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13 Hate Groups Tracked In San Diego County

Aired 9/5/12 on KPBS Midday Edition.


Laura Duffy, U.S. Attorney, San Diego Region

Heidi Beirich, director of the Intelligence Project, Southern Poverty Law Center


There are 13 active hate groups in San Diego County, four of which are white supremacist groups, according to a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The center tracks hate groups in its annual Intelligence Report, "The Year in Hate & Extremism." Heidi Beirich, the director of the project, told KPBS Midday Edition that the number of hate groups in the U.S. has doubled over the past decade.

This week, Kamala Harris, the California Attorney General, reported a slight decrease in hate crimes in 2011, down from 1,107 to 1,060. The largest number of hate crimes in 2011 were committed against African Americans, while hate crimes against Latinos decreased by 43 percent.

Beirich said those numbers sound right, but added hate crimes based on religion have increased. The Southern Poverty Law Center tracks extremist groups like Neo-Nazis and skinheads because they have potential for violence.

Statewide hate groups also have members in San Diego. As reported in San Diego CityBeat, American Third Position, a white-nationalist political group, has spread to San Diego County.

U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy told KPBS that hate groups cannot be prosecuted on speech alone.

"There needs to be more conduct, the threats, the acts, the intimidation, the harassment," she said.

At that point, the FBI and federal government become involved, she said.

The August shooting in a Sikh temple in Wisconsin was branded a hate crime because the shooter, Wade Michael Page, was revealed to have ties to white supremacist groups and to be a leader in a skinhead band called End Apathy.

In July, a concert for white supremacist bands was held in El Cajon.

"The Summer of Hate concert was organized by the Western Hammerskins, the Southern California branch of The Hammerskin Nation, which is considered by many to be the most powerful and best-organized skinhead group in the United States," according to San Diego CityBeat.

Claire Trageser contributed to this report.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | September 5, 2012 at 11:46 a.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Well, list them. there's no audio to this.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | September 5, 2012 at 11:47 a.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Does Roger Hedgecock count as a group or an individual?

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Avatar for user 'Claire Trageser'

Claire Trageser, KPBS Staff | September 5, 2012 at 3:56 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Mission, audio is added to the story after it airs. It is now available. Thanks!

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | September 6, 2012 at 9:23 a.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

I would love to believe alt news sources like CITY BEAT, however, they have, at least on their editorial staff, individuals who are themselves bigoted, intolerant and full of resentment in their own way.

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Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | September 7, 2012 at 2:06 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Ignorance is bliss.

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Avatar for user 'Rosenkranz'

Rosenkranz | September 15, 2012 at 11:08 a.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Funny... I don't see any Latino gangs or the Crips and Bloods!

Aren't they hate groups? Or is it only European-American groups?

The SPLC published an interview with unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers in an 1998 issue of “Teaching Tolerance” which is mailed to public school teachers for free. In 2008, the SPLC defended the interview and praised Bill Ayers as “a highly respected figure in the field of multicultural education."

Imagine that. Ayers participated in the bombings of New York City Police Department headquarters in 1970, the United States Capitol building in 1971, and the Pentagon in 1972, as he noted in his 2001 book, "Fugitive Days".

Be a bomber and then you can teach college!

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