A new report says 954 hate groups exist in America – an increase of 37 from 2016. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s annual hate map, Missouri has gone in the opposite direction. The center, a national legal advocacy group specializing in civil rights, says the number of Missouri hate groups has dropped from 24 to 18 in one year.
Another trend tracked by the organization shows the number of active Ku Klux Klan groups has declined nationwide by nearly 60.
Many hate groups keep a low profile and depend on websites, social media, and chatrooms to spread their message and recruit members. Of Missouri’s eight neighboring states, the center says the Show-Me State has more hate groups than any of them except for Illinois and Tennessee.
Part of the recruitment process also involves fundraising for the cause. One trend found by the Southern Poverty Law Center is that prominent neo-Nazis and white nationalists accept Bitcoin from their supporters – a largely untraceable form of digital currency that is popular among criminals.
Missouri’s 2017 hate groups include:
•General hate: American Guard (statewide)
•Racist skinhead: Firm 22 (statewide)
•Neo-Nazi: The Daily Stormer (statewide)
•Neo-Nazi: Aryan Nations Sadistic Souls MC in Grovespring
•White nationalist: Council of Conservative Citizens in Potosi
•White nationalist: Conservative Citizens Foundation in St. Charles
•Christian identity: Church of Israel in Schell City
•Black nationalist: Nation of Islam in St. Louis
•Black nationalist: New Black Panther Party for Self Defense in St. Louis
•Anti-Muslim: ACT for America in St. Louis
•Black nationalist: Israel United In Christ in St. Louis
•Black nationalist: Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge in St. Louis
•Anti-LGBT: Mass Resistance in St. Louis
•Neo-Nazi: Vanguard News Network in Kirksville
•Black nationalist: Nation of Islam in Kansas City
• Anti-Muslim: ACT for America in Kansas City
•Black nationalist: Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge in Kansas City
•Ku Klux Klan: Confederate White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Sikeston