The 838 hate groups identified in the United States by the Southern Poverty Law Center this month are broken up into categories. In Arkansas there are 14 groups.
A total of 333 groups on the list fall under the general hate heading, which the SPLC describes as groups that: “Peddle a combination of well-known hate and conspiracy theories, in addition to unique bigotries that are not easily categorized.”
General hate groups identified in Arkansas include Great Millstone in Little Rock, described as part of the Black Separatist movement, in which groups are often found to be “strongly anti-white, anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ.”
Israel United In Christ in Little Rock is identified with Black Hebrew Israelites (BHI). As pointed out by the Anti-Defamation League, which also tracks hate groups, not all BHI adherents are extremists, but there is a subsection that is. They push the idea of black racial superiority, a hatred of Jews and the LGBTQ community.
Nation of Islam in North Little Rock is on the list. Since its founding in Chicago in 1930, the NOI has grown into one of the wealthiest and best-known organizations in black America, the SPLC says, adding: “Its theology of innate black superiority over whites and the deeply racist, anti-Semitic and anti-LGBT rhetoric of its leaders have earned the NOI a prominent position in the ranks of organized hate.”
The Proud Boys, represented statewide, was founded in New York City in 2016 by Canadian Gavin McInnes, who supposedly isn’t associated with them anymore.
Last week the Canadian government designated the group a terrorist entity, which it describes as a neo-fascist organization with semiautonomous chapters located in the United States, Canada, and internationally, according to the Associated Press. “It said it engages in political violence and that members espouse misogynistic, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, and white supremacist ideologies,” the AP reports.
At least eight people linked to The Proud Boys are facing federal charges related to the attack on the Capitol in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6.
Groups in the U.S. labeled white nationalist total 128. White nationalists have white supremacist or white separatist ideologies. The SPLC lists two groups in Arkansas. Patriot Front, with statewide membership, broke off from Vanguard America in the aftermath of the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.
“The time of the Republic has passed in America as the system grows too weak to perform its duty,” the Patriot Front manifesto states. “The damage done to this nation and its people will not be fixed if every issue requires the approval and blessing from the dysfunctional American democratic system. Democracy has failed in this once great nation.”
They say democracy has failed because – well – they don’t like democracy.
The ShieldWall Network (SWN) formed in 2017 and is based in Mountain View. According to the ADL, it promotes racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric with the primary goal of building a white ethno-state. Sometimes its members team up with Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), or neo-Confederates for hatefests.
Anti-Muslim groups, of which there are 72, includes one in Arkansas cited by the SPLC as ACT for America with a chapter supposedly in Jonesboro. ACT for America claims to be a national security organization. It condemns the SPLC on its website and denounces being a hate group, but the ADL also identifies ACT for America as anti-Muslim and says it propagates the conspiracy theory that Muslims are infiltrating U.S. institutions in order to impose Sharia law, among other claims the ADL says are false.
The SPLC has identified 63 Neo-Nazi groups. They hate Jewish people. They often branch out and hate minorities, the LGBTQ community and Christians, too. In Arkansas there is a statewide presence within the Nationalist Social Club (NSC-131) according to the SPLC.
Rascist Skinheads have 36 groups. These goons are defined as white supremacists geared up for a race war. The SPLC points to the W.A.R./P.F.R. headquartered in Arkansas with a statewide presence. W.A.R. stands for White Aryan Resistance and the ADL identifies them as a large Arkansas-based white supremacist prison gang.
We’ve seen a lot of these guys in the news. Last week Wesley Gullett, 31, of Russellville, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to involvement in a racketeering and narcotics conspiracy based on his role as president of the New Aryan Empire (NAE), a white supremacist group founded by inmates in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.
Neo-Confederates have 31 groups. These are folks committed to white nationalism and the belief that the Confederacy was unfairly trounced after having valid reasons to secede from the Union so it could continue as a slave nation, and expand as such, as was stated in their constitution. In Arkansas the League Of The South is such a group in Harrison. Founded in Alabama in 1994, the LOS is about establishing a white-run Christian theocratic state.
And with only 25 groups in the country, the KKK gets its own category at the SPLC, which it acknowledges as the “oldest and most infamous of American hate groups.” The KKK has targeted blacks, Jews, immigrants, and the LGBTQ community. In Arkansas the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan was founded in 1975 in Harrison by David Duke. It has been run by Thomas Robb since Duke’s departure in the 1980s.
Christian Identity groups total 11, and two of those are in Arkansas, both associated with Robb. There’s the Christian Revival Center and Kingdom Identity Ministries, both in Harrison.
Christian Identity is described by the SPLC as a unique anti-Semitic and racist theology. “Christian in name only,” states the SPLC, “it asserts that white people, not Jews, are the true Israelites favored by God in the Bible. The movement’s relationship with evangelicals and fundamentalists has generally been hostile due to the latter’s belief that the return of Jews to Israel is essential to the fulfillment of end-time prophecy.”
Then there’s Hate Music, a category with 11 groups. One of them, Tightrope Records, is based in Arkansas and apparently still has an active website where people can buy racist music and Nazi, KKK, and neo-confederate paraphernalia.
So it basically boils down to people hating other people because of race, nationality, religion, or sex. Good grief! Next week we’ll look at how this happens for some people.