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SPLC Releases Annual Year in Hate & Extremism Report, Decodes the Far-Right's Plan to Undo Democracy

Report documents record numbers of white nationalist and anti-LGBTQ groups in 2023 and shows how hard-right groups are actively working to destabilize democratic institutions in America.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Today, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) released The Year in Hate & Extremism 2023, a comprehensive analysis of the groups and organizational infrastructure upholding white supremacy in the United States.

The new report documents 595 hate groups and 835 antigovernment extremist groups, including a growing wave of white nationalism increasingly motivated by theocratic beliefs and conspiracy theories. These groups intensified their efforts over the past year to recruit new members, increase their online presence and in-person demonstrations, exploit international and domestic conflicts, lobby the government and, in some cases, directly participate in elections, especially at the local level.

Communities of color, immigrant communities, minority faith communities and LGBTQ+ communities are all targeted by and experience the negative effects of hate-filled rhetoric and antigovernment conspiracies through actions such as banning books, protesting drag story hours and using school boards as political battlegrounds.

“With a historic election just months away, this year, more than any other, we must act to preserve our democracy,” said Margaret Huang, president and CEO of the Southern Poverty Law Center and SPLC Action Fund. “That will require us to directly address the danger of hate and extremism from our schools to our statehouses. Our report exposes these far-right extremists and serves as a tool for advocates and communities working to counter disinformation, false conspiracies and threats to voters and election workers. Together, we can dismantle white supremacy and ensure all communities see themselves represented in our democracy.”

The report finds that Christian supremacy and dominionism are animating features of antigovernment conspiracies and movement organizing, with the goal of transforming U.S. culture and politics into an authoritarian state. The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is the latest chapter in dominionists’ modern effort to make their reading of Christianity authoritative and supreme in everyone’s lives — representing the greatest threat to American democracy that most people have never heard of.

The report also shows that male supremacy continues to serve as a foundation for hate. In 2023, an extreme segment of the anti-abortion movement mobilized their supporters and consolidated their influence over state legislatures across the country. The SPLC identified four anti-abortion extremists, as part of the male supremacist hate group designation, including Operation Rescue and End Abortion Now.

In addition, the report shares the positive impact of those working to make our communities more inclusive and less hospitable to extremism, highlighting how a civilian oversight board instituted a new policy prohibiting officers in the Chicago Police Department from belonging to hate and extremist groups — and how Drag Story Hour is countering anti-LGBTQ bigotry with literacy programs across the country.

“Despite an alarming spike in hard-right groups and actions, we are encouraged by communities who have joined together to push back against voices that are preaching division and hate,” said Rachel Carroll Rivas, interim director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project. “In the face of hate and bigotry, we can — and we will — remain hopeful and safeguard our multiracial, inclusive democracy for generations to come.”

A state-by-state list of hate and antigovernment extremist groups and an interactive map is available HERE.