Wednesday, March 17, 2010


It's that (scary) time of year again, when I receive the Intelligence Report from the Southern Poverty Law Center. And again, it's a lesson in how (blessedly) sheltered I've been in my life. The title of this issue is "Rage on the Right: The Year in Hate and Extremism." In scanning these pages, I learn things I never knew before and was more comfortable not knowing. Faces, names, organizations (e.g., the European Kindred). Shudder. I don't know if it's my imagination, but in every issue of this magazine, the brave editor Mark Potok looks increasingly worried in the photo on the first page.
     I don't have time for a long post today (I'm off to a series of book events), so I'll just mention the map of active hate groups in the US (a two-page spread). The map key has eight icons: Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazi, White Nationalist, Racist Skinhead, Christian Identity, New-Confederate, Black Separatist, and (most amazing perhaps) General Hate (there's one of those not far from where I live). The state with the fewest icons is North Dakota (only one: White Nationalist). There are so many icons clustered and layered in New Jersey that the map designer barely had room for them all.


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Susan Messer said...

I doubt it's my SOLE purpose in life, and not sure what I would be warning them of . . . . Anyway, that wasn't really my purpose in writing this post.

Etta Worthington said...

It has been interesting how racism has colored the debate on health care reform, don't you think?

Susan Messer said...

Racism colors almost every debate. Or maybe it's class. Race and class are so merged in this country (maybe all countries). Not clear on how it affected the health care debate though. Maybe I wasn't paying enough attention?