Special Report

States With the Most Hate Groups

Source: Thinkstock

10. Colorado
> Hate groups: 3.8 per million people
> Number of hate groups: 21
> Pct. pop. identifying as white: 84.0% (17th highest)
> Pct. pop. foreign born: 9.8% (17th highest)

Colorado is one of three Western states to rank among the 10 states states with the greatest number and greatest concentration of hate groups. There are 3.8 hate groups in Colorado for every 1 million state residents, versus the concentration of hate groups nationwide of 3.0 groups per 1 million Americans. Hate groups in the state include racist skinheads, white nationalists, Ku-Klux-Klan, and neo-Nazi groups. However, anti-LGBT groups are the most common in the state. Anti-LGBT groups include the Family Research Institute and The Pray in Jesus Name Project, each headquartered in Colorado Springs, and Generations With Vision, which is headquartered in Elizabeth.

The number of black nationalist groups operating in the United States is on the rise, and Colorado is home to two of them — Israel United in Christ and the Nation of Islam, both based in Denver. Though the Nation of Islam offers a range of programs to uplift African Americans, the group is also known for its rhetoric of black superiority, anti-LGBT, and anti-Semitism.

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9. Georgia
> Hate groups: 3.9 per million people
> Number of hate groups: 40
> Pct. pop. identifying as white: 58.7% (4th lowest)
> Pct. pop. foreign born: 10.1% (16th highest)

The SPLC identifies 40 active hate groups in Georgia, among the most of any state. Some 40% of these organizations are designated by the SPLC as promoting Black Nationalist ideologies, including the Nation of Islam, the New Black Panther Party, and the Nuwaubian Nation of Moors.

The Nuwaubian Nation of Moors moved to Georgia from New York City in the 1990s. The group built an Egyptian-style compound in the rural Putnam County with about 400 members living on-site and an estimated 1,000 additional members living in the surrounding county. The compound was shut down after the FBI arrested the group’s leader and founder, Dwight York. York was subsequently sentenced to 135 years in prison for child molestation and other crimes. Still, the movement persists throughout the state in a network of chapters and bookstores called All Eyes on Egipt. Other SPLC-designated hate groups active in the state include the white nationalist Identity Evropa and several iterations of the Ku Klux Klan.

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8. Arkansas
> Hate groups: 4.0 per million people
> Number of hate groups: 12
> Pct. pop. identifying as white: 76.6% (23rd lowest)
> Pct. pop. foreign born: 4.6% (14th lowest)

Of the 12 hate groups the SPLC identified in Arkansas, half are overtly racist. The state is home to two Ku-Klux-Klan chapters as well as the League of the South, a neo-Confederate group, and the Aryan Strikeforce, a racist skinhead group. The state is also home to two chapters of the black nationalist organization Nation of Islam, with one chapter in Little Rock and another in Pine Bluff.

Hate groups in Arkansas are also formed from religion based hatred. The state is home to three separate Christian Identity groups — a theology that deems people of color to be subhuman and Jews to be cursed by God. One such group in the state is the headquarters for the Kingdom Identity Ministries, the world’s largest supplier of literature and materials on Christian Identity. Anti-Muslim group ACT for America also has a branch in Jonesboro.

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7. Oregon
> Hate groups: 4.4 per million people
> Number of hate groups: 18
> Pct. pop. identifying as white: 84.4% (16th highest)
> Pct. pop. foreign born: 9.6% (18th highest)

Hate groups are a growing problem in Oregon. The SPLC counted 18 active hate groups in the state in 2017, up from just 11 the year prior. New groups identifying as white supremacist, racist skinhead, and neo-Nazi largely accounted for the growth. Nationwide, the number of black nationalist groups, while still nowhere near the count of groups that adhere to forms of white supremacist ideology, grew to 233 from 193 the previous year. As of last year, Oregon was home to three black nationalist groups, which are typically characterized by anti-white and anti-Semitic ideas as well as opposition to integration and interracial marriage.

It seems the rise in organized hatred in Oregon has not gone unnoticed. The City of Portland recently announced a $350,000 grant to support organizations working with Portland United Against Hate. The group tracks and reports acts of hate and provides support and protection in communities throughout the state’s largest city — which itself is home to three hate groups.

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6. Virginia
> Hate groups: 4.4 per million people
> Number of hate groups: 37
> Pct. pop. identifying as white: 67.8% (11th lowest)
> Pct. pop. foreign born: 12.3% (15th highest)

Virginia is one of eight states with over 35 active hate groups, according to the SPLC. With a total of 10, white nationalist groups comprise the largest share of hate groups in the state. Virginia’s white nationalist groups include the AltRight Corporation based in Alexandria, The New Byzantium Project operating out of Charlottesville, and The Right Stuff, which operates in various locations across the state. Twelve additional groups identify as either neo-Nazi, neo-Confederate, racist skinhead, or KKK.

In August 2017, several hundred white nationalists and white supremacists protested the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. They first marched Friday night in a torchlight procession, and on Saturday they clashed with counter demonstrators. A man rammed a car into anti-racist protesters, killing one person and injuring several others. In all, three people were killed and 35 injured as the city declared a state of emergency.

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