Crime and Justice

Vermont Conversation: The growing threat of hate groups and white supremacists

A Patriot Front sticker is seen on a historic marker sign in front of the Statehouse in Montpelier on Wednesday, April 22, 2020. The Patriot Front is considered a white nationalist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger

The Vermont Conversation with David Goodman is a VTDigger podcast that features in-depth interviews on local and national issues with politicians, activists, artists, changemakers and citizens who are making a difference. Listen below, and subscribe on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts or Spotify to hear more.

Hate is on the rise. Last week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a rare National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin warning of the threat from home-grown extremists, anti-government militias, far-right hate groups and white supremacists. This week, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) released its annual report, The Year in Hate and Extremism 2020. The report documents the existence of 838 hate groups around the country, including 30 hate groups in New England. It includes a Hate Map, which shows the location of all the groups. SPLC says the number of hate groups are “a barometer of extremism in the country.”

“The insurrection at the Capitol was the culmination of years of right-wing radicalization,” said Susan Corke, director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project. “Most recently, it was the product of Donald Trump’s support for and encouragement of radicalized individuals and groups to buy into conspiracy theories about a ‘stolen election.’”

Cassie Miller, senior research analyst with SPLC, discusses the state of hate from around the U.S. to New England. “My biggest worry is what we’re seeing right now is the growth of a mass social movement that is anti-democratic,” she tells The Vermont Conversation. “It’s not going to go away just because we have a new president.”

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David Goodman

About David

David Goodman is an award-winning journalist and the author of a dozen books, including four New York Times bestsellers that he co-authored with his sister, Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman. His work has appeared in Mother Jones, New York Times, Outside, Boston Globe and other publications. He is the host of The Vermont Conversation, a VTDigger podcast featuring in-depth interviews about local and national topics. The Vermont Conversation is also an hour-long weekly radio program that can be heard on Wednesday at 1 p.m. on WDEV/Radio Vermont.

Email: [email protected]

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