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As hate groups increase nationwide, San Diego's levels hold

Posted at 2:47 PM, Aug 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-15 17:52:01-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Hate groups in San Diego have retained their levels in the county in light of reports that groups nationwide have increased over the last year, according to data from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

San Diego is called home by at least eight groups recognized as hate groups by SPLC, which tracks hate group activity across the country. SPLC indicates the groups as general hate to specific "anti-" hate groups: 

  • Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, General hate - Vista
  • Ruth Institute, Anti-LGBT - San Marcos
  • The Realist Report, Holocaust denial - Poway
  • As-Sabiqun, General hate - San Diego
  • Nation of Islam, Black Separatist, Nation of Islam - San Diego
  • Black Riders Liberation Party, Black Separatist - San Diego
  • Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust, Holocaust denial - San Diego
  • Sicarii 1715, Black Separatist - Lemon Grove
  • Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge, Black Separatist - San Diego

SPLC provides an extremist profile of each of these types of groups on their website here.

RELATED: Trump condemns hate groups in Monday statement

In a statement to 10News, SCPL said they identify hate groups through a series of characteristics compiled using publications, news reports, law enforcement reports, and field sources:

All hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics. The SPLC list was compiled using hate group publications and websites, citizen and law enforcement reports, field sources and news reports. Locally identified groups are tracked where members participate in hate group activities which can include criminal acts, marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing.

Hate groups in San Diego have more or less retained their numbers in the county, according to SPLC data. The organization's data shows numbers have sat in the low-teens for the last six years:

  • 2016 - 8 groups
  • 2015 - 11 groups
  • 2014 - 9 groups
  • 2013 - 11 groups
  • 2012 - 13 groups
  • 2011 - 13 groups
  • 2010 - 10 groups

In SPLC's February 2017 report documenting hate group activity, the organization said the number of hate groups increased in the U.S. for the second year in a row in 2016 - from 892 to 917.

RELATED: America's active hate groups are on the rise

SPLC says the current level is about 101 groups shy of the all-time high set in 2011.

In the wake of the increase in groups, SPLC's Mark Potok credited the rise to the White House's new leadership.

"2016 was an unprecedented year for hate," Potok, senior fellow and editor of the report, said. "The country saw a resurgence of white nationalism that imperils the racial progress we’ve made, along with the rise of a president whose policies reflect the values of white nationalists. In Steve Bannon, these extremists think they finally have an ally who has the president's ear."

RELATED: Why Charlottesville? White nationalists drawn to Virginia college town

However, the report noted the overall growth in hate groups is likely understated as more organize and operate online and are not formally affiliated with established hate groups.

The groups in the report were Black Separatist groups (193), Ku Klux Klan groups (130), anti-Muslim groups (101), followed by general hate and white nationalist groups (100 each.)