Oh, come ON, Florida! Seriously? You know, we’re already in third place for murder, rape and violent crime behind Texas and California now. As of last year anyway. Down from just a few years ago, when we held the title on murder, at least. But are you seriously telling me…right now…that Florida can’t even be the most HATEFUL state in the Union? Really? Do we lack that much conviction now? Still…maybe second place isn’t so bad, in the number of hate groups registered by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The map above was recently released by the SPLC, which tracks hate groups in the United States. First, the good news: Nationwide, the number of hate groups dropped from 1,007 last year to 939 this year. That’s down even further from the all-time peak of nearly 1,400 two years ago. And that number was a tad bit higher than the 149 (sic) registered in 2008. But something strange seems to have come about the nation in 2009 or so. We’re not sure exactly what, but this chart from the Daily Mail UK seems to imply some kind of trend:
As you might have gathered, it kind of seems as though Nazis and bigots the nation over are really only happy when there’s a Republican in office. Hate seems to peak just before the second term for any Democrat, after which the Nazis resign themselves to their fates and go back to crocheting Baby Hitler booties. As of now, hate for Obama hasn’t quite dropped back to Clinton levels — but it is dropping, as it did when Clinton entered his second term. Albeit much slower. Again, we’re not sure why.
But, back to the SPLC Hate Map. The hate groups listed are divided up into eight categories, and the states are darkened according to the number of hate groups present. It probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to most that the majority of hate groups are centered in former Confederate states, though there’s a pretty strong swath along the Great Lakes region as well.
In at least a few cases, the number of hate groups is probably more representative of the population size than anything else. California, Texas, New York and Florida (in that order) are the four most populous states states in the country, and all four have very strong showings for hate group numbers. Then again, all four also have something else in common — they’re border states with comparatively large minority and immigrant populations.
So, most of those make sense.
About the only real oddity here, on the high end, is Pennsylvania. At 41 groups, it almost matches New York’s 42 groups, with about a third fewer people. And, more oddly still, the vast majority of those groups seem to be located right along the Amish Country Corridor. Guess now we know why the Mennonites invented those fire-less fireplaces.
They used all the wood burning crosses.
Alaska is another seeming anomaly, which may again come down to population. The SPLC recorded but a single skinhead group in the entire state. Which, more than likely, is just that one guy who was dumb enough to shave his head in the Arctic.
The top list for states with the most hate groups, disgustingly topped by…ugh…
- California — 77 hate groups
- Florida — 58 hate groups
- Texas — 57 hate groups
- Georgia — 50 hate groups
- New York — 42 hate groups
Suck it, Texas!
Florida beat you by one!
And it may be a lot more than that. Or possibly less. In fact, the SPLC’s map, as impressive as it is, is still nowhere near complete. Evidence in point: Yours truly is from Marion County, Fl, right next to the black “Skinhead” icon representing the Ocala Confederate Hammerskins. A people with whom yours truly has some personal experience — and who, no, didn’t give me this stylish haircut.
Even so, notably absent in Marion County’s case alone are at least two large skinhead groups in the Ocala National Forest, the Aryan Nation Southeast division located at the old regional compound in Hog Valley, and several chapters of the League of the South spread in and around the Ocala National Forest. And those are just a few of the unmentioned off the top of this local’s (skin)head. In a larger sense, that seems to indicate that there are probably far more hate groups than the SPLC registers for these states, particularly in less traveled and more rural areas — the ones listed are simply those on the radar.
That may also explain why Kentucky and West Virginia appear to have so few. That may be a matter of population…but it may just as well be that many backwoods groups go unreported.
Some of the more interesting hate groups listed include about 115 black separatist groups, generally under the Nation of Islam banner spread in and around urban areas. Which, we’ll note for our racist and Islamaphobe friends, are outnumbered about 10-to-1 by the others. And blacks make up about 12.6 percent of the population. So, by that alone, whites are actually slightly more likely to belong to a hate group than militant blacks. There are actually far more Nazi groups in the U.S. than black separatist — and those Nazi groups are typically much larger in number.
But that aside, it’s the groups you wouldn’t expect that are the most fascinating. Of course, nobody’s surprised when the “Aryan Strikeforce,” “American Front” or the “Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan” turn out to be hate groups. But some are shockingly innocuous sounding, with many hiding behind religious or humanitarian names. Here are just a few from one state:
- The American Freedom Party — White Nationalist
- Bill Keller Ministries — General Hate
- Irving Books — Holocaust Denial
- Liberty Counsel — Anti-Gay
- Sharkhunters International — General Hate
- Catholic Action Resource Center — Radical Traditional Catholocism
- The Creativity Alliance — Neo-Nazi
- Truth in Action ministries — Anti-Gay
And the anti-winner is:
- The American College of Pediatricians — Anti-Gay Coalition
Just can’t trust anybody these days, can you?
Again, these are just Florida — the story is the same for states everywhere. Anti-gay groups hiding behind crosses, Nazis posing as patriots, and Neo-Confederate Skinhead groups calling themselves everything but butterfly collectors.
But, back to whining about Florida, and losing to those Birkenstock-wearing, tree-hugging liberal hippies in California. When news gets out they those guys managed to out-hate US, the local population will lose its mind.
Wait…population. Something about population…
Population of California is 39.3 million with 77 hate groups among them. Population of Florida (slightly less than Texas) is 19.5 million with 58 hate groups among them. That’s 50 percent of the population of California, with 75 percent as many hate groups. So, on hate groups per capita…
It’s Florida by a massive 66 PERCENT!
We did it! We won! Florida finally won something! Let’s hear it…
“You can’t out-hate the Sunshine State! Can’t out-hate the Sunshine State!”
Now, all we need to do is bring our murder figures back up to at least L.A. levels. Hell, George Zimmerman alone could take down Texas for us. But we know our real goal, guys. Because now that Florida is once again the Undisputed King of Hate (per capita), we can’t have godd*mned Texas accusing us of tolerating the people we hate by not shooting them.
That sounds like something they’d do in…ugh…California.