News White extremist groups are growing — and changing

White extremist groups are growing — and changing

Experts say the term 'hate group' is increasingly difficult to define, as extremist groups grow in number, diversify in ideology and use codewords to spread their messages


The Center for Public Integrity - September 5, 2018


MEMPHIS — Ken Parker was baptized in a predominantly black church in Jacksonville, Florida, his tattoos  —  a large swastika, one Confederate flag, a Ku Klux Klan insignia and an Iron Cross  — immersed in holy water.

Less than five months earlier, Parker had been a regional director of the National Socialist Movement, and before that, a grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan. His duties included littering neighborhoods with recruitment fliers and screaming “White power!” into a megaphone at rallies.

In April, Parker resigned from the NSM and issued a statement that read, in part, “I am convinced that what I have been committed to for the last several years is hurting my walk with God … I can't keep on living this life.”

“Love thy neighbor as thyself,” Parker, quoting the bible during an interview with News21. “It doesn’t differentiate between the Jewish neighbor, a Mexican neighbor, a black neighbor. It says love thy neighbor as thyself.”

But Parker is an anomaly.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an advocacy group that tracks hate and bigotry toward marginalized communities, there were at least 950 active hate groups in the United States in 2017, up from 917 the previous year. Experts say the term “hate group” is increasingly difficult to define, as extremist groups grow in number, diversify in ideology and use codewords to spread their messages.

Credit by -  The Center for Public Integrity

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