SPLC hate group list declines as fringe ideology goes mainstream

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  • The number of hate groups fell for the third year in a row, a report from the SPLC found.
  • White power groups declined as they faced arrests and civil suits, but the Proud Boys chapters grew.
  • The report urged the government to continue to prosecute those involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

In the year after the deadly U.S. Capitol attack, the number of active hate groups in the United States has continued to decline, but the popularity of extremist ideas that fueled the insurrection still poses a threat to democracy, according to an annual report from the Southern Poverty Law Center released Wednesday.

The law center, which tracks racism, xenophobia, misogyny and antigovernment militias, found 733 active hate groups operating in 2021 — down from the 838 identified last year.

The amount of hate groups has been steadily declining since hitting the record high of 1,020 in 2018. Antigovernment groups, which peaked a decade ago, also decreased to 488, 79 less than 2020.

The decline does not indicate the far right’s power is waning, but rather suggests that extremist ideas have moved from fringe groups to the political mainstream, and hate groups have been impacted by the fallout and prosecutions stemming from the Capitol insurrection, the report said. 

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