Mapping hate

It’s August and a time when professors try to clear out accumulated reprints, notes and other collected items. Tonight, I spent a while attacking some stacks in my home office. In a cluster of materials relating to social conflict and violence, I found a clipping that I had saved from the Washington Post, dated March 8, 2008.

The title is “Hate Rises.”

It’s not really an article, so much as a series of graphic displays that caught my attention three years ago and now, again. A bar graph shows the rise in number of hate groups in the U.S. since the year 2000. A series of maps show the numbers of particular hate groups by states.

Good news: membership in the Ku Klux Klan declined dramatically since its founding in 1865. Bad news: the size of other hate groups has surged “especially along the border in Arizona, California and Texas.”

These figures are the result of dedicated work by the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala. I urge you to visit the website. Explore a map of the United States and the links to currently active hate groups by state. Beware: you may not be able to sleep well after this excursion into the darkness of hate.

On a brighter note, another page offers you an opportunity to take a stand against hate and create a non-hate space on the U.S. map.

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