Anti-hate group puts extremists on the map - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Anti-hate group puts extremists on the map

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - A new map created by civil rights activists tracks the whereabouts of hundreds of, what they call, hate groups. Many of them are shown to be right here in the Mid-South.

According to a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center, white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups claim the election of President Barack Obama added muscle to their movements.

A map from the SPLC supports their claim.

The number of hate and right wing extremist groups has increased 750 percent since 2008.

Among the more than 1,000 groups identified on the SPLC's hate map, 106 operate in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi.

Groups like the Sovereign Citizens and other anti-government organizations, as well as White Nationalists and Black Separatists, which the SPLC tracks to Shelby County.

The Ku Klux Klan appears on the map in North Mississippi.

Brian Pace is a self-described racial preservationist, who lives in Baldwyn, Mississippi.

"Whenever we had racial segregation things were much better off," Pace said.

Pace founded the Council of White Patriot Voters last year.

"We're a national membership organization fighting for equal rights for whites and the advancement of our people," he explained.

The SPLC says the group's agenda is to create a separate "white state" and that's what landed Pace's group on this hate map.

"You know, we're not going run off and cry about it because, you know, that's free publicity for us, so more power to them," said Pace. "We're just the same as what the NAACP is for blacks. We don't hate anybody we just want to preserve our people."

The president of the NAACP's Memphis chapter takes offense to Pace's comparison.

"We have never focused ourselves as a supremacist group," said Dr. Warner Dickerson.

And Dr. Dickerson adds that the NAACP does NOT discriminate.

"He's convinced that he's right because he's been brainwashed," he said.

Dickerson isn't as concerned about hate speech as he is hate about hate crimes.

The U.S. Justice Department says hate crimes are on the rise.

In Tennessee alone, hate crimes rose more than 50 percent from 2010 to 2011. One out of every three were racially motivated.

Pace says his group denounces violence.

"We denounce any violent acts, it's the wrong move, I mean, it's not needed," said Pace.

He and other critics accuse the SPLC of instilling fear in Americans to raise money by labeling, what he calls "legitimate conservatives," as extremists.

"The white race is only 8 percent of the world population right now, we can't afford for our people to get killed, we can't afford for racial integration or we're not going to exist at all," he said.

In just eight months Pace has recruited members from six states. He recruited people he describes as politically active, mainstream Christian conservatives.

He insists his efforts to preserve the white race aren't motivated by hate.

The SPLC warns otherwise and says if nothing else, their map puts extremist groups and their actions on the radar.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

'HATE MAP'

Updated:

Click here to view the Southern Poverty Law Center's 'Hate map' to see where they say extremists groups are located throughout the United States

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