Thursday, January 25, 2018

A National Watchdog Says Three of Four Hate Groups in Portland Are Black. How Is That Possible?

(Courtesy of the Southern Poverty Law Center)

(Courtesy of the Southern Poverty Law Center)

The McCoy Village community room on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard is an earth-toned space that hosts community meetings and the affordable housing complex's holiday parties.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, the nation's leading watchdog of hate groups, however, claims this room is also a site of hate activity.

The room doesn't host neo-Nazis or the Klan. It's a place where black separatists come to gather, in a group called the Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ.

In fact, the SPLC says three out of the four hate groups operating in Portland are black. The claim was first made last year in a "hate map" published by the center every February that lists the 917 most prominent hate groups in America.

"That's ludicrous," says Jo Ann Hardesty, head of Portland's NAACP and a candidate for the City Council. "I challenge this premise, that 75 percent of the hate groups operating in Portland are black. Just do the math."

The center's assertion seems especially bizarre in a city that has seen high-profile acts of racial hate by white men—from an unhinged man stabbing three people on a MAX train to a man yelling racial slurs at a Muslim couple while trying to hit their vehicle with his car.

Has the SPLC lost its mind?

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