SPLC: Three hate groups operating in Tucson - Tucson News Now

SPLC: Three hate groups operating in Tucson

(Source: Southern Poverty Law Center) (Source: Southern Poverty Law Center)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, three hate groups are operating right here in Tucson.

The SPLC maintains a interactive map highlighting the 917 organizations it defines as hate groups in the United States. You can check out the map HERE.

The first Tucson-area group mentioned by the SPLC is Free American.

Free American, headquartered in Tucson, is labeled a white nationalist organization.

According to the SPLC, "white nationalist groups espouse white supremacist or white separatist ideologies, often focusing on the alleged inferiority of non-whites. Groups listed in a variety of other categories - Ku Klux Klan, neo-Confederate, neo-Nazi, racist skinhead, and Christian Identity - could also be fairly described as white nationalist."

The second group is the National Socialist Movement, which SPLC calls a Neo-Nazi organization.

The national group has an Arizona chapter based in Tucson.

The NSM Arizona Yahoo! Group, which is not open to the public, has 18 members.

The NSM Arizona says they are a "White Civil Rights advocacy group and political party. We are not a hate group. Our core beliefs include: defending the rights of white people, preserving of our culture and heritage, strengthening family values, economic self-sufficiency, immediate military withdrawal from illegal wars, fair immigration policies and the sovereign protection of our borders."

The SPLC disagrees and writes "the group is notable for its violent anti-Jewish rhetoric, its racist views and its policy allowing members of other racist groups to join NSM while remaining members of other groups. Until 2007, NSM members protested in full Nazi uniforms, now traded in for black 'Battle Dress Uniforms.'"

The third group is ACT for America, which is labeled as anti-Muslim.

The SPLC has this to say about ACT for America.

"In recent years, the most influential groups — namely ACT for America and the think tank Center for Security Policy (CSP) — have sought to develop closer relationships with elected officials both at the state and local level. A shift in targets has also taken place recently with the Syrian refugee crisis, as anti-Muslim groups have increasingly directed their ire toward the American refugee program. Refugees are commonly depicted as potential terrorist infiltrators by these organizations. Small anti-refugee groups have popped up across the country and fought the relocation of refugees at the hyper-local level."

Anti-Muslim hate groups also broadly defame Islam, which they tend to treat as a monolithic and evil religion. These groups generally hold that Islam has no values in common with other cultures, is inferior to the West and is a violent political ideology rather than a religion."

According to the ACT for America website, the organization is "the NRA of national security. We are the nation's largest nonprofit, non-partisan, grassroots national security organization with 750,000 members and more than 12,000 volunteer activists focused on educating, engaging, and mobilizing citizens and elected officials to impact legislative outcomes to protect America."

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