Fun with stats: The Year in Hate and Extremism

I heard this report last night on Fresh Air, and then went to read the original article at the Southern Poverty Law Center. Here are some not-so-fun statistics:

  • The number of hate groups in the U.S. has been going up for years, rising 54% between 2000 and 2008. The number of groups rose again slightly in 2009 — from 926 in 2008 to 932 last year — despite the demise of a key neo-Nazi group.
  • Furious anti-immigrant vigilante groups soared by nearly 80%, adding some 136 new groups during 2009.
  • An astonishing 363 new Patriot groups appeared in 2009, with the totals going from 149 groups (including 42 militias) to 512 (127 of them militias) — a 244% jump. (If you’re not familiar with what a “Patriot group” is, you can read more here.)
  • A new poll from Harris interactive finds that 40 percent of American adults think that Obama is a socialist; 25 percent believe that Obama was not born in the United States and is therefore not eligible to be president; 20 percent say Obama is doing many of the things that Hitler did; 14 percent say Obama “may be the Antichrist.”
  • According the SLPC’s map of extremist and hate groups, the state with the second largest number of groups, after Texas, is California.

It’s easy to forget sometimes, but your friends here at CatSynth could be targets for such groups. Far less of a danger than an auto accident, statistically speaking, but still…