Hate groups persist in Colorado despite national decline
Hate groups are prevalent in Colorado, led by far-right extremists and nationalist organizations, experts say.
Driving the news: A new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center identified 18 hate and antigovernment groups in the state in 2021, continuing a decade-long trend showing an elevated local presence.
- The organizations have been energized by pandemic-related conspiracies concerning COVID-19 vaccines and masks. Others continue to push antisemitic and anti-LGBTQ messages.
The big picture: Nationwide, the number of hate groups totaled more than 1,200, per the SPLC report, but that figure represents an overall decline for the third consecutive year.
- The center says the slump is due in part to extremist ideas becoming a larger part of the political mainstream conversation.
- A spokesperson for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation did not return messages from Axios seeking comment on the report.
What they're saying: The Anti-Defamation League's Jeremy Shaver says the organization is seeing an uptick in right-wing extremism and counted 314 hate crime incidents in the state from 2020 to now.
- Hate crimes hit record levels in Colorado in 2020, FBI data showed.
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