Southern Poverty Law Center reports number of hate groups in America at all-time high.

SPLC LogoThis shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone given our country’s past, but it is disappointing:

New Report: ‘Higher Hate Group Count Than Ever’ : NPR

Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project at the law center, has been studying hate groups for a long time. But Potok says even he was surprised when he started counting extremists for his annual report.

“We have absolutely explosive growth of these groups in 2009,” Potok says. “And what we have now found is that that growth continued through 2010. We have a higher hate group count than we’ve ever had.”

[…] Experts say the most negative energy seems to be coming from people who think the federal government is conspiring to take away their freedom.

“It is not … harmless in the sense that the patriot movement has produced a great deal of criminal violence,” Potok says. “There were an enormous number of plots that came out of the patriot movement, particularly in the late 1990s, and we’re beginning to see that again.”

Right here in Michigan there was a recent case of some douchebag who was planning to blow up a mosque in Dearborn using consumer grade fireworks:

Roger Stockham, a 63-year-old Vietnam War veteran with a history of mental illness, was arrested Jan. 24 after police received a call of a man making threats to set off explosives in one of the biggest mosques in the nation.

[…] Officers say they found Stockham wearing a ski mask in his car parked outside the Islamic Center of America on Ford Road. The car’s trunk was loaded with about two dozen powerful fireworks, police said.

And that’s just one of a number of such incidents since 2009. You can bet things are only going to get worse before they get better.
The really frustrating part is that you can’t talk sense to these people. They are so full of conspiracy theories and misinformation (thanks FOX News and Glenn Beck) that any attempt to confront them with facts and reality is ignored outright. They have become the proverbial useful idiots, but only useful to people who really don’t have their best interests in mind despite what they claim.

To the rest of us, they’re an annoyance at best and a potential danger at worst.