While Georgia is known for its great music, food and entertainment, the state is also starting to boast a more negative title – a hot spot for hate groups.
Southern Poverty Law Center out of Alabama did a study of the hate groups around the country, which determined that the number of hate groups in the US went up by 14 percent from 2014 to 2015 including a 40 percent increase in Georgia alone, the AJC reports.
The groups in the report, according to the SPLC’s website, include white nationalists, neo-Nazis, racist skinheads, neo-Confederates, black separatists and Klansmen. Other included groups discriminate against Muslims, LGBT groups, and immigrants. Other hate groups on the list are dedicated to making racist propaganda that denies the Holocaust.
Fourteen of the 39 groups documented on the site to be in Georgia are black separatist groups, but the peach state also serves as home to white supremacist groups, anti-Muslim groups and anti-LGBT groups among others.
From 2011 to 2014, the SPLC’s study of hate groups in America yielded a downward trend, with the number of groups reaching as low as 784, but the number increased in 2015. SPLC’s website correlates some of the change with Donald Trump’s growing popularity. The site said that the “demonization of Muslims, Latinos, immigrants and others” has become a normal occurrence in America, and it cites Trump’s call for a ban on Muslims and his depiction of Mexican immigrants as drug dealers and rapists as a possible reason for the rise.
Most of these groups aren’t silent. In April, riot police had to be called to Stone Mountain during a white power rally because of altercations between white supremacists and counter protestors. People at the rally were carrying around Confederate flags and signs that said “Diversity = White Genocide,” which caused some of the counter protestors to become violent, Creative Loafing reports.
As more controversial issues arise in the midst of a particularly turbulent election season, such as the transgender bathroom issue and the legalization of gay marriage, the amount of hate groups all across the country will likely continue climbing.
Hopefully, the protests will
remain become peaceful.