Mar 18, 2022 - News

Hate groups decline in Georgia — but not by much

Recreated from Southern Poverty Law Center; Map: Jacque Schrag/Axios

The number of hate groups in the U. S. fell in 2021, but the change comes as the views of some extremist groups have seeped into the mainstream, according to a new report by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Why it matters: Georgia ranks 8th on the list of states with the largest number of hate groups. California and Florida have the highest number of hate groups, according to the nonprofit.

Details: According to the SPLC, Georgia is home to 24 hate groups and 11 antigovernment groups.

"Nearly all of the ideologies and movements within the hard right are unfortunately represented in Georgia," Rachel Carroll Rivas, a senior research analyst at the SPLC, said.

The report shows that the number of U.S. hate groups has fallen for three years in a row.

  • The law center identified 29 groups in Georgia in 2020. The nonprofit counted the highest number of groups in Georgia — 65 — in 2011.

Zoom in: In January 2020, federal law enforcement accused three Georgia men of belonging to a militant white-supremacist group called The Base and conspiring to kill a Bartow County couple.

  • Sixteen people in Georgia have been charged for their alleged involvement with the January 6th insurrection, according to Carroll Rivas' count.

What they're saying: ​The center says that the “reactionary and racist beliefs that propelled a mob into the Capitol” have become a powerful political movement.

  • ​"In the year since the insurrection, this hard-right movement ... has worked feverishly to undermine democracy, with real-world consequences for the people and groups they target,” the report says, pointing to legislation focused on LGBTQ youth and voting restrictions.

The big picture: The number of hate crimes in major cities skyrocketed in 2021, according to an unpublished study by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.

Domestic violent extremism is the "single greatest terrorism-related threat" in the U.S., says Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

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