Since the start of the current decade, the presence and activity of hate groups and right-wing extremists have been on the rise in the United States. North Carolina is not immune to this troubling trend.
Research conducted by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a non-profit organization that monitors hate groups and other extremists, has documented an alarming increase in the number of hate groups across the country since 2010. The SPLC found that the number of hate groups rose from 784 in 2010 to 1,020 in 2019, a 30 percent increase.
In North Carolina, the number of hate groups has more than doubled over the same period, from 17 to 37. Of these, the SPLC has identified 26 as white nationalist groups, making North Carolina the state with the third-highest number of white nationalist groups, behind only California and Florida.
The SPLC has also identified a disturbing surge in hate-filled rhetoric, particularly among right-wing extremists. In 2019, the SPLC reported that the number of hate incidents, defined as any activity that is motivated by hate and bigotry, had increased by 57 percent since 2016.
The hate-filled rhetoric has been especially pronounced in North Carolina. The SPLC has documented numerous instances of hate speech in the state, ranging from the use of racial slurs to death threats. In addition, North Carolina has seen a number of high-profile white supremacist rallies, including a 2017 rally in Charlottesville that resulted in the death of a counter-protester.
The rise in hate groups and right-wing extremism has been widely condemned by government officials and civil rights organizations. The U.S. Department of Justice has launched an initiative to combat hate crimes, and the SPLC has launched an education campaign to combat hate speech.
Despite these efforts, the problem of hate groups and right-wing extremism continues to grow. It is clear that more needs to be done to address this scourge and ensure that all Americans are safe and protected from hate.