Trump’s first year sparks surge in hate groups: Report

This article is more than 12 months old

WASHINGTON The number of hate groups across the United States surged during the first year of Mr Donald Trump's presidency, echoing his often incendiary stances on race, according to a new report published yesterday.

The Southern Poverty Law Center's annual survey of extremist groups said the number of hate groups and their chapters rose by 4 per cent last year to 954, with Trump-inspired alt-right and white supremacist groups provoking a backlash from hardline African-American groups.

"President Trump's first year in office proved to be just as racially divisive as his campaign - but even more consequential," the SPLC said in its "The Year in Hate and Extremism" report.

In a year that saw them emerge more openly, including in an August 2017 rally that turned deadly in Charlottesville, Virginia, neo-Nazi groups surged in number, from 99 to 121, the report said, in part by recruiting college students.

Anti-Muslim groups also jumped to 114 chapters from 101 last year, after a tripling the year before, when Mr Trump marked his presidential campaign with a promise to close the country's doors to Muslims.