Hate Groups In America There are 1,002 of them, including Skinheads, Klansmen and neo-nazis.
What is a Hate Group? The Southern Poverty Law Center is a non-profit, civil rights organization that works to fight bigotry and hate in the United States. The SPLC monitors hate groups and exposes them to the public and the police. According to the SPLC website, “All hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.” www.splcenter.org
Why Do Sociologists Study This issue? Sociologists study racism for many different reasons but the best reason is to prevention. Racism can lead to segregation or genocides. There are several theories as to why sociologists believe racism has flourished over time: • Exploitative belief systems developed by colonial Europeans. • Negative symbolic meanings associated with the color black. • Count Joseph Arthur de Gobineau, “The Father of Modern Racism”.
In the news... A very recent news story in the Philadelphia Tribune, “Hate Groups Find Ground in Northwest”, is claiming that anti-government or so-called patriot groups have moved into Northwest America. Many anti-government hate groups in the region don’t trust the government’s authority and fear global capitalism. Some people believe that as beautiful as the Inland Midwest may be, it is hiding groups of violent and anti-government extremists. After a lull of extremist and hate activity, the rural Midwest seems to be going through a hate group revival. One reason may be the economy, “Experts say the number of radical right groups is growing across the country because of the poor state of the economy, rising immigration and fears that President Barack Obama's administration has an agenda to curtail individual liberties.” Nicholas K Geranios. Philadelphia Tribune. Philadelphia, Pa. Jul 5, 2011.
In Conclusion Other organizations that work on tracking and convicting hate groups are the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Anti-Defamation League. Bigotry has ties back to early European history and culture and is still present in our society today in it’s various forms. The most extreme form of bigotry is a hate group.