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Hate Groups In The U.S.: Will The Changing Face Of The Nation Spur Hate Group Participation?

Posted: Updated: 05/19/2012 11:54 am

Hate Groups In Us

While the U.S. Census Bureau’s longtime prediction that the size of the country’s racial and ethnic groups will together surpass that of the non-Hispanic white population has already become a reality among the nation's newborns, there is little evidence that the trend is prompting new interest in the nation’s hate groups.

“I think it would certainly feed into this generalized fear that the radical right has had for several years,” says Booth Gunter, Public Affairs Director for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a nonprofit civil rights organization that tracks the activities and size of the nation’s hate groups.

Following the U.S. Census Bureau announcement Thursday that the number of Latino, Asian and black children born between July 2010 and July 2011 outpaced the number of non-Hispanic white infants, raised a question about what the demographic shift will mean. Will the shift fuel “simmering tensions” and help hate groups to grow?

But Mark Potok, a Senior Fellow at the SPLC tells The Huffington Post that the news about the way that the youngest portion of the population is changing likely did not prompt a surge in activity inside the nation's hate groups this week.

“It has nothing to do with this announcement," he said. "The growth of [hate and militia groups] didn’t happen over a few days. The idea that non-Hispanic whites would lose their majority has been well known, especially for people on the radical right.”

Indeed, hate groups in the United States have grown steadily for the last decade.

Right-wing militia, anti-government groups that espouse hate ideology actually saw their biggest increases in membership just before and after the country elected its first black President, according to a report published in March by the SPLC.

“If Obama is re-elected then chances are excellent that both [militia and hate groups] will grow at a very rapid pace. If Romney were to win, it may even reverse.”

When asked why that may be, Potok replied, “Obama represents a shift change that is so scary to so many people. He represents in a very graphic way, the racial change that is happening in our population at large.”

Check out our slideshow of Latinos By The Numbers

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  • Mexico

    The nation's highest Latino population comprises 31,798,000 immigrants. The Los Angeles-Long Beach area has the nation's highest number of Mexican immigrants, with 4,569,000, although other large concentrations are found in the Chicago metro area and throughout Texas.

  • Puerto Rico

    The second-largest Hispanic group in the country, Puerto Ricans make up a population of 4,624,000. The nation's largest concentration (1,192,000 people) is situated in the New York-northeastern New Jersey area.

  • Cuba

    The U.S. is home to approximately 1,786,000 Cuban immigrants. Many are concentrated in Miami (784,000, to be exact) as well as the Fort Lauderdale (84,000) and Tampa-St. Petersburg areas (81,000), although the New York/New Jersey area's population (130,000) is considerable, too.

  • El Salvador

    Pockets of the nation's considerable Salvadorian population (1,649,000) exist on both coasts. Los Angeles and Long Beach are home to 414,000 Salvadorians; 240,000 live in Washington, D.C., and 187,000 call the New York metro area home.

  • Dominican Republic

    Nearly half of the nation's Dominican population (1,415,000) happen to like New York -- 799,000 call it home. Other sizable pockets include the Boston/New Hampshire region (86,000) and Miami (59,000).

  • Guatemala

    The U.S. is home to 1,044,000 Guatemalans, with 249,000 of those residing in the Los Angeles metro area. Meanwhile, 85,000 live in the New York metro area, with another 53,000 residing near Washington, D.C.

  • Colombia

    Colombian immigrants account for 909,000 U.S. citizens. Of that, 119,000 live in Miami, and another 65,000 call Fort Lauderdale home.

  • Honduras

    Some 633,000 U.S. residents identify as being of Honduran origin. Of that, 66,000 reside in the Houston-Brazoria, Texas, area.

  • Ecuador

    A total of 565,000 people in the U.S. are of Ecuadorian origin. According to 2009 statistics, two thirds of the population (or 64 percent) live in the Northeast, with 41 percent living in New York.

  • Peru

    Compared to other Hispanic groups, the Peruvian population (533,000) is considerably more geographically dispersed. About 19 percent of the population lives in Florida, while 12 percent resides in New York. Another 16 percent reside either in California or New Jersey.

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Filed by Andrea Long Chavez  |