There Are 84 Active Hate Groups In Texas, The Most Of Any State
Note: The Southern Poverty Law Center updated its numbers in February 2017 to account for the changes in U.S. hate groups in 2016. The data in this post reflect 2015.
SPLC gathered the data from hate group publications and websites, citizen and law enforcement reports, field sources and news reports.
The map (PDF) shows the number and location of hate groups, as well as the total number of hate groups in each state as of 2015.
On Think – Krys Boyd talked about why these groups form and what they want with Mark Potok, senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center.
What Is A Hate Group?
The SPLC says all hate groups "have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people." The group says there's been a 14 percent increase in hate groups since 2014.
The Largest Hate Group In Texas: the Ku Klux Klan
Of the 84 active groups in Texas, 52 are Ku Klux Klan chapters across the state.
Formed in 1865, the KKK is the oldest of American hate groups, and today there are dozens of competing sects within the organization, according to SPLC. There are 190 chapters in the U.S.
The SPLC says there were 28 klan chapters in 1990. That number skyrocketed to 221 in 2010, and then declined to 72 groups in 2014. Then it jumped back up in 2015. That means in less than two years the numbers of active KKK groups has more than doubled.
In North Texas, active groups include a Dallas and Fort Worth chapter of the Texas Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and United White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
Hate Groups Making News In North Texas
Stedfast Baptist Church
Stedfast is a fundamentalist Baptist church in Sansom Park near Fort Worth. On its website, the church describes itself as a “soul-winning church,” meaning members evangelize from door to door preaching the Gospel.
Stedfast’s pastor Donnie Romero gained attention in June for anti-LGBT remarks in his sermon responding to the mass shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando. A gunman killed 49 and injured more than 50. In his sermon, which is posted on YouTube, he called the victims “sodomites,” “perverts” and “the scum of the earth,” and stood by similar remarks from Roger Jimenez of Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento, California, who said the tragedy was that there hadn’t been more victims, The Dallas Morning News reports.
Romero was met with protests from LGBT activists on June 26, the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s legalization of same-sex marriage.
Bureau on American Islamic Relations
B.A.I.R. describes itself on its Facebook page to be “in opposition to (on all levels) of C.A.I.R. (and other Islamic organizations).” The group is based in Irving, which has one of the largest mosques in North America, and where one-third of the population wasn't born in the United States, according to NPR.
In November 2015, more than a dozen armed men and women from the group stood outside the Islamic Center of Irving. They were protesting plans to let Syrian refugees into the state as well as “online rumors of a Sharia court at the mosque,” The Dallas Morning News reported. The protests came over a week after the Islamic State coordinated attacks in Paris, killing 130 and injuring hundreds more.
BAIR has continued to actively protest since then. In February, the gun-wielding group showed up at an event welcoming hundreds of Syrian refugees at the Islamic Center in Irving.
According to SPLC, the number of anti-Muslim groups has increased 42 percent since 2014.
A Closer Look At Texas Hate Groups
After the KKK, the second largest hate group presence in Texas is Black Separatists, an anti-white and anti-Semitic group that typically opposes integration and desires separate institutions for African-Americans. There are 10 active Black Separatist groups across the state.
Below are all 84 groups by category:
Anti-LGBT (4) - Stedfast Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Probe Ministries in Plano, Conservative Republicans of Texas in Houston and Tom Brown Ministries in El Paso.
Anti-Muslim (2) - Bureau on American Islamic Relations in Irving and Stop the Islamization of the World in Houston. In December 2015, there was a South Dallas rally targeting the anti-Muslim bigotry displayed by BAIR.
Black Separatist (10) - Nation of Islam in Austin, Israel United in Christ in Austin, Nation of Islam in Fort Worth, Nation of Islam in Dallas, Israel United in Christ in San Antonio, Israel United in Christ in Dallas, Israel United in Christ in Houston, New Black Panther Party in Houston, Nation of Islam in Houston and Israel United in Christ in Corpus Christi.
General Hate (3) - Power of Prophecy in Austin, Tony Alamo Christian Ministries in Texarkana and Repent Amarillo.
Ku Klux Klan(52) -There are statewide chapters. In North Texas, there are two chapters in Fort Worth and two in Dallas. There are a few chapters near the other Texas metros: Austin, San Antonio and Houston. But, most of the KKK groups are in East Texas with a heavy concentration at the intersection of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.
Neo-Confederate (2) - Southern National Congress and League of the South in La Porte.
Neo-Nazi (4) - American Nazi Party (statewide), National Socialist Movement in Dallas, The Creativity Movement (statewide) and Gallows Tree Wotansvolk Alliance in Mauriceville.
Racist Skinhead (1) - Vinlanders Texas (statewide)
White Nationalist (5) - American Freedom Party in Granbury, carolyneager.net in Kerrville, White Trash Rebel in Keller, Faith and Heritage in Southeast Texas and Council of Conservative Citizens in Irving.
The Rise of Hate Groups
“The SPLC has documented an explosive rise in the number of hate groups since the turn of the century, driven in part by anger over Latino immigration and demographic projections showing that whites will no longer hold majority status in the country by around 2040. As the chart shows, this rise accelerated in 2009, the year President Obama took office, before leveling off and beginning to decline in 2011. Read about our most recent count in 2015, when the total number of groups increased for the first time in three years (download a PDF of the HateMap).”
Learn more about the Southern Poverty Law Center.