SPLC: Anti-Immigrant Hate Groups on the Rise

Hey, Lou Dobbs, listen up:

The Southern Poverty and Law Center released a report this week revealing a 48 percent jump in the number of  hate groups operating in the U.S. since 2000. The SPLC report implicates the nonstop barrage of anti-immigrant rants from radio and TV over the last few years.

And that's translating into violence: The FBI is reporting a 35 percent increase in hate crimes against Latinos from 2003-2006.

Well, I can't say I'm surprised. After watching the anti-immigrant fervor heat up over the last few years, it's no wonder racists have been attracted to this movement.

I think Florida has weathered the nativist storm fairly well — with the exception of Avon Park — but the rhetoric among our (Republican) politicians is heating up. Eleven bills targetting immigration are on the legislative docket this session, and a few have a nasty bent (see a list and explanation of those bills on a previous blog post here).

Florida, can we make a deal? In our state, let's approach this issue with some common sense and compassion. And, whatever we do, let's not become another Arizona.