Southern Poverty Law Center: Number Of Hate Groups Down In Idaho, But Concentration Remains High

Mar 4, 2019

The Southern Poverty Law Center finds that while the total number of hate groups in Idaho is down, the Gem State has one of the highest per capita concentrations of them in the western U.S.
Credit Southern Poverty Law Center

The Southern Poverty Law Center tracks hate groups nationwide. Data from the organization reveals the number of groups in Idaho is down, but they remain a concentrated force in parts of the Gem State.

In 2018, the Southern Poverty Law Center tracked 1,020 hate groups across the United States. That’s an all-time high. While the number of bigoted groups swells across the country, the organization found declines in groups calling Idaho home.

Between 2017 and 2018, the Gem State shed two groups: the Buhl-based Committee to End the College of Southern Idaho Refugee Center and the anti-Muslim Pig Blood Bullets out of Priest Lake in North Idaho.

For almost 30 years the SPLC has published its annual census of hate groups. The organization defines them as, “having beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.”

While a pair of white nationalist groups, True Cascadia and the Ku Klux Klan, no longer appear on the organization’s map of Idaho, other general hate groups have cropped up.

The organization says it’s difficult to monitor the various groups and get an accurate number as some try to remain hidden and others over-inflate their influence. In 2011, the SPLC recorded an all-time high of 18 operating in the state.

Despite the general downward trend, Idaho joins Montana and South Dakota as having the highest concentration of hate groups per capita in the West.

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