The Southern Poverty Law Center, a legal advocacy group that tracks hate groups and promotes tolerance, released a new study that says 23 organizations it deems hate groups operated in Kentucky last year.
Here’s how the SPLC determined what qualified as an active hate group:
▪ Organizations must have “beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.”
▪ Groups were identified from “publications and websites, citizen and law enforcement reports, field sources and news reports.” Groups that operate online only weren’t included.
Activities that hate groups engage in can include criminal acts, marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing.
Nationwide, the SPLC has identified 917 hate groups currently operating in the United States, up from 892 organizations in 2015. The largest change came from anti-Muslim organizations, which saw a 197 percent increase from 2015.
California is listed as the state with the most hate groups, at 79. Kentucky ranks 14th while Indiana, which has 26 active organizations, is 13th.
SPLC lays much of the blame for the increase on Donald Trump. The group says his run for office energized many in the “radical right.” In Feb. they released a report on their findings.
Here is what the SPLC identified as hate groups in Kentucky. These groups are categorized based on their belief, and some groups fall into more than one category:
Ku Klux Klan organizations: 4 groups
SPLC’s definition: “The Ku Klux Klan, with its long history of violence, is the most infamous — and oldest — of American hate groups. Although black Americans have typically been the Klan’s primary target, it also has attacked Jews, immigrants, gays and lesbians and, until recently, Catholics.”
▪ Ku Klos Knights of the Ku Klux Klan: Harrodsburg
▪ Church of the National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan: statewide
▪ Confederate White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan: Morehead
▪ Nordic Order Knights of the Ku Klux Klan: Dawson Springs
Black separatist organizations: 4 groups
SPLC’s definition: “Black separatists typically oppose integration and racial intermarriage, and they want separate institutions — or even a separate nation — for blacks. Most forms of black separatism are strongly anti-white and anti-Semitic, and a number of religious versions assert that blacks are the Biblical ‘chosen people’ of God.”
▪ Nation of Islam: Lexington, Louisville
▪ New Black Panther Party: Louisville
▪ Israel United in Christ: Louisville
The Nation of Islam and New Black Panther Party also are classified as distinct hate groups.
Neo-Confederate organizations: 4 groups
SPLC’s definition: “The term neo-Confederacy is used to describe 20th- and 21st-century revivals of pro-Confederate sentiment in the United States. Strongly nativist, neo-Confederacy claims to pursue Christianity and heritage and other supposedly fundamental values that modern Americans are seen to have abandoned.”
▪ League of the South: Fort Mitchell, London, Taylorsville
▪ Southern National Congress: Fruit Hill
The League of the South also is classified as a distinct hate group.
White nationalist organizations: 3 groups
SPLC’s definition: “White nationalist groups espouse white supremacist or white separatist ideologies, often focusing on the alleged inferiority of nonwhites. Groups listed in a variety of other categories — Ku Klux Klan, neo-Confederate, neo-Nazi, racist skinhead, and Christian Identity — could also be fairly described as white nationalist.
▪ Traditionalist Worker Party: Louisville, Madisonville, Murray
Racist Skinhead organizations: 3 groups
SPLC’s definition: “Racist Skinheads form a particularly violent element of the white supremacist movement and have often been referred to as the ‘shock troops’ of the hoped-for revolution. The classic skinhead look is a shaved head, black Doc Martens boots, jeans with suspenders and an array of typically racist tattoos.”
▪ Aryan Strikeforce: statewide
▪ Supreme White Alliance: statewide
▪ Crew 38: Statewide
Neo-Nazi organizations: 2 groups
SPLC’s definition: “Neo-Nazi groups share a hatred for Jews and a love for Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. While they also hate other minorities, gays and lesbians and even sometimes Christians, they perceive “the Jew” as their cardinal enemy.”
▪ National Socialist Movement: statewide
▪ The Daily Stormer: Louisville
The Nationalist Socialist Movement also is classified as a distinct hate group.
Christian Identity organizations: 2 groups
SPLC’s definition: “Christian Identity is a unique anti-Semitic and racist theology that rose to a position of commanding influence on the racist right in the 1980s. “Christian” in name only, the movement’s relationship with evangelicals and fundamentalists has generally been hostile due to the latter’s belief that the return of Jews to Israel is essential to the fulfillment of end-time prophecy.”
▪ Fellowship of God’s Covenant People: Union
▪ Kinsman Redeemer Ministeries: Alexandria
Racist music organizations: 1 group
SPLC’s definition: “Racist music groups are typically white power music labels that record, publish and distribute racist music in a variety of genres.”
▪ American Defense Records: Lexington