Donald Trump’s presidency has given white nationalism a shot in the arm, according to a new report which outlines how hate groups in the US have increased by 55 percent since he took the White House.
The report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) cited several attacks on synagogues, including one in Poway, California, which left one woman dead and three more injured, the perpetrator later claiming to be motivated by the idea that white people were being replaced.
SPLC said the Trump era had led to “surging” racism driven by “a deep fear of demographic change,” with 155 white nationalist groups now active across the US.
This number excludes Ku Klux Klan affiliates, racist skinheads, Christian Identity groups and neo-Confederate groups, all of which also express some version of white supremacist beliefs.
Many advocate violence and terrorism while so-called “accelerationist” groups believe mass violence will bring about the collapse of pluralism. Such groups include the Base, Atomwaffen Division and Feuerkrieg Division.
Members of the Base have since been shown to be behind the synagogue vandalism allegedly coordinated by Richard Tobin, who was arrested in October. An investigation by The Guardian earlier this year found that the group’s founder is a Russia-based former security contractor, called Rinaldo Nazzaro.
The FBI recently upgraded the threat posed by racially motivated extremists to that of ‘national threat priority’ but the report said members of Trump’s administration “have long been allied with anti-immigrant hate groups”. It named policy aide Stephen Miller, who is Jewish, as one.
Alongside the 55 percent increase in white nationalist group, the report also highlighted that there had been a 43 percent increase in anti-LGBTQ groups last year alone, and called for a “national movement against hate violence in America”.