Welcome to our hate

If you’re one of those who likes to spend your time only with your own kind and think anyone other than your kind is beneath you, Georgia is just the place for you.

That’s a roundabout way of saying if you’re a racist or hate anyone but your own kind, whatever that kind is, come on down to the Peach State. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, our state ranks fourth in the nation for the number of hate groups that are actively practicing in the state. Key word there being “actively.”

If this was a pre-season football ranking, it would be something to be proud of. In this instance, it’s deplorable.

A wire story in Wednesday’s edition of The Newnan Times-Herald said “the SPLC defines all hate groups as having beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.” In English, or maybe we should use Spanish, that means groups that attack someone else because they are different, whether that be race, religion, sexual orientation or ideology.

In Georgia, the SPLC counted 50 active hate groups, among them the Georgia Militia, the Nation of Islam, The National Socialist Movement and The New Black Panther Party. Those and others are classified as “general hate, neo Nazi, black separatist, anti-Muslim, anti-gays and lesbians, white nationalist, skinheads, and our old standby, the Ku Klux Klan.

On that last one, the report noted Newnan is not immune from all this, with the New Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan being headquartered in our fair city.

Wonderful.

And what is causing all this hate and intolerance? According to the SPLC’s website, “since 2000, the number of hate groups has increased by 56 percent. This surge has been fueled by anger and fear over the nation’s ailing economy, an influx of non-white immigrants, and the diminishing white majority, as symbolized by the election of the nation’s first African-American president ...

“This growth in extremism has been aided by mainstream media figures and politicians who have used their platforms to legitimize false propaganda about immigrants and other minorities and spread the kind of paranoid conspiracy theories on which militia groups thrive,” the website states.

Enough already. Hate groups are not wanted here. They serve no purpose other than to highlight their ignorance. Maybe it’s time to start a “hate the hate groups” organization.



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