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Just How Many Neo-Nazis Are There In The U.S., Anyway?

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Just How Many Neo-Nazis Are There In The U.S., Anyway?


Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

Neo-Nazis suddenly seem highly visible following this weekend’s Unite the Right riot in Charlottesville that left counter-protester Heather Heyer dead. The protest was largely void of Klan hoods, suggesting that neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan are feeling more emboldened. With the renewed visibility of these groups, many may be wondering: How many people do hate groups count as members, and where are these groups located?

Data from the Southern Poverty Law Center suggests the number of hate groups is currently near the country’s all-time recorded high, in 2011. The SPLC reports that as of 2016, there are 917 active groups. (That’s 100 fewer than the 1,108 groups reported in 2011.) The SPLC’s hate map identifies groups by tracking their publications and websites. Of those 917, more than 90 are neo-Nazi groups. California has the highest number with 79, followed by Florida with 63 and Texas with 55.

Prominent neo-Nazi groups include the National Socialist Movement and Vanguard America. According to historian Federico Finchelstein, the KKK, white supremacists and white nationalists are also neo-Nazis, whether they identify as such or not, because they all “exhibit the fundamental traits of Nazism—chiefly racism, anti-Semitism, and the glorification of political violence.” The Anti-Defamation League reports that these groups’ underlying ideology dehumanizes and focuses on the “alleged inferiority of non-whites.” The neo-Nazis in Charlottesville last weekend were recorded chanting “blood and soil,” a Nazi slogan that affirms racial hatred by basing ethnicity on blood descent and physical territory.

In a speech given in Kentucky, Vanguard America leader Dillon Irizarry said he counted at least 200 members in 20 different states. The KKK itself claims it has “between 5,000 and 8,000 members nationwide.”

Although the members of these groups may be especially vocal, the presence of racism in the U.S. cannot be quantified strictly by data. Nearly 63 million people voted for Trump, which means those voters were willing to accept and tolerate a racist, misogynist, xenophobe for a president, emboldening the small minority of neo-Nazis among them. Trump’s own reluctance to condemn the neo-Nazis has led some Democrats to propose a bill to censure the president. But the enduring existence of these hate groups is indicative of racism’s lasting presence in the United States’ history.

Along with the rise in hate group membership since Trump’s election, there has been an increase in racially motivated attacks. The SPLC has recorded 1,863 bias incidents from the day after the 2016 election up to March 31, 2017. Of the 1,863 incidents, 292—or 15.67 percent—were anti-black motivated.

Under Trump’s presidency, hate and racism are finding their way into the mainstream. Racism isn’t just Nazism, and the protests weren’t just an aberration. Racism is a deeply engrained and systemic problem, built into the United States’ values, biases and assumptions, especially against black Americans, since the country’s beginnings. Dismantling white supremacy will require recognizing racism as an institution perpetuated in order to maintain privileges for white males. Rooting out the racist assumptions embedded in our laws and attitudes will require an intersectional movement that actively challenges police brutality and recognizes our history of slavery and Jim Crow laws.

Julia Flasphaler is a junior writing fellow for AlterNet interested in trauma, gender and race. She is a senior English Literature major at Columbia University. Follow her at @juliaflafla.

Header image source.



  1. Dominick Vila August 18, 2017

    The big question for me is not how many, verifiable, white supremacists are there today, but how many are going to join these hate groups in the near future. It seems obvious that relatively large numbers of white Americans feel deprived, marginalize, and attack by those who are disenfranchised. Logic and realistic conclusions, such as determining the number of ethnic and cultural minorities working for large corporations, such as Google, is not enough to persuade those that refuse to acknowledge their own shortcomings and prefer to blame others for their miserable lives. I can’t remember the percentages of whites/Asians Vs the number of ethnic minorities working for Google (I believe the number of Hispanics working for that company is 3%), and I readily admit that very often the disparity is due to lack of qualifications, but for those who have all the opportunities in the world to succeed to blame those who have nothing for their alleged misery is the epitome of cynicism.

    1. Mama Bear August 19, 2017

      Agree, Dom, and my question is how many of them does it take to to unleash evil and cause younger more vulnerable ones to join in.

      1. dpaano August 21, 2017

        That’s the scary part, Mama Bear…..our younger people are more vulnerable to this type of thinking! Parents need to make sure that they keep an eye on their young men and women and teach them that this is the wrong way to go!

        1. Mama Bear August 21, 2017

          I was doing a little research earlier and not surprised to find out that both the fascist and Nazi movements began with less than 50 young men.

          1. tkell31 August 23, 2017

            Bunch of drama queens. The leftist army is corrupting more kids then neo-naziis could ever dream of and the “adults” help speed the process along.

          2. Mama Bear August 23, 2017

            go on back to you little friends now, little snowflake, someone here might make you cry.

          3. idamag August 30, 2017

            The trouble with some people is they come from small isolated rural communities that does not experience the richness of diversity in people and thought. There are those Butt scratching, tobacco spitting hillbillies from these southern states where educational quality hovers around the bottom and the standard of living is a negative number.

    2. idamag August 30, 2017

      There aren’t very many in my town, but it does not take many to vandalize, harass and terroize.

  2. FireBaron August 18, 2017

    Based on what we have seen, I believe there are fewer Neo-Nazis than that group would have us believe. Otherwise, instead of spouting rhetoric about how they plan on taking things over, they would already have begun.

  3. The Daily Stormer is/was said to be the largest neo Nazi website in the world. According to SimilarWeb, last month (July 2017), they received 2.9M sessions. Of those, 47% were from the U.S., so a little less than 1.4M.

    Keep in mind, these are sessions, not unique visitors. If someone visits Daily Stormer once a day, every day, that’s 30 sessions a month.

    The take-home conclusion is that the neo Nazi movement in America is very tiny; likely under one million. The notion that all, or even a significant portion, of Trump’s whopping 62M voters are neo Nazis is nothing short of an enormous, disgusting lie.

    1. dpaano August 21, 2017

      So true….his so-called “base” is very small compared to ALL voters in the United States….and, so far, he’s lost 3 of his key states in the past few weeks. It’ll be difficult for ANY Republican in those three states to be elected or re-elected in 2018, and that’s just fine with me! The more he runs his mouth, the more of his base seem to be deserting him like rats running off a sinking ship! But, he keeps pandering to them as if they are the majority of voters in this country….he’s going to be very surprised in both 2018 and 2020!

  4. Ryan Austin August 20, 2017

    Saying that Trump has not disavowed and condemned these groups is a FLAT OUT LIE.


    1. idamag August 30, 2017

      Bonnon was a key figure in getting trump elected. His views on Breitbart are out there. He has stormed against the Jews, the Catholics, Blacks, Hispanics and you say trump doesn’t share his views? I suppose there is nothing racist in calling Mexicans rapists, murderers and thieves.

  5. dpaano August 21, 2017

    The author is totally incorrect about California having the highest number of hate groups. The top 10 states with the most hate groups are: 10. Indiana; 9: Missouri; 8: Virginia; 7: Kentucky; 6: Arkansas; 5: Alabama; 4: Tennessee; 3: Mississippi; 2: Idaho; and 1: Montana. California isn’t even in the top 10 listed!

  6. JoeEngr August 22, 2017

    I read these articles until I get to the part where their extreme bias becomes apparent… I stopped at “Nearly 63 million people voted for Trump, which means those voters were willing to accept and tolerate a racist, misogynist, xenophobe for a president…”

    1. tlo9966 August 22, 2017

      I think journalists need to be accountable for this slander of citizens of America and its leaders. How many people are immigrants, and at what point did the overwhelming racism seep into their skin and bones? This is ridiculous and frightening: the “deeply engrained and systemic problem” is what they are teaching in liberal biased indoctrinating schools that are declaring white privilege, microaggressions and white fragility as facts. I am so offended beyond belief. Who do we sue first?

      1. ThomasDixon August 24, 2017

        You sound like you’d be a good date. Want to get a cup of coffee?

  7. tkell31 August 22, 2017

    Libtards like this crack me up. They cant accept the fact that hate groups are basically powerless and virtually non-existant because they hate facts so instead she just includes anyone who voted for Trump as a supporter of racism. This is largely because her precious feeling got hurt when the monstrosity called Clinton lost the election despite spending 1.2 billion dollars to buy the media and votes. So Julie, here’s one “deplorable” that sincerely hopes one day you grow up and live in the big boy world where facts, numbers, and reality trump your sensitive feelings.

    1. idamag August 30, 2017

      Your name calling exposes you. I suppose the nazis and KKK marching with assault rifles and chanting anti-semitic slogans are just school kids on a lark and I suppose the counter protester is still alive, it was a rumor that someone was killed. I suggest you read two books: “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,” and “Carry Me Home Birmingham Alabama.” Hate groups are only powerless when they are not being accepted by the masses. One of their methods is to denigrate a entire segment of the population by labeling them with ugly hames.

  8. Cherry Pink August 25, 2017

    Who is the mutant retard who wrote this piece of false tripe? Ridiculous equating millions of Conservative American voters to Nazis. Asswipe Liberal

  9. H M D August 26, 2017

    u clearly are insane and horrifically stereotypical which in itself can be construed as bigotry

    1. idamag August 30, 2017

      Yes. He has espoxed himslef to be what it evident.

  10. Lobert E Ree August 28, 2017

    This is a repulsive, biased article to try to associate President Trump with causing rise in hate groups. You people have gone hysterical.

  11. Lobert E Ree August 28, 2017

    Believe nothing coming out of the ‘Southern Poverty Law Center’.

  12. Lobert E Ree August 28, 2017

    Researched author (Julia). She is a real piece of work. An ultra-extremist that sees racism behind EVERYTHING. Full of hyperbole and hysteria and has tremendous ‘white-guilt’. She’s not a journalist, more of an activist propagandist.

    1. Lobert E Ree August 28, 2017

      Look at Ms Flasphaler real personality:

      “Dear Libraries, screw your overdue fees I accumulate them like parking tickets but thanks for the books I forget to read.”

    2. Lobert E Ree August 28, 2017

      Ms Flasphaler is a Brown Shirt of the Left.

  13. James Connor August 29, 2017

    Oh puhleeze. I ask a simple question and I get the Southern Poverty Law Center. How many people in the US claim to be members of the neo-Nazis? No answer. 5000 KKK members? Sounds about right. I suspect that these groups are far bigger and more dangerous in the minds of the SPLC than in reality, since they padded their hate list with traditionalist Catholics, conservative Protestant ministries, and mainstream conservative organizations.

  14. James Connor August 29, 2017

    “Nearly 63 million people voted for Trump, which means those voters were willing to accept and tolerate a racist, misogynist, xenophobe for a president, emboldening the small minority of neo-Nazis among them.” Ok, Julia is officially wackadoodle.

  15. James Connor August 29, 2017

    “There are several neo-Nazi groups in the United States. The National Socialist Movement (NSM), with about 400 members in 32 states,[147] is currently the largest neo-Nazi organization in the United States.” I got this from Wikipedia. It took me 50 seconds. Four hundred neo-Nazis in 32 states. This is the largest group in the country, so if you figure there are 90 (let’s go with the SPLC this time just get the biggest number possible), there are, approximately 36,000 in the US. Mind you, this is likely a wildly exaggerated number. Now, if 63 Million people voted for Trump, then according to Julia there are 63 Million closet Nazis. Oh for crying out loud. Nearly 100 percent of those who voted for Trump didn’t even know the neo-Nazis were out there until Charlottesville, or they never gave them a nanosecond of consideration in their entire lives. So, Julia, let’s conclude this exercise in advanced math my saying that you are talking through your hat and your hat is too big for your head.

    1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth September 12, 2017

      Gee Mr. Connor—I would say your head is too big for any hat ever made.
      You are quite arrogant and proud.

      No shred of decency, not an ounce of morality, an animal-like disposition concerning over half of the human population.

      All of which paint you as an embodiment of satanic qualities, displaying no fear of God, a haughty and arrogant nature that defines particularly many of the “Africans” who migrated into Europe after Modern Humans stood upright on the savannahs of Africa, and who evolved the sentiment and an adoration for racialism and infatuation with a light skin.

      What ails you, buddy? Why not try acting like an adult who hasn’t forgot the imprimatur of nobility which was stamped on your brow at the time of your conception, but which you decided to expunge from your empty heart.

      1. James Connor September 12, 2017

        Gee Aaron of Portsmouth, I would say that you are an ass. You have no idea what I was saying and I have no time to explain it.

  16. James Connor August 29, 2017

    Finally Julia, if there really were 63 million Nazi sympathizers in the US, harboring a deep seated love of the Fuhrer, you and your type wouldn’t stand a chance. You should thank God every day that you were so wrong.

  17. harleyblueswoman September 5, 2017

    may not be 63 million….but there is a lot of people that were willing to turn and look the other way and voted in a White supremacist sympathizer….he has always been a bigot….we knew that and they voted him in anyway….which has obviously embolden the movement of hate….it was less than 100 years ago that they marched down in their lovely white robes and dared people to stand against them…..they have spread their hate to their offspring and multiplied in numbers that no one is willing to accept….Trump turns a blind eye to everything they do….he is a con in white robes….his father was a White supremacist….he is a Putin lover for the same reason….America needs to open their eyes!!!!!

  18. Aaron_of_Portsmouth September 12, 2017

    One is far too many. This recrudescence of racism is exactly what one should expect from the “Cancer” of racism which invaded the body-politic of America the moment the Conquistadors, French, and English settlers set foot on these shores. Since it was never fully addressed, given our reluctance to look objectively at the problem, we allowed racism to go into a stasis. With the predisposition to be defined by “Limited Unities”, the conditions for racism awaited the right conditions to arise in which to flourish. And flourish it has, thanks largely to decades of GOP insensitivity and a strange affection for light skin complexion by so many “Africans” who evolved the kind of integument that was essential for survival in higher latitudes for Vitamin D production, when fish and milk were not as plentiful in the interior regions of Eurasia as they would become later in human evolution. Donald Trump has proven himself an effective agent, thanks to a dad with KKK affiliation. The chickens are coming home to roost.

  19. Aaron_of_Portsmouth September 12, 2017

    To get a better angle on the disease of racism it might be helpful for society today to give heed to the words of the Baha’i Faith Central Figures.
    As an example, consider this address on the theme of racism, as offered by Shoghi Effendi. And also referenced earlier by Abdu’l Baha, and before him, the framework was established unequivocally by Baha’u’llah, the inspiration for both Abdu’l Baha and Shoghi Effendi. And now, the Universal House of Justice is taking up the torch.

    In a landmark 1936 letter to the American Baha’i community titled The Advent of Divine Justice, Shoghi Effendi clearly laid out the duties and responsibilities both Caucasians and African Americans have to overcome racism:

    “Let neither think that the solution of so vast a problem is a matter that exclusively concerns the other. Let neither think that such a problem can either easily or immediately be resolved. Let neither think that they can wait confidently for the solution of this problem until the initiative has been taken, and the favorable circumstances created, by agencies that stand outside the orbit of their Faith. Let neither think that anything short of genuine love, extreme patience, true humility, consummate tact, sound initiative, mature wisdom, and deliberate, persistent, and prayerful effort, can succeed in blotting out the stain which this patent evil [of racism] has left on the fair name of their common country. – p. 40.
    Clearly, Shoghi Effendi asked us here to make a determined, long-standing effort marked by genuine love and extreme patience to overcome the “patent evil” of racism. He encourages all of us, no matter what our racial background, to take the initiative and not wait for outside groups and agencies to do this for us. The challenge to address this issue with urgency and vigor could not be more stark or urgent. …”

    An excerpt from http://bahaiteachings.org/need-see-color-ways-bahai-writings-address-racism)

  20. billhoidas October 3, 2017

    can’t believe you went to the splc for your figures-what snowflakes!-smh!

    1. Charles Sanders October 3, 2017

      Your a whiny little girl just like your president. Pus$y.

  21. Benjie October 29, 2017

    You people are a bunch of lunatics. Who is actually really dangerous to the welfare of the country is you. The SPLC says there are about 7,000 KKK members, and maybe 50,000 so called neo Nazi’s. And this nut case that says anyone who voted for Trump was a neo Nazi at heart. Which is nonsense. Of course, it has nothing to do with the fact that 10’s of millions just flat out hated the Clinton’s. Neo Nazi’ my rear end, a bunch of Looney tunes no one take seriously. Here is what you need to be really concerned with.
    There are a hundred thousand active members of over a dozen different Communist parties in the USA. Eleven percent of the US population (one in nine) would view a Communist revolution positively, while seventy eight percent would view it negatively. Of course, that leaves out Communists on the hippy end of the spectrum, and it includes non-Communists who just want something exciting, paradigm shifting, or chaotic to happen and would welcome any sort of revolution or collapse. Most of these people are a bunch of millennials that don’t know shoot from shinola.
    How about this for scary. Today there are over 30,000 gangs in the US, and their population is over 800,000. Officials report that over 45% of gang member are Hispanic. The rest are mostly black. And then you have the biker gangs that may be a lot of the neo Nazi types. And these people are armed to the teeth. What if they wanted to start a revolution. 600 people shot and murdered by gangs in Chicago a year.
    Now back to the Clintons and why we voted against her, not for Trump. They are about as close to a Banana Republic crime family syndicate as there was, selling out America to line their own pockets. Bill get $500,000 of a 20-minute speech in Moscow, and $141 million for his charity. Hillary collects $23 million in speaking fee in a year and a half. What do you think all those companies and Russians were paying for, her brilliance? Horse hockey?
    The Democratic party rigged the primary, because she was OWED the Presidency. Let’s not forget, that Bill was accused of sexually assaulting almost a dozen women, some while he was the SITTING US President. Hillary’s job was to destroy the women’s credibility, so they could remain in power. Because that is all they ever really cared about, Power. And her getting the nomination was payback. Everyone is jumping on the Harvey’s Weinstein is a pig bad wagon. What about the Rapist -in-Chief? We believe all the Weinstein accusations. Why didn’t you STUPID liberals believe the women that accused Bill?
    We had 2 crappy Presidential choices, and most Trump voters voted against Hillary. This nut case naive author is suggesting all Trump voters are this long list of isms’. When in fact, we were the original supporters, of the right of women to be believed. Trump was the lesser of 2 evils.

  22. Dencal26 November 25, 2017

    Trump is no more racist than Obama was. Ridiculous article


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