Florida is home to 68 different hate groups, Southern Poverty Law Center says

At least 10 hate groups have chapters in Central Florida, SPLC says

FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2020, file photo, member of the Proud Boys, right, stands in front of a counter protester as members of the Proud Boys and other right-wing demonstrators rally, in Portland. In its annual report set to be released Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, the Southern Poverty Law Center said it identified 838 active hate groups operating across the U.S. in 2020. (AP Photo/John Locher, File) (John Locher, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The Southern Poverty Law Center recently released its 2020 Hatewatch list, showing 838 hate groups being tracked across the U.S.

According to the SPLC, there are 68 hate groups that are active in Florida. That’s slightly more than in 2019, when the SPLC was tracking 67 hate groups in the state.

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California is the only state in the U.S. with more active hate groups, 72.

The SPLC defines a hate group as “an organization or collection of individuals that – based on its official statements or principles, the statements of its leaders, or its activities – has beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics. An organization does not need to have engaged in criminal conduct or have followed their speech with actual unlawful action to be labeled a hate group.”

The Hatewatch list shows there are at least 10 hate groups with chapters in Central Florida.

The list includes:

  • Insight USA, Longwood
  • Israel United in Christ, Orlando
  • League of the South, Ocala
  • Legal Immigrants for America, Winter Springs
  • Liberty Counsel, Orlando
  • Nation of Kings and Priests, Orlando
  • National Socialist Movement, Kissimmee
  • Proud Boys, Deland and Orlando
  • Sicarii 1715, Orlando

Some of these groups offer extreme views against the LGBTQ community while others include black separatist and white nationalist groups.

There are also groups that the SPLC describes as “general hate groups.”

“These groups peddle a combination of well-known hate and conspiracy theories, in addition to unique bigotries that are not easily categorized,” according to the SPLC’s website.

This includes groups such as the Proud Boys, which has two chapters in Central Florida and six across the state.

Central Florida has seen a decline in the number of hate groups taking root here. In 2017, the SPLC was tracking 22 hate groups in the area.

There are also 14 statewide hate groups being tracked by the SPLC in Florida:

  • American Christian Dixie Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
  • Asatru Folk Assembly
  • Atomwaffen Division
  • Crew 38
  • Firm 22
  • Identity Dixie
  • International Keystone Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
  • National Social Club (NSC-131)
  • Patriot Front
  • Revolt Through Tradition
  • The United West
  • United Skinhead Nation
  • Vinlanders Social Club
  • Will2Rise

About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.