There is much discussion about hate groups in the U.S. following the events that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend.
White supremacists took to the streets in a rally where violence erupted between conflicting groups. One woman died and more than a dozen were injured after a car rammed into a crowd of people.
President Trump declared Monday, "racism is evil" and said the Justice Department will open a civil rights investigation into the deadly car attack. The aftermath of the rally lives on through social media and is a focus of conversation for many Americans during a particularly politically volatile time in the country.
Hundreds of people gathered in Sacramento Sunday, marching from City Hall to the west steps of the Capitol to stand in solidarity with Charlottesville, declaring a stance against hatred and remembering Heather Heyer, the victim killed in the car attack.
But not everyone in Sacramento is in line with the idea of inclusivity. Unfortunately, the city is home to a number of hate groups.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, there are 917 hate groups currently operating across the U.S. A map created by the SPLC shows that combined, the west side of the country has significantly less hate groups than the east coast, and California is home to the most hate groups in the nation. California is also the most populated state in the U.S.
There are 79 hate groups in the Golden State, with a large number concentrated in Southern California, the Bay Area and the Sacramento region.
According to the SPLC, the 8 groups in the Sacramento/Stockton area are:
1. Verity Baptist Church: the SPLC categorizes the Sacramento church as an anti-LGBT group. The church's pastor, Roger Jimenez, sparked outrage following his sermon in the aftermath of the Orlando shootings that killed 49 people and injured more than 50 others in 2016. A video of the preacher was uploaded to YouTube the day after the tragedy where he called gay people pedophiles and said he wished the government would put homosexuals in front of a firing squad.
"Are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today?" Jimenez asked the church. "Um no. I think that’s great. I think that helps society. I think Orlando, Florida, is a little safer tonight. The tragedy is that more of them didn’t die. The tragedy is I’m kind of upset he didn’t finish the job – because these people are predators. They are abusers."
Jimenez stood by his words following the onslaught of protests and criticism, telling ABC10 that he would "be fine" and "totally okay" with the government killing gay people.
The Verity Baptist Church website states, "We believe that sodomy (homosexuality) is a sin and an abomination before God which God punishes with the death penalty. No sodomite (homosexual) will be allowed to attend or join Verity Baptist Church."
2. Pacific Justice Institute: a non-profit, legal defense organization based in Sacramento which specializes in religious freedom and parental rights. According to Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the PJI's president, Brad Dacus, has a history of defending anti-LGBT cases. In 2013, the PJI launched a website, www.GenderInsanity.com, fighting transgender protections and gay inclusion in Boy Scouts.
In 2009, Dacus compared an LGBT-inclusive curriculum to bullying stating, "Most parents do not want their first through fifth graders bombarded with pro-homosexual messages at school. If LGBT advocates really want to stop name-calling and bullying, they should start with themselves."
PJI takes the stance against the LGBT through their religion-based cases.
3. Save California: is a "campaign for children and families" with headquarters in Sacramento, according to the group's website. Randy Thomasson, the president of the group, is media savvy with a background in broadcast journalism. He leads organization in speaking out in the media against pro-choice, LGBT and trans rights and the recent legalization of recreational marijuana in California.
According to California Supreme Court documents, Thomasson founded Save California in 1999. The group is "fighting for the protection of children's innocence everywhere", "challenging liberal lies with God's timeless moral truths", "teaching and activating pro-family citizens to stand up for their beliefs" and "tackles man-woman marriages".
Thomasson and company lobby against state laws protecting gay and trans rights.
4. Traditionalist Worker Party: a white nationalist group in Sacramento. The group was founded in 2015 and is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, according to the SPLC. The group advocates for racially pure nations and has beliefs rooted in anti-Semitic sentiment.
The group's website claims their mission is "defending Faith, Family, and Folk against the politicians and oligarchs who are running America into the ground". The organization also claims to be the "first political party created by and for working families".
They believe in the interests of white Americans and white children. The group wants to revoke birthright citizenship and calls for "net zero immigration", where immigrants would have to bid for emigrant "slots" to live in the U.S. The group believes the American government is "stacking the deck against white families".
5. Sacto Skins: an organization of racist skinheads with headquarters in Sacramento. Sacto Skins is one of the oldest skinhead gangs in the nation, according to the SPLC.
From the 1990s to the early 2000s, the group was ran by David Lynch, a powerful white supremacist leader who's racist activism dated back to the 1980s. Lynch was shot dead in his Citrus Heights home in 2011 by another white supremacist.
6. As-Sabiqun: is an Islamic nationalist group with a chapter in Sacramento. The organization is strongly anti-semitic and advocates for the creation of a global Islamic state, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
The group has a following in several cities including Los Angeles and Philadelphia but it's mainly organized around the group's founder, Imam Abdul Alim Musa's, DC mosque and the Masjid Al Islam mosque in Oakland, California, which is led by the movement's other main figure, Imam Amir Abdul Malik Ali.
Sabiqun claims that it was created in the early 1990s at Masjid Al Islam mosque in Philadelphia, according to the ADL.
Malik Ali has expressed support for Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad.
7. Nation of Islam: the black separatist group with followers around the country has a chapter in Stockton.
The Nation of Islam (NOI) was founded in 1930 in Chicago and is one of the wealthiest and best-known organizations in black America, according to the SPLC. The group believes black people have superiority over white people and have strong anti-Semitic and anti-gay roots.
The NOI believes intermarriage and race mixing should be prohibited.
The group's famous members include Malcom X and Mohammed Ali.
8. Identity Evropa: white nationalist group in Oakdale. The founder of the group, Nathan Damigo, made headlines in April after footage circulated online of him punching a young woman in the face during a Berkeley rally.
According to the group's website, the members are "awakened Europeans" who feel their "culture and heritage" is being replaced. The organization is against immigration and cultural Marxism.
Cultural Marxism is a conspiracy theory that believes the left-wing's push for political correctness is an attempt to undermine traditional Western values and Christianity.
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