Journal Article

USA: Hate Groups, Radical-Right Violence, on the Rise

Heidi Beirich and Mark Potok

in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice

Volume 3, issue 3, pages 255-263
Published in print January 2009 | ISSN: 1752-4512
Published online July 2009 | e-ISSN: 1752-4520 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/police/pap020
USA: Hate Groups, Radical-Right Violence, on the Rise

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Heidi Beirich is the director of research and special projects for the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project. Beirich oversees the collection of intelligence on nearly 900 hate groups each year, a resource often called upon by law enforcement. Beirich also directs the Intelligence Project's law enforcement training programs, which inform thousands of law enforcement professionals each year about the dangers of the American radical right. Mark Potok is the director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project and the editor of its award-winning Intelligence Report, the only American periodical devoted exclusively to covering American extremism. Nearly 80,000 law enforcement professionals subscribe to the Report, which is provided for free. This article investigates factors that have revolutionized the American radical right and examines what law enforcement will face in the near future from right-wing extremists. The authors discuss how economic meltdown, non-white immigration, rapid demographic change, and now the election of America's first African American president are fueling widespread rage on the U.S. radical right. Even before the 2008 economic collapse, the slaughter of the 1995 Oklahoma City bomb attack marked the beginning of a new kind of political extremism, sporting a revolutionary ideology and willing to carry out attacks directed at innocent victims. Non-white immigration has been successfully exploited by white supremacist groups in recent years, to the point where the number of such groups has spiralled from 602 in 2000 to 888 in 2007—a 48% increase. This article argues that given the current conditions, hate groups will likely continue to grow, hate violence increase and domestic terrorist plots emerge, presenting significant challenges to law enforcement.

Journal Article.  4621 words. 

Subjects: Policing

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