President Donald Trump’s successful campaign and election win unleashed a level of hatred not seen in the United States in decades. According to the latest annual intelligence report from civil rights advocacy group the Southern Poverty Law Center, 917 hate groups were active across the nation last year, up from 892 in 2015, and 784 in 2014. Hate-group activity burst into the open this past weekend when white nationalist groups convened on Charlottesville, Virginia. They fought with counter-protesters that led to the death of one person.
Because these groups have a tendency to hide the nature of their organizations, these tallies — while the best available numbers — likely underestimate the true levels of hate group activity. Based on data provided by SPLC, Montana leads the nation with 9.6 known active hate groups for every 1 million state residents. Indiana rounds out the list of 10 with 3.9 hate groups per 1 million. Nationwide, there are 2.8 hate groups for every 1 million Americans.
> Hate groups: 3.9/million
> Number of hate groups: 26
> Pct. pop. identifying as white: 84.0% (19th highest)
> Pct. pop foreign born: 4.9% (20th lowest)
The SPLC identified 26 hate groups operating in Indiana in 2016 — a 63% increase over the previous year. Adjusting for the population, there are 3.9 hate groups for every 1 million state residents, one of the highest concentrations of such groups in the country.
Many hate groups in the state operate in Indianapolis. The capital city is home to a KKK chapter, a neo-Nazi group, two black separatist organizations, and a racist skinhead organization called American Vikings. There are over a dozen groups operating in the rest of the state, including a neo-Nazi organization called Gallows Tree Wotansvolk Alliance.
Active hate groups in the United State rose dramatically after former President Barack Obama’s election in 2008. According to SPLC’s count, the number of hate groups surged 800% from 2008 to 2012, when the tally peaked at 1,360 groups. Obama’s race likely led to the hate group spike in 2012. SPLC’s observations suggest the promotion of far-right radicalism in Trump’s campaign rhetoric led to the more recent rise in hate crimes.