Hate Groups Increase 40% During Bush Years

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Southern Poverty Law Center, there are about 900 hate groups operating now in the U.S., a 40 percent increase from 2000.

The vast majority of these groups promote white supremacist beliefs, and range from skinheads living in urban areas to the KKK ,which is based largely in rural America.

It is no accident the increase happened during Bush’s time as president. The period between 2000 to 2008 saw the rise of the worst U.S. economy since the Great Depression. Rising unemployment, along with cuts to education and  social services created an burgeoning underclass of young Americans. Hate groups, aided by the internet, were there to exploit these worsening conditions.

Anger, violence and interest in racist ideology skyrocketed in the hours and days after Barack Obama was elected president in November, hate groups experts said. Interest in racist ideology was so high right after the election that computer servers for two White supremacist websites crashed, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In an interview posted on his website on election night, former Louisiana state Rep. David Duke who is also the former Grand Wizard of the KKK said:

[Obama’s election] “is good in one sense, that it is making white people clear of the fact that that government in Washington, D.C., is not our government. We are beginning to learn and realize our positioning and our position is that we have got to stand up and fight now.”

Law enforcement officials are closely watching white supremacists across the country as Barack Obama prepares next Tuesday to be sworn in as the first African American president of the United States.

Joe Persichini, the assistant FBI director who is helping to oversee security during the inauguration said there “is concern” about white supremacist groups during the inauguration. While racist speech is protected by the First Amendment, violent acts are not and law enforcement finds itself between the two.

This entry was posted in Barack Obama, Bush, Hate Crimes, News, Politics, Poverty and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Hate Groups Increase 40% During Bush Years

  1. VicoDANIEL says:

    These hate groups are truly stupid.

    What they fail to comprehend is, poor people have been harmed the most during Bush’s tenure in office.

    Obama, if he doesn’t get bogged down in a war, has a unique opportunity to fix the economy and his policies will help the poorest Americans.

    Logically, you would think they would see this but all they see is the color of his skin. Stupid, stupid, stupid.


  2. judy says:

    The damage done in the past eight years is mind blowing. I keep reading about how there is a new and growing sentiment in this country – because of Obama’s election and the global recession. I read about it everywhere – the call that people feel to volunteer, to live greener lives and reign in their spending… Will it last? Will our much-touted “better angels” prevail? Articles like this scare the crap out of me.

  3. emcee says:

    The FBI and Secret Service had better not be sitting on their asses eating donuts if one of these groups decides to step out into the light of day or there will be hell to pay.

    The American people will not tolerate it.

  4. taco says:

    It is no accident the increase happened during Bush’s time as president.

    No it isn’t. These groups felt empowered by Bushco.

  5. Joe in Colorado says:

    Did the voters of Louisiana really elect David Duke to office? How did I miss this? Like my grandpa used to say: “there should be a law.” You may not be able to outlaw idiocy but members of the klan should be prevented from holding elected office.

  6. JollyRoger says:

    In answer to your question, of course you can: what’s mine is yours, and all that.

    There is no surprise at all here. Klanservatism is the bedrock plank of the modern Republican Party. I think they had a chance to change that a little bit with McCain, but his selection of a white trash racist as his running mate more or less sealed the ties between racists and the Republicans. Caribou Barbie (along with Chimpy himself) have solidified that racism with their “real America” talk, which is Klanservative code.

    The whole antigay initiative thing was never about gays. It was about making open bigotry acceptable. Sadly, a lot of minorities haven’t figured that out yet. They will.

  7. Fran says:

    Ain’t no time to hate, barely time to wait
    for the regime change.

    As for Bush: Mission Misaccomplished

    Remember when he promised to “restore integrity to the white house” back in 1999 campaign speeches?

  8. Ypsilanti says:

    We have so many hate group in Michigan. You wouldn’t believe it for a state this size.

    My husband and I have a tiny beach cottage we spend most of the year at on the UP. We go to Florida in the winter. We love driving up to the border of Canada and antiquing and taking wildlife pictures. Sounds lame but, we’re low key people.

    Anyway, the northern part of Michigan is rural and it’s know for two things: 1. the natural beauty and, 2. the extremist groups. You see so many Confederate flags on pick up trucks and that White Power star logo thingy. It really depresses me. My husband says northern Michigan is Alabama with snow. I think he’s correct.

  9. Shaw Kenawe says:

    I didn’t know about the increase in hate groups, but I do know about the increase in hate.

    I’ve visited a number of wingnut blogs, and I’m sickened over what I read there. (I know, it’s a crappy job, but someone has to do it.)

    Just today I read one that trashed Michelle Obama in a way I haven’t seen since the era of segregation.

    Those losers are a minority, it’s true, but small though they are, they have a way of polluting a good deal of the country and the blogsphere with their cesspool of hate.

    I hope these dead enders become a smaller and smaller part of our country, and eventually dry up and blow away.

  10. Bel Ami says:

    Have you guys seen David Duke recently?

    He looks like a woman: he had a nose job, his hair is bleached blonde and he wears eye makeup. He reminds me of those middle-aged women who work in department stores at the perfume counter in South Florida.

  11. Massagatto says:

    I was told by a very reliable person in Louisiana politics that David Duke is gay.

    The story goes, Duke’s wife filed for divorced after she found him in bed with a man.

    Duke, who is an ardent homophobe, went on to have a relationship with his bodyguard, a man named, Roy Armstrong, who had designs on political office. Armstrong ran for the United States House of Representatives but lost.

    Today, the two men live together as “roommates” and deny their relationship is anything more than platonic.

    In the world of the KKK, the Aryan Nation and the White Power movements, anyone is gay is hated almost as much as anyone who is black.

  12. Bill Hussein O'Reilly says:

    David Duke is a drug addict of and a close friend of convicted child molester Kevin Strom.

    The fact that the voters of Louisiana elected him to the state legislature proves these people have no right voting.

  13. Rachel says:

    I read David Duke is gay, too. The piece I read said the Feds had pictures of him having sex with men when he was in prison. It figures a creep like Duke is on the “DL.” Aren’t they all? Larry Craig, Duke Cunningham, Ted Haggard. The list gets longer every year. Maybe if these guys just came out, they wouldn’t be so screwed up?

  14. maji says:

    This is a serious problem in America. As a member of a minority group, I fear not only for minorities but for anyone who does not embrace the principles and ideologies of these groups. To be opposed to their principles and ideologies automatically identifies one as “un-American” or “un-patriotic.” Personally, all want is to be left alone to live my life as I please. I’ve always worked, never been on welfare, received food stamps or medicaid, had children out of wedlock, never been in court facing charges for any kind of crime, and have never received any type of government assistance, but members of these racist groups are always willing to put all members of a particular group of citizens in their racist compartments. They are afraid to look at people as individuals. I am more highly educated than the majority of them and have worked in the field of education and paid taxes for 35 years, but I am the one who has been waiting all these years for the government to take care of me .

  15. Woodcliffe says:

    I’m rather enjoying the image of the racists heads exploding next Tuesday when they turn on the TV and their worst fears come true: the first African American is sworn in as the nation’s 44th president.

    With any luck, they’ll become so distraught that they pack it up and relocate elsewhere.

    In fact, since the Feds are handing out money left and right, why not pay to relocate the hate groups to another continent? Another planet?

  16. BradFrmPhnx says:

    This is all coming from theose pesky red neck religious right wingers. Some of that Jesus thumping crowd, wants to thump on anybody that doesn’t kowtow to their “moral majority” code of ethics. It isn’t really all that surprising when you look at the history of their religion. The good side of the deal is that it is turning off America. The republicans have turned into a bunch of heel lickers to big oil and banks…and with her 300 million plus pairs of eyes…America sees it. And as these hate groups gravitate from the republican party…they see that too.

  17. R.J. says:

    I don’t think there’s more groups. I think the existing groups are more emboldened to act out in public.

    We recently had a young man murdered after fighting with a dozen people outside of a bar. Then it turned out the “victim” is part of a hate group and has a prior for a hate crime against a Latino man.

    I believe justice was served when he was killed.

  18. Dmitris says:

    I agree, It is no accident these groups have grown in number during Bush’s time in office. All that Toby Keith music, American flag waving, and phony-baloney nationalism, was reminiscent of Nazi Germany.

  19. Bill Perdue says:

    Part of the increase is certainly due to Bush’s encouragement of racists, war hawks and anti-GLBT bigots. In the same vein the victory of Prop 8 in California was attributable to Obama’s message “god’s in the mix”. For the moment these groups, even with the support of the cults and bigot panderers like Obama and Bush don’t pose a severe threat.

    By far the biggest factor in their expansion is the rapid polarization of US political life fueled by the war and a failing economy. Those two factors will spur the growth of large theocratic-fascist movements on the right, and on the left a new union militancy, a larger antiwar movement, independent political action and the growth of the hard left groups.

  20. Arizona Leatherneck says:

    The American pie is shrinking and groups like the Klan need someone to blame so they point their dunce caps at minorities.

    If they had a clue they would recognize the real culprit is corporate America and the white collar greed.

  21. Harry says:

    These hate groups make me feel so depressed. I don’t think you can fix their hearts and minds.

  22. So terrible that people cannot put their differences aside. Instead, we constantly have to deal with this hatred for one another.

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