SPLC Report: Trump Fuels National Hate Group Growth, Idaho Numbers Remain Stable 

In its annual report, "The Year in Hate," the Southern Poverty Law Center identified 954 hate groups across the United States—an increase of 4 percent over 2016, which SPLC attributes in part to President Donald Trump. In Idaho, however, the number of active hate groups has remained unchanged.

Since 1990, when the SPLC began releasing "The Year in Hate," the number of hate groups typically decreases during Republican presidencies and increases during Democratic presidencies, but President Trump appears to be an outlier: between his election and the present, the watchdog organization has seen a resurgence of white supremacist groups.

click to enlarge - In January 2017, fliers for the Boise State Nationalists appeared at Boise State University. -  - COURTESY LESLIE MADSEN-BROOKS
  • Courtesy Leslie Madsen-Brooks
  • In January 2017, fliers for the Boise State Nationalists appeared at Boise State University.
There have been flashpoints along the way, including  presidential appointments given to key figures in the so-called alt-right movement; a massive white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia; and increased recruiting efforts by white supremacist groups on college campuses.

In January 2017, fliers appeared on the Boise State University campus for the Boise State Nationalists, a group that took issue with "immigration," "political correctness," "globalism," "Marxism/leftism" and "male emasculation." The group also took issue with
"degeneracy," a term that relates specifically to National Socialist theories of race, eugenics and art.

"Because of the final bullet, 'degeneracy,' that crossed a bright line into Nazi ideology," BSU Associate Professor of History Leslie Madsen-Brooks said in 2017. "That's not an idea I want to see promulgated on campus."

Though the fliers were seen as hateful by many, BSN is not on the SPLC list of hate groups in Idaho.

According to the report, there are more than 600 groups nationwide that adhere to at least some tenets of white supremacy, and another factor identified by SPLC has been the reaction to white supremacy by black nationalist groups like Nation of Islam, which have also grown and stepped up their rhetoric. In 2017, there were 193 chapters of black nationalist hate groups; as of the latest SPLC report, there were 233.

This is also the first time the SPLC has included male supremacy groups in its report—specifically, Houston-based A Voice for Men and Washington, D.C.-based Return of Kings.

In Idaho, the number of hate groups has remained stable at 12. They include chapters of national groups like Act for America and the Northwest Hammerskins—the latter of which occasionally produces the skinhead heavy metal festival Hammerfest in the Boise area.

Locally operated groups in the Gem State include the anti-Muslim, anti-immigration group Committee to End the CSI Refugee Center in Buhl; Holocaust denial group Campaign for Radical Truth in History in Coeur d'Alene; Christian Identity church America's Promise Ministries in Sandpoint; and in Priest River, the anti-Muslim company Pig Blood Bullets.
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