State University of New York Institute of Technology
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Ethics Blog 3

Number of Hate Groups Rising, Warns Advocacy Group

Feb 28th, 2011 • Posted in: News

But critics say overly broad definition of “hate” tars the innocent and stifles free speech


The number of hate groups in the United States has risen steeply, reports a civil rights group. The Southern Poverty Law Center report pegs the increase in part to a spike in antigovernment groups, reports UPI.

CNN reports that a study by the Center says the growth — reaching 1,000 hate groups for the first time since the compilation was started in the 1980s — was “driven by resentment over the changing racial demographics of the country, frustration over the government’s handling of the economy, and the mainstreaming of conspiracy theories and other demonizing propaganda aimed at various minorities.”

But several conservative groups argue that the Law Center is a left-wing propaganda group involved in a smear campaign against the right, reports CBS News.

Several Republican leaders, including House speaker John Boehner, have protested the Center’s listing of the conservative Family Research Council as a hate group, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

Other critics of the Center say an overly broad definition of “hate” not only stigmatizes innocent people but suppresses vigorous public debate about issues, according to the Monitor report.

I think that this can lead to a major problem in the United States. With the amount of hate groups at an all time high, the amount of violence might also increase. I can also see the groups argument about some of the hate groups. Many of these may not be truly hate groups but some people classify them as one so the number of hte groups can realistically be higher than it should be.


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