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South Carolina has 19 active hate groups, monitor says

A close look at South Carolina's hate groups, which are under new scrutiny following a deadly shooting in Charleston

Dylann Roof, the suspect in the fatal shooting of nine black worshippers at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, displayed symbols long-associated with white supremacist hate groups.

While it is not yet clear whether Roof had any direct connection to those groups, there are 19 active hate groups in the state, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Of those, 16 support white supremacist ideology, including 6 categorized as “neo-Confederate,” advocating for the secession of the South from the rest of the United States.

One of the neo-confederate groups, League of the South, which has chapters in 15 other states, promotes slavery. “Somebody needs to say a good word for slavery,” said Jack Kershaw, a League of the South board member, according to SPLC. “Where in the world are the Negroes better off today than in America?” The organization has also warned black people that they would be defeated in a “race war,” according to SPLC.

Of the remaining 10 white supremacist groups, 4 are categorized primarily as “white nationalist,” 3 as “neo-Nazi,” 2 are Ku Klux Klan affiliates, and 1 is labeled as a “racist skinhead” group. Despite the different categorizations, all have expressed racist views.

In 2001, the Southern Poverty Law Center found the following quote on the website of one of those groups, the white nationalist Council of Conservative Citizens: "God is the author of racism. God is the One who divided mankind into different types. ... Mixing the races is rebelliousness against God."

The National Socialist Movement, a neo-Nazi group, supports a specific political platform: “25 Points of American National Socialism.” It includes, among other things, opposition to abortion and euthanasia, “except in cases of rape, incest, race-mixing, or mental retardation”; as well as a demand that “non-Whites shall be prohibited by law from participating financially in or influencing American newspapers.”

Whitakeronline, a white nationalist group in South Carolina, expresses fear over the push to diversify the U.S. A statement on its website says, “Diversity is a code-word for the genocide of white people.”

South Carolina is not unique; states with 20 or more active hate groups include California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Illinois, Virginia, New York and New Jersey.

There are 19 ‘active’ hate groups in South Carolina

Category Description Group names
Anti-Immigrant Anti-immigrant hate groups focus on the issue of immigration. The Southern Poverty Law Center calls them "the most extreme of the hundreds of nativist and vigilante groups that have proliferated since the late 1990s." Americans Have Had Enough
Anti-LGBT Anti-LGBT Christian Right leaders have opposed equal rights for LGBT groups and blame the LGBT rights movement for the destruction of American society and culture, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. True Light Pentecost Church
Black Separatist The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies black separatists as people who are against integration and interracial marriage and who have expressed anti-white or anti-Semitic views. Nation of Islam
Ku Klux Klan The Ku Klux Klan is one of the oldest hate groups in the United States. It has mainly targeted African-Americans but has also committed violence against Jews, immigrants, the LGBT community and Catholics. Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Original Knight Riders Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
Neo-Confederate Neo-confederates are often openly secessionist. They also support ending immigration, believe in traditional gender roles and oppose homosexuality. Dixie Republic, League of the South, League of the South/Southern Culture Center, Southern National Congress, Southern Nationalist Network, Southern Patriot Shoppe
Neo-Nazi Neo-Nazis espouse the ideology of Nazi Germany. They mostly target Jews, although they also express hatred toward minorities, gays, lesbians and sometimes Christians. Creativity Alliance, National Socialist Freedom Movement, National Socialist Movement
Racist Skinhead Racist skinheads have been blamed for acts of violence against various groups since the 1980s. To appeal to young people, many produce rock music with lyrics supporting racist ideology. Confederate Hammerskins
White Nationalist White nationalist groups focus on the superiority of whites. Groups categorized as KKK affiliates, neo-Confederates, neo-Nazis, racist skinheads and Christian Identity groups could also be called white nationalist. These groups present themselves in different ways; some express racial slurs using academic language. Bob's Underground Graduate Seminar/BUGS,Council of Conservative Citizens,Patriotic Flags,Whitakeronline

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