Last year, the the Southern Poverty Law Center‘s “Hate Map” identified four “hate groups” operating in South Dakota. The 2009 map is out and it says South Dakota had three hate groups active in 2009, two of which are making repeat appearances.
Once again, the best known is the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints, which was headed by now-jailed Warren Jeffs. The group split from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when the LDS Church renunciation of polygamy and is now the largest polygamist Mormon group in the U.S. It bought about 100 acres of land it developed into a compound near Pringle. The SPLC calls the group “a white supremacist, homophobic, antigovernment, totalitarian cult.”
Again appearing without a specific location is Nordwave, a neo-Nazi organization. The organization calls itself “the voice of National-Socialism” and lists a “unit” called Nordwave South Dakota on its web site. Little information is given about the group, although the contact information lists Nicholas Chappell, formerly the national director of another neo-Nazi group, the National Socialist Order of America. That group was listed as active in South Dakota on last year’s Hate Map but is not on it this year. (Also missing this year is Retaliator Skinhead Nation, which was supposedly located in Centerville.)
The new group on the list is also a neo-Nazi organization. Knights of the Nordic Order is said to be based in Jackson County. Some websites report that it was founded in 2008 by “two former captains of the Aryan Brotherhood,” a notorious white supremacist prison gang. The group’s website lists a 25-point manifesto with statements such as, “Only those of Nordic blood whatever their creed, may be members of the nation. Accordingly, no Jew, Black, Mexican, Arab, or any other race may be a member of the nation.” Its membership requirements, meanwhile, include having “NO interracial relationships in their history,” “NOT hav[ing] custody of interracial children” and “NOT hav[ing] friendships and/or contacts with people that take part in interracial relationships.”
The figures for South Dakota seem somewhat indicative of the nation. The SPLC reported that the number of hate groups in the country rose slightly in 2009 — to 932 from 926 in 2008 — despite the collapse of the second largest neo-Nazi group in America, the American National Socialist Workers Party. Interestingly, although not included in the Hate Map, when it released the map the SPLC noted a dramatic increase in so-called “patriot” groups, specifically including the Hutaree Militia, whose members were indicted this week after planning to “levy war” on the government.
Hatred is the coward’s revenge for being intimidated.
George Bernard Shaw, Major Barbara