Heidi Beirich:”Black hatred of Whites comes from being oppressed”

Cover of the U.S. Hate Report 2010 - ©splc

19.11.2011 | 10:59 | simon INOU

Washington, November 8, 2011 – Attending the U.S. State Department Summit on “Promoting social Cohesion through Broadcast Media” implemented by the Meridian International, we met Mrs. Heidi Beirich*, Director of Research at the Southern Poverty Law center after her presentation of the Intelligence Report on U.S. hate groups and extremists. We spoke with her on the importance of such reports for awareness and social cohesion.

M-MEDIA: You are the editor of the intelligence Report. What´s that?

Heidi Beirich: It´s a magazine that tracks the activities of hate groups and other extremists (Supremacists, neo Nazi, Separatists etc.) in the US. Those are groups, or people who really hate the government.

How many groups are qualified as hated groups in the U.S.?

Unfortunately during the year 2010, 1002 groups. Ten years earlier there were just 600. It´s a pretty extraordinary number. In our reports we only count active hated groups. Those are groups which have actually done something like Protests and so on. We stopped counting one guy in his basement acting with a computer. About two thirds of those active groups are white groups. It make sense because the US has a history of white supremacy.

Do we have also black hatred groups?

Yes of course. We have also black groups and many other kinds of groups. In the US we have some organisations that are anti-Semitic, anti-white and so on.

Does it mean that there are black peoples who are anti-Semitic an racist?

Yes.

 Is there any difference between those groups?

Yes. Obviously black hatred of whites comes from the legacy of being oppressed. It is not equivalent to a white group hating black people. If you grew up in the south of the US in the 50s you should have experienced racism from the white which could drive you to become a racist. We should never forget, that there is a context within which these black groups do exist.

What do you expect to achieve with this report?

We would like the public and the law enforcement institutions to know about the existence of these groups. Law enforcement is important because it is their duty to protect minorities and these groups are the ones oppressing minorities in the US.

Have you been taken seriously by Law enforcement institutions?

Yes. We have been taken seriously. A lot of federal bureau working across the country have been working with our reports and we are really happy about this fact.

Do you have any information about such work like yours on the European continent?

No I don´t

Thanks

You are welcome

——-

Heidi Beirich is an expert on academic racism, nativist extremism and the white supremacist fringe of the neo-Confederate movement. She is the co-editor and author of several chapters of Neo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction, published by the University of Texas Press in 2008. She joined the SPLC staff in 1999 after earning a doctorate in political science at Purdue University. She is a contributing editor to the Intelligence Report and an SPLC spokesperson on domestic extremism. In addition to her academic training, Beirich has professional experience in the nonprofit and government Sektors. (From the splc homepage)


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