America’s racist groups concentrate in certain regions — and their presence correlates with religion, McCain votes, and poverty
With the death of Osama bin Laden, many believe that Al Quaeda was dealt a mortal blow. Time will tell, but as we learned from the Oklahoma City bombing and Nidal Malik Hasan’s rampage at Fort Hood, we have much to fear from our own home grown extremists. And not just from “lone nuts” acting on their own.
Since 2000, the number of organized hate groups — from white nationalists, neo-Nazis and racist skinheads to border vigilantes and black separatist organizations — has climbed by more than 50 percent, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Their rise has been fueled by growing anxiety over jobs, immigration, racial and ethnic diversity, the election of Barack Obama as America’s first black president, and the lingering economic crisis. Most of them merely espouse violent theories; some of them are stock-piling weapons and actively planning attacks.
But not all people and places hate equally; some regions of the United States — at least within some sectors of their populations — are virtual hate hatcheries. What is the geography of hate groups and organizations? Why are some regions more susceptible to them? Continue reading