According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups in the United States, as of 2012 there were at least 1007 of these outfits currently operating in this country, eight of the 1007 were in Massachusetts. Texas leads the list of these hate groups with 62.
The doctrine and make-up of these groups should not come as a surprise – anti-gay, neo-Nazi, anti-government, militias, anti-immigrant, racist, anti-Muslim, skinheads. Many of these groups are more bluster than threat, but with the killings of law enforcement officials in Colorado and Texas, the rise of hate group gangs in prison and the growing paranoia by the right-wing over gun control legislation, the bizarre notion of government confiscation of weapons, and of course a president of color in the White House, these groups can no longer be ignored.
While conservatives in politics and in the media would try to show that the danger to this country is from the “looney left”, socialists in the Obama administration and a vast conspiracy to create a world government, it is these nut jobs on the extreme right that pose the real danger to our country and our rule of law.
The mix of readily available arsenals and the ingrained belief that this country is headed to some sort of liberal overthrow of constitutional freedoms is toxic to say the least and certain to lead to more violence. Should any form of gun legislation pass Congress, be assured that the threat level will increase. We have now passed the line on strong words, disturbing symbols and weekend military exercises, and are now entering a new phase of active challenges to the government, at all levels.
Certainly 1007 of these hate groups, most of which have a handful of active members, do not seem like a major threat to national domestic security, but the number of these groups is growing each year and their membership is becoming more aggressive. Anti-government attacks of the caliber of the Oklahoma City federal building killings are likely on the drawing board of these extremists.
I am sure that government law enforcement agencies are taking new measures to keep an eye of these groups, if not seeking to infiltrate their ranks; but it is no easy task to keep close tabs on a growing domestic threat. Next year when the Southern Poverty Law Center does its tally of the right wing hate groups, it is likely that the number will have grown beyond 1007. This is scary stuff.