SPLC Report: Trump Fuels National Hate Group Growth, Idaho Numbers Remain Stable

Neo Nazis Alt-Right and White Supremacists encircle counter protestors at the base of a statue of Thomas Jefferson after marching through the University of Virginia campus with torches in Charlottesville Va. USA

This map, from the Southern Poverty Law Center's website, shows the locations of hate groups throughout the United States.

In January 2017, fliers for the Boise State Nationalists appeared at Boise State University.

In similar fashion, the number of black nationalist group increased from 193 to 233.

Overall, the number of extremist groups, which also include armed militias and male supremacy organizations, rose 4% since 2016, according to the center, which monitors hate groups and other extremists throughout the us and exposes their activities. The rise was driven in part by a backlash from the Nation of Islam and other fringe black nationalist groups that see Trump as an avatar of the rising white supremacist movement, a powerful reassertion of the same centuries-old racism that has always fueled their desire to break away from white America.

"Typified by their anti-Semitic, anti-LGBT, anti-white rhetoric and conspiracy theories, these black nationalist groups should not be confused with activist groups such as Black Lives Matter and others that work for civil rights and to eliminate systemic racism", the report concluded. "Now it was young men wearing "fashy" haircuts, khakis and polo shirts", the SPLC report said. "I think that's reflective of a nationwide trend, seeing these groups grow in number". The findings represent a 4 percent increase from 2016 and are up one-fifth from 2014, according to the study.

"President Trump in 2017 reflected what white supremacist groups want to see: a country where racism is sanctioned by the highest office, immigrants are given the boot and Muslims banned", said Heidi Beirich, director of the Intelligence Project at the law center.

Beirich described black nationalist hate organisations, which grew by 22 percent past year, as "broadly anti-Semitic, anti-white and usually anti-LGBT". Compared to more than 600 white supremacist groups across the country, researchers wrote, that growth rate is small. In August, Trump came under fire for saying "both sides" were to blame for the violence at a white supremacist rally in Virginia where a counter-protester was killed.

"It's as if our culture has been infused by these ideas", Beirich said. "These are not people who are deciding our policies".

The White House did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment on the report.

Identity Evropa, which is responsible for almost half of all white supremacist propaganda found on college campuses in the past year, according to the Anti-Defamation League, was a group that the SPLC claimed "latched on to Trump" and "flourished".

Within the white supremacist movement, neo-Nazi groups saw the greatest growth - from 99 groups to 121.

The number of anti-Muslim bias incidents in the first half of 2017 rose by 24 percent, according to a report released by a leading Muslim advocacy group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). And secondly, the perceived support of white nationalist ideals by President Donald Trump.

Some groups listed in the annual report have accused the SPLC of singling them out, not because they are hateful, but due to their conservative views. Two groups are listed.

In the Philadelphia region, the Shoebat Foundation in Newtown, Bucks County and Micetrap Distribution in Maple Shade, Burlington County also remained active in 2017. The FBI warned a year ago of the rise of what it called "Black Identity Extremists", suggesting that the killing of unarmed black men by police could spur further violence. However, SPLC acknowledged that its report likely failed to capture the full extent of hate-group activity.

The SPLC found four black nationalist groups in SC, and three of them are chapters of the Nation of Islam.

In its 2016 report, the SPLC, a civil rights group that promotes tolerance, said the Ku Klos Knights of the Ku Klux Klan were then operating in Kokomo. "That's not the image of what they have of what white nationalism should be". The Center stated that the number of neo-Nazi groups rose from 99 groups in 2016 to 121 groups previous year.

There were 17 hate groups active in New Jersey previous year, a slight increase from the 15 active groups in 2016.

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