Hatewatch: Patriot Groups Exploding

Adhering to the Constitution = Hate

Akin to Skinheads and Klansmen per CNN

CNN News Room just ran a segment about the rise of “Patriot” groups since Obama’s election.  Interviewees?  Militia members dressed in camo and shouldering large rifles.   Missing without reference?  The average family types who attend local meetings at churches and community centers.

The report cited by CNN was authored by Southern Poverty Law Center and posted on its website HATEWATCH, Keeping an Eye on the Radical Right.  Among its points it notes the movement against Agenda 21:

The United Nation’s Agenda 21 accord is a voluntary global sustainability initiative. But to hear antigovernment hardliners tell it, it’s the leading edge of one-world totalitarianism.

I guess that makes the RNC a Hate Group now.

Back in 2009, CNN followed a similar SPLC story about anti-government Hate Groups – featuring the KKK. 

Hate groups cited by the law center include white nationalists as well as neo-Confederates, neo-Nazis, skinheads, Klansman and black separatists. Skinheads and Klansman saw an increase in membership, while neo-Nazi groups saw a slight decline, according to the law center’s report

The word “Patriot” was not mentioned in that report.  Three years later, however, “Patriot” is the banner word when discussing anti-government “hate” groups. This represents a clear attempt to tie Tea Party/Patriot groups to white supremacy  and extremist militias – in an election year, of course.  On the CNN blog, note the addition of the word Patriot:

The number of anti-government groups in the United States grew dramatically in 2011 for a third year, fueled by a rising tide against President Barack Obama, the struggling economy and illegal immigration, a report released Thursday finds.

The three-year trend amounts to an “astounding” 755% growth since 2008, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center report “The Year in Hate & Extremism: The Patriot Movement Explodes.”

The report attributes the growth to “superheated fears generated by economic dislocation, the changing racial makeup of America, and the prospect of four more years under a black president who many on the far right view as an enemy to their country.”

Since its start in 1994, the so-called Patriot Movement has fluctuated in size based on political events – peaking in 1996 after the Oklahoma City bombing before fading to relative obscurity in 2000, according to the report. Its most recent rise can be traced to late 2008 – the start of the economy’s collapse and the election of Obama as president.

“Even as most of the nation cheered the election of the first black president that November, an angry backlash developed that included several plots to murder Obama,” the report says. “Many Americans, infused with populist fury over bank and auto bailouts and a feeling that they had lost their country, joined Patriot groups.”

The SPLC pointed out a particularly alarming rise in the “sovereign citizens movement,” what it calls a subset of the Patriot Movement.




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