Hiroshima On A Light Switch and Other Hateful Innovations

Abby Zimet

Hate is alive but not quite as well as in the early days of our acclaimed Kenyan Muslim leader, says a new mixed-bag report from the Southern Poverty Law Center that makes for fascinating if sometimes disconcerting reading. The good news: Activity by 2,035 hate groups - down from 2,367 - declined from their historic highs, with the biggest drop among so-called patriot groups, followed by neo-Nazis, racist skinheads, white separatists and Ku Klux Klanners, whose numbers held steady at 163 chapters, or "klaverns." The bad news: Many of these groups have also evidently gone further underground "so we can be more productive in our struggle," or had their "ideas" co-opted by increasingly wingnutty mainstream politicians, or diversified their efforts, like the Klan member arrested for building an X-ray weapon to use against Muslims; he called it "Hiroshima on a light switch," because, when in doubt, use a truly tasteless metaphor.

"We might be swapping terror and other criminal behavior for some really terrible laws." - Mark Potok of the SPLC on right-wing ideas making their way into state laws


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