New information from the Southern Poverty Law Center just issued information that shows Trump's presidency is become increasingly divisive to the nation.
The SPLC's 2017 Year in Hate report concluded that the overall number of hate groups increased 4% from 2016 to 2017, (954 in total). Drilling down into the numbers a little deeper, it found that Neo-Nazi groups jumped from 99 to 121, anti-Muslim groups from 101 to 114, and anti-immigrant groups from 14 to 22. In similar fashion, the number of black nationalist group increased from 193 to 233. The report classifies a hate group as having “beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics."
Heidi Beirich, director of the SPLC's Intelligence Project, says the numbers tell a larger story about the America we're living in, particularly with Trump at the helm. “This has been a year that has seen increasing divisiveness and bigotry, particularly in the mainstream of American life,” Beirich told TIME. There has been a substantial emboldening of the radical right, and that is largely due to the actions of President Trump, who has tweeted out hate materials and made light of the threat to our society posed by hate groups. This was most notable in his comments after Charlottesville, where he equivocated between anti-racist protesters and white supremacists — and that was an event that left one anti-racist activist dead.”
Shortly before the Charlottesville riots last summer, former KKK leader David Duke led the "Unite the Right" rally pledging to fulfill the nationalist promises of Donald Trump. After Trump's presidential address of the Charlottesville attacks saying there was evil on many sides, Duke accused Trump of alienating his strongest supporters.
Speaking of Duke, the number of Ku Klux Klan chapters fell from 130 to 72. All it means, according to Beirich, is that younger white nationalist Americans are not in tune with the grandfathers' brand of racism. “It’s just extremely old-school and I think, honestly, weird to them,” she said. "[They're] trying to change that image. They’re trying to change it into this more clean-cut look. And I think that’s really hurting Klan recruitment.”
Head to SPLC's site to read the detailed report.