiming that their moment is arriving. Indeed, an annual tally by the Southern Poverty Law Center shows 926 hate groups operating in 2008, a 50 percent increase over the number in 2000. And the Department of Homeland Security concludes that conditions may favor far-right recruitment. But a mix of conservatives and liberal free-speech activists warn that despite concerns about extremism, the administration of Barack Obama should not be intruding on constitutionally protected political debate. Some extremism-monitoring groups say Obama's election showed far-right power is waning, not strengthening. But that equation may change if the economic crisis deepens, the experts caution.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Racism and Hate
Nov. 22, 2013  Racial Profiling
May 08, 2009  Hate Groups
Jun. 01, 2007  Shock JocksUpdated
Jan. 07, 1994  Racial Tensions in Schools
Jan. 08, 1993  Hate Crimes
May 12, 1989  The Growing Danger of Hate Groups
Nov. 05, 1969  American History: Reappraisal and Revision
Mar. 31, 1965  Extremist Movements in Race and Politics
May 13, 1964  Racism in America
Dec. 03, 1958  Spread of Terrorism and Hatemongering
Jul. 10, 1946  Ku Klux Klan
Jan. 09, 1945  Race Equality
Dec. 19, 1933  Lynching and Kidnapping
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Domestic Issues
Freedom of Speech and Press
Hate Groups
Race and Hate Crimes
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