Study: Hate groups on the rise in Georgia

Study: Hate groups on the rise in Georgia

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At an initiation ceremony for 700 members, the Ku Klux Klan burns a huge cross on Stone Mountain on July 23, 1948. Said one historian: “Atlanta was the headquarters of the revived KKK; we sold it around the nation like it was Coca-Cola.” (Associated Press file)

Year-to-year growth in the number of hate groups in Georgia outpaced the growth of hate groups nationwide, according to a recently released Southern Poverty Law Center report.

In Georgia, there were 39 hate groups in 2015, up 39.2 percent from the 28 hate groups tracked in 2014.

Of Georgia's hate groups, seven were based in Atlanta, four were in based in Cobb County and one was based in DeKalb County, according to the report.

The national total, which includes Georgia’s tally, increased 13.77 percent from the 784 hate groups counted in 2014 to the 892 counted in 2015, according to the report.

The study, which was released last week, tracked not only hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan but also extremist organizations.

Metro Atlanta housed five black separatist groups, three hate groups, a white supremacist religious group dubbed Aryan Nations Worldwide and a white nationalist group dubbed Charles Martel Society, according to the study’s interactive map.

Southern Poverty Law Center senior fellow Mark Potok said the number of extremist groups grew in 2015 after several years of decline. The report does not address why 2015 saw a rise in the number of hate groups.

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