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Members of a white supremacy group give the fascist salute during a gathering in West Allis, Wisconsin,
Reuters/Darren Hauck
Multiplying.
A NEW LOW

The number of hate groups in the US reached a record high in 2018

Ana Campoy
By Ana Campoy

Latin America reporter

Haters in the US felt particularly threatened in 2018 and were compelled to organize.

The number of hate groups reached 1,020, the highest level in nearly 20 years, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has been tracking them since 1999. The rise is part of a trend in the past few years, one the civil-rights group says has been exacerbated by Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric.

The rise was partly driven by an increase in white nationalist hate groups, which went from 100 to 148. (Black nationalist hate groups grew too, from 233 to 264.)

White supremacist groups were angered and frustrated as social media companies started blocking hate speech, according to the center’s report. Trump’s failure to get his border-wall project approved and the election of more minorities and women to the US Congress also contributed to their fears.

But the underlying trend fueling hate is the US’s transformation into a less white, more diverse country. So even if Trump loses the presidency in 2020, the Southern Poverty Law Center expects the number of hate groups to keep growing.

“Regardless of Trump’s future political fortunes, Trumpism—a form of race-based populism—is likely to be with us for many years to come as the nation continues to come to terms with its changing demographics and the impact of globalism,” it says.

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