There were eight active hate groups in the Memphis area in 2019, according to data from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
Each year, SPLC releases a comprehensive look at hate groups in the country, broken down by state and city. In Tennessee, there were a total of 38 hate groups, with the majority of those groups concentrated in the Memphis area. The number of groups in Memphis is up from the six recorded last year and double the number of groups here in 2015.
The SPLC defines a hate group as one having "beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically their immutable characteristics."
Last year, Memphis had one Neo-Confederate group, one White Nationalist group, and four Black Separatist groups. In Bartlett, there were two White Nationalist groups.
Statewide, groups range from anti-LGBTQ to Racist Skinheads. The most prevalent group was Black Separatists with eight recorded groups in the state. According to the SPLC, Tennessee has two more total recorded groups than last year.
Across the country, the SPLC reports that for the second year in a row White Nationalist groups are on the rise. From 2017 to 2018, that number increased from 100 to 148. While last year, the number went up by seven. Here, there were two more White Nationalist groups than in 2018.
SPLC also reports that last year there was a national jump in anti-LGBTQ groups from 49 to 70. This increase is largely due to President Donald Trump’s administration’s embracing anti-LGBTQ leaders and their agendas, the SPLC said.
But overall, there was a decline in the total number of hate groups in the country, dropping from an all-time high of 1,020 in 2018 to 940 last year.
Still, Lecia Brooks, a spokesperson for SPLC said there is a “crisis of hate and extremism in our country.
“The toxic ideas propagated by these hate groups not only lead to violence, but erode the very foundations of our democracy. The attacks in El Paso, Texas, and Poway, California, are stark reminders of the serious threat posed by white supremacist ideology and those it motivates to act. Each of these attacks, as well as thousands of hate crimes across the country, was inspired by white supremacist propaganda.”
Read the full report below.