The number is up more than four percent from the 888 groups in 2007 and a 54 percent jump from the 602 groups documented in 2000. They primarily attribute the longterm upsurge to mass immigration, legal and illegal, by Latinos. The SPLC claims the rise in hate groups has coincided with a 40 percent growth in hate crimes against Latinos between 2003 and 2007, according to FBI statistics. However, they also attribute the additional short-term bump to the faltering economy and the Obama campaign.
Here's what the SPLC won't tell you. Part of the reason for the 54 percent jump since 2000 is the categorical expansion of the database. In 2000, the SPLC focused exclusively on actual racial hate groups. Since that time, they've expanded their focus to include additional categories like "nativist" groups, right-wing extremists, and even religious organizations like the FLDS. You cast a wider net, you catch more "fish". But conspicuous by their absence are any Latino separatist groups like the National Council of La Raza, the Mexica Movement, and the Mechistas.
Here's their list of Utah groups (click HERE then click on the state of Utah):
-- Brotherhood of Klans Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Ku Klux Klan, UT
-- Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints, General Hate, Hildale UT
-- American National Socialist Workers Party (ANSWP), Neo-Nazi, Salt Lake City UT
-- Council of Conservative Citizens, White Nationalist, Salt Lake City UT
-- Western Hammerskins, Racist Skinhead, Salt Lake City UT
Ironically, when I consult the SPLC's official list of "hate" incidents in Utah in 2008, not a single incident was known to be caused by any of the groups listed above. Instead, the incidents were the responsibility of either "lone wolves" or by non-whites. Here are the five incidents:
Salt Lake City: Published on 11-26-2008. A man was allegedly attacked by a person who used an anti-gay epithet and hit him on the head with a bottle.
Farmington: Published on 11-20-2008. The phrase "Nobody's born a bigot" was spray-painted on a wall outside of a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints chapel. Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime.
South Ogden: Published on 11-06-2008. A flag celebrating Barack Obama's presidential win was burned at a black family's residence.
Cedar City: Published on 09-07-2008. Jesus Javier Ortega, 30, was charged with second-degree assault for allegedly stabbing his brother-in-law with a pen after accusing him of turning his son gay.
West Jordan: Published on 05-30-2008. A burning soda can full of gasoline was thrown through the window of a Catholic church.
And what of the five listed groups? Neither the Brotherhood of Klans nor the Western Hammerskins engaged in any reported "hate" activity. The ANSWP, which first came to notice during Jack Gray's unsuccessful campaign for the Salt Lake City Council District 4 seat in 2007, has been dormant; their state website hasn't been updated in over a year. Why the FLDS are on the list is incomprehensible; I guess the SPLC simply doesn't like polygamy. And the Council of Conservative Citizens has published a vigorous and eloquent rebuttal to the SPLC HERE.
In addition, there's been a Clintonesque shadow cast over the character of the SPLC's Chief Trial Counsel, Morris Dees. Back in 1978, a messy divorce case documented HERE and HERE exposed unsubstantiated but unanswered allegations of adultery, homosexuality, and even carnal knowledge of an underage girl against Dees. He has never responded to these allegations, even when asked to do so at various public forums. Is this the type of individual who should have conferred upon him any moral authority over us?
Why else does the SPLC constantly harp about "racism"? The anti-hate racket actually can be quite lucrative. According to Charity Navigator, the SPLC reported a $13,382,097 net profit and total assets of $192,365,623 during 2006, the most recent year in which they made statistics publicly available. In addition, the President and CEO Richard Cohen earned $280,107, while the Chief Trial Counsel, the infamous Morris Dees, earned $283,697. Accordingly, the SPLC has a powerful financial incentive to protect this "iron rice bowl", so they exaggerate existing "hate" and even invent non-existent "hate" for the sake of organizational self-perpetuation and to keep the donation spigot cranked wide open.
The SPLC is a biased, bigoted organization unworthy of support.