Report: 18 hate groups currently operating in New Jersey

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A new report finds that there are currently 18 groups classified as hate groups operating in New Jersey.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit that tracks hate groups in the United States, says that the number of hate groups is growing in the United States – with over 1,000 currently in operation.

“We all need to calm down, take a step back,” says NJ Peace Action Executive Director Jeff Hoey.

The groups operating throughout the Garden State are classified as “racist skinhead,” “neo-Nazi,” “white nationalist” and “black nationalist.” There is even a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan operating in New Jersey, according to the report.

“This puts New Jersey kind of in the middle of the pack in terms of hate groups per capita,” says Heidi Beirich, intelligence project director for the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Beirich says that the major concern based on the findings is domestic terrorism.

“We’ve seen too much of it lately. The Pittsburgh shooting in the synagogue is an example of incidents that are also connected to white supremacy and anti-Semitism,” she says. “And we’re seeing more of it than we want to in this country.”

So how is New Jersey trying to promote peace?

“We’re very big on building coalitions with like-minded groups, both locally, nationally, internationally, to achieve those ends,” says Hoey.

More information on the Southern Poverty Law Center report can be found on the group’s website.

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