Peter Cvjetanovic (R) along with Neo Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacists encircle and chant at counter protestors at the base of a statue of Thomas Jefferson after marching through the University of Virginia campus with torches in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 11, 2017. (Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

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Civil Rights Group Blames Trump for Hate Groups Rising by 30%

The group designated 1,020 organizations as hate groups in 2018.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has reported for the fourth year in a row that hate and domestic extremism are on the rise in the U.S.

The civil rights organization found a 30% increase in hate groups over the past four years and a 7% increase in 2018 alone, a study printed in the center’s annual “Year in Hate and Extremism,” found, NPR reported. The group designated 1,020 organizations as hate groups in 2018 — a high of at least 20 years.

Pulling no punches, the watchdog group directly blamed President Trump, his administration, right-wing media outlets and the ease of spreading hate on social media platforms for the alarming increase.

“Hysteria over losing a white-majority nation to demographic change” largely drove the growth of hate groups, the SPLC said.

“The numbers tell a striking story — that this president is not simply a polarizing figure but a radicalizing one,” Heidi Beirich, director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project, said in a statement. “Rather than trying to tamp down hate, as presidents of both parties have done, President Trump elevates it — with both his rhetoric and his policies. In doing so, he’s given people across America the go-ahead to to act on their worst instincts.”

The majority of these hate groups, the SPLC found, are driven by white supremacist ideology including neo-Nazis; the Ku Klux Klan, which is on the decline; white nationalists; racist skinheads; and neo-Confederates.

Read the full story at NPR