Hateful geography

Today’s Washington Post illustrates a census of hate groups in the US, compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama. The group claims that the total has risen from 602 at the beginning of the century to 888 last year. I would approach this number with some skepticism, since it doesn’t say anything about the size or level of activity for each group (and, after all, the SPLC would probably find it harder to raise contributions if it reported a downward trend in hate activity). But the maps do suggest that different kinds of hate groups find it easier to exist in different parts of the country. The Ku Klux Klan has a inland base west of the Appalachias, going from Indiana and Ohio down to Mississippi. Neo-Nazis are concentrated in the upper Midwest (Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois). Racist skinheads are mostly in the urban Northeast, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania. And the Deep South is home to a relatively large number of white nationalists, black nationalists, and neo-Confederates.

Only two states — Rhode Island and South Dakota — don’t seem to have any hate groups at all.