The state of Illinois hate groups

Aug 23, 2017

According to a recent report from the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are 32 active Illinois hate groups  located all across the state. Click on the screenshot below to be directed to an interactive version of the map:

illinois-hate-groups-4

The SPLC gathered their data for the list and map “using hate group publications and websites, citizen and law enforcement reports, field sources and news reports. Groups that appear in the center of states represent statewide groups.”

The SPLC report also found that there are 917 documented hate groups in the U.S. But how does the number of Illinois hate groups compare to other states? Here is the map and rankings of the number of hate groups by state from the SPLC report:

Illinois hate group 2

1. California: 79
2. Florida: 63
3. Texas: 55
4. New York: 47
5. Virginia: 42
6. Pennsylvania: 40
7. Tennessee: 38
8. Ohio: 35
9. Illinois: 32
9. Georgia: 32
11. North Carolina: 31
12. Michigan: 28
13. Alabama: 27
14. Indiana: 26
15. Missouri: 24
16. Kentucky: 23
17. Washington D.C.: 21
17. Washington: 21
19. Mississippi: 18
19. Arizona: 18
19. Maryland: 18
22: Arkansas: 16
22. Colorado: 16
24: New Jersey: 15
25. Louisiana: 14
26. South Carolina: 12
26. Idaho: 12
28. Massachusetts: 12
29. Oregon: 11
30. Minnesota: 10
31: Wisconsin: 9
32. Kansas: 7
32. Montana: 7
32. South Dakota: 7
35. Oklahoma: 6
35. New Hampshire: 6
37. Nebraska: 5
37. Connecticut: 5
39. Nevada: 4
39. Idaho: 4
39. West Virginia: 4
39. Delaware: 4
39. Iowa: 4
44. Maine: 3
44. Utah: 3
46. Wyoming: 2
46. New Mexico: 2
48. Rhode Island: 1
48. Vermont: 1
48. North Dakota: 1
51. Alaska: 0
51. Hawaii: 0

The SPLC’s historical reports show there has been a nationwide increase in hate groups since 2014:

illinois hate group

The Land of Lincoln also saw a rise in active hate groups, from 21 in 2014 to 23 in 2015.

So, what is being done to combat the rise in Illinois hate groups?

Days after the violent events at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., the Illinois Senate passed an anti-hate group resolution asking police in Illinois to categorize neo-Nazi groups as terrorists. The resolution’s sponsor, Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, issued the following announcement via Facebook:

You can read the full text of the resolution here.

Earlier this year, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Gov. Bruce Rauner both introduced legislation to crack down on hate crimes and bias-related incidents. NPR reported:

Rauner in March announced a multi-pronged response that included increased police training, and Madigan conducted a hate crime summit in February at which representatives of several religious and ethnic groups reported having experienced that spike in hate incidents.”

NPR went on to discuss the bill Madigan introduced:

Out of those concerns, Madigan orchestrated the forging of House Bill 3711, which would add cyberstalking, stalking and intimidation to the offenses considered to be a hate crime.

“There is a significant increase in the use of technology, as anybody who spends any amount of time on the internet, on social media, can tell you. So, we made sure to include cyberstalking, and certain acts of intimidation that deal with increased use of technology to commit hate crimes,” says Madigan.

The bill also gives her office authority to file civil complaints, and it allows “judges to impose a civil penalty of up to $25,000.  “I would hope it would serve as a significant deterrent from committing these crimes in the first place.”

The SPLC also released a list of 10 ways you can fight hate. Read the list here.

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