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Report reveals hate groups in the Midstate - abc27 WHTM

Report reveals hate groups in the Midstate

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

A report recently released by civil rights group the Southern Poverty Law Center revealed several hate groups in the area last year.

The number showed an increase statewide when compared to the year before. In 2012, there were 35 groups. In 2013 there were 41, the report says.

The Southern Poverty Law Center says a hate group has “beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.”

“Given the reports noted increase in these numbers we feel that there is no reason for the public to be alarmed in any way,” state police Trooper Adam Reed said. “I can't give too much, but we certainly have our own methods to monitor these groups and we take a proactive approach in doing so."

In the Midstate, the "Hate Map" includes Nation of Islam, Keystone State Skinheads, now known as Keystone United, and a group called the H.L Mencken Club. The Southern Poverty Law Center declared it a white nationalist organization in Elizabethtown.

Recently, residents in York and Cumberland Counties received fliers advertising the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan neighborhood watch.

Fliers were delivered on Ridge Road in Fairview Township and reports of the same fliers surfaced in Camp Hill.

The KKK says the neighborhood watches are up and running.

“We are always on guard now. I have a 10-year-old son who is always watching. We are on high alert,” one concerned Ridge Road resident told abc27.

Those at the Anti-Defamation League in Philadelphia say hate groups are out there, but there is no need for alarm.

“A group in and of itself shouldn't be what is the most scary. It should be the activity that is taking up by the group or the people of the group,” Nancy Baron-Baer, interim regional director at the Anti-Defamation League said.

And activity is low here in Pennsylvania.

“While there are groups out there, they are not groups that at this point are considered violent that people need to be fearful of and that we continue as citizens to simply monitor...be on the lookout," Baron-Baer said.

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hate Map can be found at http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/hate-map#s=PA.


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