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Guess what state has the most hate

Klan rally at Antietam
Klan rally at Antietam
Photo by Alex Wong

The Southern Poverty Law Center has recently issued a map of known hate group locations by state and city throughout the 48 contiguous states. Tennessee has the eighth largest number of known hate groups - 37. We can take comfort that only three of those ranked higher than Tennessee are Southern states (Florida 58, Texas 57, and Georgia 50). That bellwether of states California takes first place with no fewer than 77 hate groups.

Three northeastern states beat us out in the hate sweepstakes - New Jersey with 44 groups, New York with 42, and Pennsylvania with 41. It's good to know Tennessee has plenty of company, but it is horrible to see how many hardcore haters we have in how many cities.

Nashville has seven varied hate groups; you could almost say we are equal opportunity in the hate stakes. Citizen Warrior is anti-Muslim, while Confederate Hammerskins are Racist Skinhead. Then we have one Chirstian Identity group, Identity Nation, that misuses the word 'Christian' dreadfully. There are two Ku Klux Klan groups, the Knights Riders Knights and the Loyal White Knights. Rounding out our civic hate, we have a Nation of Islam Black Separatist chapter, versus the anti-Muslim Political Islam and Tennessee Freedom Coalition.

Lobelville has not one but two Neo-Confederate groups, the League of the South and the Mary Noel Kershaw Foundation. Sweetwater has The Shepherd's Call Ministries, a Christian Identity group, and Bartlett has The Political Cesspool, a White Nationalist movement. Woodbury, Shady Valley, Johnson City, Church Hill, and Lafayette all have their own chapters of the Klan. Cookeville has a Christian Identity chapter, and Mountain City has The Creativity Alliance, a Neo-Nazi group. Wealthy Franklin has a Council of Conservative Citizens, a White Nationalist group, and Tea Party Nation, which the SPLC classifies as 'General Hate'.

Our largest city, Memphis, has a Council of Conservative Citizens, a KKK chapter, and a Nation of Islam chapter. Knoxville and Chattanooga share a Council of Conservative Citizens, and Chattanooga has branched out with a Nation of Islam branch and a Neo-Nazi group that's called Revolutionary Order of the Aryan Republic.

In addition, the SPLC lists several groups not associated with any particular city: one Racist Skinhead movement, four KKK chapters, two Neo-Nazi movements, and one Neo-Confederate group.

According to their website, 'The Southern Poverty Law Center monitors hate groups and other extremists throughout the United States and exposes their activities to law enforcement agencies, the media and the public.' I'm glad to pass the information along.

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