The growth in hate groups was not entirely unpredictable. Tactics to navigate the major online platforms like Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) have only become more efficient. Meanwhile, smaller platforms like Telegram and Truth Social – where racist and bigoted views are accepted – provide forums to build community among extremist thinkers.

That growth has only made these groups more dangerous as they coordinate and operate alongside newer otherwise unknown groups to mainstream U.S. society.

A recent article by Aram Roston in Reuters covers the growth and staying power of the hate group the Proud Boys while reminding us how dangerous they can be. It’s a well-written and researched piece that will get the reader up to speed on the group and what society can expect when it comes to them. Roston’s article touches on an important point about former Proud Boys members moving on to more violent groups like Blood Tribe, a neo-Nazi group, and Active Club, a hardcore white supremacist movement. But it goes even deeper than that.

The cross-pollination of hate groups reaches beyond members leaving one to join another. Many of these groups have embraced acting together much like the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and neo-Nazis have done and still do. While the concept of a decentralized network mimics the KKK’s structure and working in conjunction with other groups isn’t new, there are arguably more hate groups on the streets than at any other time in U.S. history

This overbroad assortment makes them farther-reaching and more dangerous than ever largely because their ideas have been promoted and normalized across myriad media outlets and social media platforms. Everything from houses of worship to mainstream right-wing media participated in normalizing hate. Some hardcore conservatives like Trumpers pretend to be allies of non-white, non-cis-male communities while others express themselves using violence.

One thing is clear, all will inevitably advocate and vote for white Christian nationalist policies. 

This is where joining forces becomes sensible for hate groups and has helped boost their recruitment numbers tremendously over the last several years. Nothing highlights that more than former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke joining a protest on Sunday after the America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC) was canceled. The alternative to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was to be attended by dozens of antisemitic and racist influencers.

Avowed neo-Nazi Nick Fuentes is the founder of AFPAC and operates the America First Foundation employing former president Donald Trump’s favorite phrase.

Another example of these partnerships has manifested in the many hate groups that have joined forces with other groups to target Drag Queen Story Hour events across the country. Bolstered by the dangerously inflammatory, misinformed, and intentionally hyperbolic rhetoric of social media accounts such as Libs of TikTok, those protests resulted in numerous threats of violence and physical violence due to the inherent nature of hate group aggression.

Coalitions built by hate groups mimic the expansive growth of coalitions of contempt and disdain in the political realm. Many groups, nonprofits, and so-called think tanks have been popping up funded and supported by some of the wealthiest people in the U.S. Members of those groups include numerous far-right and conservative politicians. The Heritage Foundation (Heritage) and Project 2025 are but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to political racism and bigotry.

The Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI) is arguably more problematic than Heritage and doesn’t get as much attention. Several “America First” lawmakers have offices in CPI’s MAGA-friendly headquarters. Some. like Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), run their podcasts in the CPI-owned media studio in the organization’s Washington D.C. building.

Many Republican lawmakers consider their offices at CPI a “home away from home” as stated by Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) on the House Floor in early May. This is an alarming trend as they not only influence legislation, but like Heritage, they write it and Republican representatives push it among their colleagues and in the media with dictated talking points.

Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) praised the Conservative Partnership Institute on the House floor

Most of the rhetoric used by hate groups can be directly tied to what some politicians say. This is where so-called culture wars are born. Attacks on the LGBTQ community, the Black community through anti-woke agendas, and the Latino community through immigration can all be linked from hate groups to politicians.

Republicans by and large have done more to promote the ideas fostered by hate groups over the last several decades and normalize them than the KKK ever could. And with more dark money going to hate groups through donor-advised funds – many through major organizations –  the prospect of slowing the growth of hate groups is slim.

The Antagonist Magazine is a project made up of journalists, activists, and writers focused on amplifying the stories of marginalized communities. The goal is to educate the public by sharing narratives focused on independent voices. Born of an online community in 2019, our platform operates independently; free of corporate influence. Please consider supporting the work of dozens of writers from various communities.

Arturo Dominguez

Arturo is an anti-racist political nerd. He is an upcoming author, journalist, advocate for social justice, and a married father of three. He is a top writer on Medium and a regular contributor to several news media outlets. He writes educational and informative material about systemic racism, white supremacy, and racial injustice.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.