The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has just released its annual report on hate and extremism in America. Entitled “Hate groups increase for second consecutive year as Trump electrifies radical right,” it is a “must-read” for all Americans who care about our country.
As SPLC noted in the cover memo to supporters, “As Donald Trump’s campaign electrified the radical right, the number of hate groups grew to 917 in 2016 – up from 892 in 2015. The most dramatic growth was the near-tripling of anti-Muslim hate groups – from 34 in 2015 to 101 last year. The growth has been accompanied by a rash of crimes targeting Muslims, including an arson that destroyed a Texas mosque just hours after the Trump administration announced its ban on travelers from certain predominantly Muslim countries. . . As the Trump administration promotes its ‘alternative facts,’ it’s important that we all stay informed about these troubling developments.”
As alarming as this is, it should also be noted that Americans throughout our land are rising up in mostly peaceful protests against hate, bigotry, discrimination, Trump’s presidency, and right-wing extremism. If nothing else, the results of the 2016 election have awaked a huge “sleeping bear” of inclusion, fairness, equality, and activism on behalf of the oppressed and left out. There is a place in this movement for all Americans who hold these values dear – whether that means running for office, supporting a new person running for office, joining a demonstration, donating to progressive causes, staying on top of issues, making your voice heard, and so on. We are responsible for our own fate – get (or remain) involved!