White nationalist hate groups in the US have increased 55% throughout the Trump era, according to a new report by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), and a “surging” racist movement continues to be driven by “a deep fear of demographic change”. The increase in hate groups includes many which openly advocate violence, terrorism and murder, and “accelerationist” groups ”who believe mass violence is necessary to bring about the collapse of our pluralistic society”
Nationally, there were 155 such groups counted last year, and they were present in most states. These groups were counted separately from Ku Klux Klan groups, racist skinheads, Christian Identity groups, and neo-Confederate groups, all of which also express some version of white supremacist beliefs.The report says, “American racists have fretted over what they fear will be the loss of their place of dominance in society” as its racial composition changes.
The report points out that in the last year, “the FBI upgraded its assessment of the threat posed by racially motivated extremists to a ‘national threat priority’”, and the “Department of Homeland Security announced a strategic shift toward countering racial hatred” but the report says that those efforts are hampered by senior members of the Donald Trump administration like Trump aide Stephen Miller, “who has long been allied with anti-immigrant hate groups”.
Along with the increase in white nationalist groups, there was an increase in homophobic and transphobic organizations, with anti-LGBTQ groups increasing 43% in 2019. Many of those highlighted in the SPLC report are religious fundamentalists.