The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified 917 active hate groups in the U.S. And these groups are growing in membership and in activity.
"Since Election Day, we've tracked more than 1,000 hate incidents and exposed Trump's anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, and anti-LGBT advisers."They identify hate groups as having beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their unchangeable characteristics.
Hate is fed by fear. And fear is fed by perceived threats. These days, fear seems to be the prime motivator of our government's politics. Wild stories about the dangerous-ness of certain groups stirs up unrealistic fear in those who have no understanding of the targeted group and their beliefs or practices.
The way to reduce hate and fear is to foster understanding. We need to educate ourselves and our neighbors about the targeted groups. We need to get the real facts that go beyond the slogans or "fake news."
What do you really know about Islam? What are the real statistics about black violence? What is the truth about LGBT people and their lifestyles?
When we know the truth, when we know individuals in those groups we will have less fear and will smother the hate.
Visit a mosque. Dialog with people of different races. Become friends with LGBT people. Invite them to your groups and into your home. Do your part in fighting hate.
For specific details about hate groups in your state, go to www.splcenter.org/hatemap.