The SPLC has come out with its latest list of active right-wing “hate groups,” now claiming the list exceeds 1000 such groups.
SPLC continues to list two Klan groups in my home state of Rhode Island, even though those claims have been shown not to be true and such falsity has been called to the attention of SPLC. SPLC also does not appear to have stopped inflating its numbers by counting multiple “branches” of a single group as multiple groups.
When SPLC says hate groups, it means right-wing hate groups:
For the second year in a row, the radical right in America expanded explosively in 2010, driven by resentment over the changing racial demographics of the country, frustration over the government’s handling of the economy, and the mainstreaming of conspiracy theories and other demonizing propaganda aimed at various minorities. For many on the radical right, anger is focusing on President Obama, who is seen as embodying everything that’s wrong with the country.
As proof of supposed right-wing violence, SPLC lists the following:
“the shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, an attack that left six dead and may have had a political dimension.”
The allegation that Jared Loughner was right wing has been so thoroughly debunked that SPLC may be the last group actually making such a claim. It truly is amazing that SPLC still peddles this garbage.
The SPLC report and its wild claims are contrary to the actual statistics, which show that hate crimes are decreasing in the United States:
The reported rise in hate groups come at a time when albeit incomplete FBI hate crime data for 2009 showed a 15% decrease in reported hate crime in the nation. The 6,598 hate crimes in 2009 were the lowest number of hate crimes reported by the FBI since 1994, although participation in the voluntary program varies widely from state to state.
The SPLC report is just another fundraising tool, but it is not harmless.
The damage SPLC does with such posturing is very real, as buried in that list of 1000+ supposed active hate groups probably are some groups we need to keep an eye on.
We just don’t know which ones, because SPLC has so politicized the process that it is impossible to separate the potentially violent from the politically incorrect.
Update 2-24-2011: Bruce McQuain has a good review of the latest SPLC report, including this quote showing how SPLC tries to tie Loughner to right-wing views:
“That’s in addition to the attempted assassination of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, an attack that left six dead that same month. The assailant appeared to be severely mentally ill, but he also seemed to have absorbed certain ideas from the radical right, including the notion that the federal government is evil.”
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