On August 31, 2017

Extent of racist groups in America is overblown

Dear Editor,

Anyone watching the network news lately would think that Adolph Hitler, the entire Nazi Army and a legion of Civil War Reconstruction Klansmen had risen from from the dead and invaded the United States. I have never seen so much outlandish hysteria perpetrated by the media in my entire life. In trying to gain some semblance of perspective in all this madness I was compelled to do some research on the subject of hate groups in the United States. This is what I found:
There may be 200-1,200 neo-Nazi members in 32 different states. “The National Socialist Movement (NSM), with about 400 members in 32 states, is currently the largest neo-Nazi organization in the United States.”

The KKK itself claims it has “between 5,000 and 8,000 members nationwide. As of 2016, the Anti-Defamation League puts total Klan membership nationwide at around 3,000, while the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) puts it at 6,000 members.

At its peak in the mid-1920s, the KKK claimed to include about 15 percent of the nation’s eligible population, approximately 4-5 million men.”

Today, we are a nation of 323.1 million people. In our republic, if the experts are to be trusted, there exists an estimated 9,200 philosophically committed militant racists. This is .000028 percent of our population. In the last century the hearts and minds of an overwhelming majority of Americans have undergone a massive, positive paradigm shift in how we view one another. This is the good news. The bad news is how sad it is to see so many good citizens buying into the media narrative that anyone who has an opposing view is somehow a Nazi or a racist.

I have my own solution to put out the raging fire that the media continue to pour gas on. I am shutting off my television, turning off the computer. I am going to call my black friends, my white friends, my Indian friends, my conservative friends and my liberal friends and tell them how much I love them, not because of their color or political views but for simply being good friends. It is a small act. One has to start somewhere.

Stu Lindberg, Cavendish, Vt.

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