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Fortifying Our Democracy Against the Far-Right Agenda

Rachel Carroll Rivas and Eric Ward
Rachel Carroll Rivas and Eric Ward (Illustration by Lauren Crow).

Our democracy and our civil rights coalition are fragile. We must be one step ahead, using comprehensive data and research to inform our strategies, and build something stronger.

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s preeminent Year in Hate report provides a comprehensive analysis of the organizational infrastructure – the groups – upholding white supremacy in the United States. It is these organizations, these hate groups, that form the ideological home for the hard right, strategizing, training and narrating their agenda today. This report warns of intensifying antigovernment groups built on the oppression of Black people, women, immigrants, Jews, Muslims, and Latinx, low-income, Indigenous, and LGBTQ+ communities.

More than anything, this report uncovers the playbook these groups and their leaders have used to undermine civil and human rights over the past year. They have meticulously prepared the groundwork for an authoritarian takeover and a more deeply divided nation.


For decades, the SPLC has been exposing the strategies and tactics employed to harm our communities. We’ve been in the rooms, read the literature, and witnessed firsthand the ugly side of our country. We’ve done the research. In communities across the United States, especially in the Deep South, we’ve sat in cafes alongside bigots and lived under oppressive policies and attitudes. We think it vital to the communities you lead and represent that you review what we have learned.

We know that old-school white supremacists wore their bigotry openly, emblazoned on their steel-toed boots and jacket patches. Today’s white nationalism is cloaked in conspiracies, tropes and coded language. It seizes power directly, terrorizing people of color and Jews into hiding, or sowing division among us.

But we’ve also organized against them, using this knowledge to counter the hard-right movements and rebuild a civil rights coalition. We know we must stand together, armed not with weapons but with knowledge and commitment.

The hard right in the United States knows how to use a variety of tactics and has many targets. But we recognize that there is no hierarchy of oppression when it comes to anti-Black racism, antisemitism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-LGBTQ+ bigotry, and male supremacy.

This report documents their deliberate plan to come after us all and the hard-fought practice of democracy so critical to an authentic multiracial democracy committed to pluralism, equity and freedom.

We will not be divided. We hope this report serves not only as a reality check but as a tool to bring us back together. We invite you to read, share, and join us in fortifying our democracy and civil rights movement.

In Solidarity,
Rachel Carroll Rivas, SPLC Interim Director, Intelligence Project
Eric Ward, SPLC Senior Fellow