Texas has as many as 55 hate groups, including several in Central Texas, as the nation saw the number of such groups rise in 2016 for the second year in a row, according to a Southern Poverty Law Center tally released Wednesday.
A census report by the nonprofit group, which has spent decades monitoring hate groups and extremists in the United States, said the number of hate groups operating in 2016 rose to 917, which was up from 892 the previous year.
Texas placed third among the top five states with the most hate groups in 2016:
- California: 79
- Florida: 63
- Texas: 55
- New York: 47
- Pennsylvania: 40
The SPLC published an interactive map of the hate groups under its watch. A handful of groups operate in Central Texas, according to the map, including:
- The Daily Stormer, which the SPLC lists as a neo-Nazi group
- Power of Prophecy, a fundamentalist Christian group the SPLC has accused of being anti-Semitic
- Southern National Congress, which is listed by the SPLC as a neo-Confederate group
- the Nation of Islam, which the SPLC considers to be a black separatist group
The SPLC report cited Donald Trump’s successful bid for the White House as a factor in energizing radical right-wing groups and fostering anti-Muslim speech and vandalism.
“The increase in anti-Muslim hate was fueled by Trump’s incendiary rhetoric, including his campaign pledge to bar Muslims from entering the United States,” a statement from the SPLC on Wednesday said.
“The growth has been accompanied by a rash of crimes targeting Muslims, including an arson that destroyed a mosque in Victoria, Texas, just hours after the Trump administration announced an executive order suspending travel from some predominantly Muslim countries,” the statement said.
The SPLC also said it measured a “near-tripling” of anti-Muslim hate groups, from 34 such groups in 2015 to 101 last year.