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Hate in Our State: Southern Poverty Law Center on Florida's 63 Hate Groups

Images: Southern Poverty Law Center.
The Southern Poverty Law Center identifies 63 hate groups or extremists operating in Florida, including several in the Southwest.

In the wake of a violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA—and the terrorist act of ramming a car into a crowd of counter-protesters that injured dozens and killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer—hate groups and other extremists are in the national spotlight. Florida has the dubious distinction of being the state with the second-highest number of such active groups in the country at 63. 

Tracking those groups and pursing legal efforts against them is the Southern Poverty Law Center, which identifies extremist groups in Florida from a Klu Klux Klan group in Cape Coral to a black separatist group in Fort Myers, as well as a Holocaust denialgroup in the Florida Keys and the West Palm Beach home of the racist white nationalist group Stormfront

Ryan Lenz, senior SPLC investigative reporter, joins Gulf Coast Live to explain how the SPLC defines a hate group, how they track the more than 900 hate groups across the country. He'll also discuss how these groups are reacting to the violence of Charlottesville, related protests in Boston, and similar protests right here in Southwest Florida.

Matthew Smith is a reporter and producer of WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live.
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