Telephone Day
The OtherWise pill?


Hate.011The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that the number of extremist groups in the U.S. has reached record levels. 

The report counts 1,018 hate groups, including neo-Nazis, white nationalists, racist skinheads, Klansmen, black separatists, and groups that target gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and trans-gender people, as well as Jews, Muslims, and immigrants. 

But that sad lot is actually out-numbered by the 1,274 armed militias and conspiracy-minded organizations that consider the federal government their enemy. That so-called  "Patriot movement" has grown by 755 percent over the first three years of the Obama administration.

In fact, the report speculates that “For many extremists, President Obama is the new symbol of all that's wrong with the country - the Kenyan president, the secret Muslim who is causing our country's decline." Indeed, overheated political rhetoric adds fuel to the fire. 

The same might be said of our country's changing demography, the pressures of globalization, and the growing wealth gap. 

Looking on the bright side, it's a big country, and all these groups together probably wouldn't fill Giants Stadium. But though relatively small in number, they do cast a large, dark shadow.   

And I wonder if the same fear, anger, and ignorance that drives them isn't reflected in the more casual intolerance and partisanship that characterizes so much of life today.




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