According to a report released Wednesday by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of hate groups in the United States has risen steadily since 2000, with a significant spike in anti-government organizations occurring…you guessed it…right after Barack Obama’s election.

From The New York Times:

The center, which has kept track of such groups for 30 years, recorded 1,018 hate groups operating last year.

The number of groups whose ideology is organized against specific racial, religious, sexual or other characteristics has risen steadily since 2000, when 602 were identified, the center said. Antigay groups, for example, have risen to 27 from 17 in 2010.

The report also described a “stunning” rise in the number of groups it identifies as part of the so-called patriot and militia movements, whose ideologies include deep distrust of the federal government.

In 2011, the center tracked 1,274 of those groups, up from 824 the year before.

The report says that hate groups are most highly concentrated in California, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey and New York. It also indicates that some hate groups, including the anti-immigrant group the Militiamen and the Ku Klux Klan, are on the decline, with the number of Klan chapters dropping by 49 in the past year.

The New York Times also adds that the Justice Department only monitors groups with paramilitary intentions and not those that are simply hate groups, but the agency said that its prosecution of hate crimes has increased 35% during the first three years of Obama’s presidency.

Are you surprised by these numbers? Logic says that a black president would bring out all of the racists, and Obama’s term has very visibly brought them out in droves disguised as “patriots.” But it’s shocking (and frightening) that the number of hate groups in our country has practically doubled in the past ten years.

What do you think?

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