2015 The Year of Hate and Extremism: Polarizing Rhetoric, Shifting Demographics and Heightened Awareness of Inequities


May 25th, 2016

It seems that by watching TV news, browsing social media, and talking to that one cousin no one likes to mention, we are exposed to hateful language and ideas more and more in American life. But these ideas do not come out of thin air – organized hate groups are growing in our country and our guest told us why.

Lecia Brooks, Outreach Director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the premier U.S. organization monitoring the activities of domestic hate groups and other extremists,  joined us from Montgomery, Alabama to explain how the SPLC defines hate groups, tracks them and what exactly results from their efforts. Lecia focused on how polarizing rhetoric, shifting demographics and a heightened awareness of inequities help create the political climate we are currently experiencing.

Ms. Brooks leads the SPLC’s efforts on key initiatives and social justice issues. She also serves as director of the Civil Rights Memorial Center in Montgomery, Alabama. Prior to joining SPLC in 2004 she worked 12 years for the National Conference for Community and Justice.