Sunday, June 26, 2011

“Erasing Hate,”–A Skinheads Story Of Redemption

The documentary, Erasing Hate, airing Sunday at 9 p.m. on MSNBC is a story of redemption but it is chilling to realize there are more than 1,000 hate groups in the United States including both Neo-Nazi and White Nationalist groups based in Raleigh, North Carolina and a Black Separatist group based in Durham where I live.

Promo for Erasing Hate Documentary

Click here to view a map, then click on any state to get specifics including the name and nature of each group.

Hate groups do not include more than 1,000 other extremist groups in this nation including private militias, nativist groups and other anti-government groups that are organized to go beyond hate-filled rhetoric.  Nor, of course, does it include disparate groups which affiliate together as the Tea Party movement, although many people believe the rhetoric of some of their members may fuel extremists.

For perspective, it is useful to remember that at its peak in 1925, 1 in 29 Americans belonged to the KIu Klux Klan. The same proportion In terms of today’s population would be 11 million Americans devoted to violence against other Americans.  But it is important while we protect our country from extremists abroad to remember that there are extremists at home epitomized by tragedies like the bombing in Oklahoma City.

My Dad joked long before Ruby Ridge that “God took Southern California in one hand and Southern Florida in the other and shook all of the nuts and berries into Northern Idaho.”

But there are twice as many hate groups based in North Carolina as there are in Idaho and nearly five times as many in the Carolinas combined.  In fact, 150 years after the Civil War, there remain Klu Klux Klan chapters not only in the South but in states like Idaho, Utah, Washington, Oregon, Montana and Wyoming.Capture

If you can stomach it, listen in on the rhetoric on WPTF-AM afternoon broadcasts from Raleigh or shows by Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck or any number of other hate-fueled-for-profit outlets.

It will be no surprise that these groups have increased by 60% in the past decade.

To keep tabs on hate groups, log onto the Southern Poverty Law Center now in its 40th year of “fighting hate and bigotry” and be sure to watch a documentary the Center helped product entitled Erasing Hate, “a skinhead’s story of redemption.”

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