The White Lives Matters movement will be listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center when it releases its annual Hate Map in February.
“I can’t speak to how many chapters will be listed, but it’s clear that the leadership of the group, the ends of the group — it’s just a flat-out white supremacist group,” said Heidi Beirich, director of the center’s Intelligence Report, in an interview with Chron.com.
“The ideology behind it, the racist leaders, everything about it is racist,” Beirich added.
The leadership Beirich refers to is 40-year-old Rebecca Barnette. In addition to having her hands in the White Lives Matter movement, Barnette is also the vice president of the women’s division of the skinhead group Aryan Strikeforce.
The center points to posts on Barnette’s page on vk.com, a Russian social networking site used by white supremacists due to its lack of censorship.
In an Aug. 3 post on “Intelligence Report,” the center reports, “Barnette says that Jews and Muslims have formed an alliance ‘to commit genocide of epic proportions’ of the white race. Now is the time, she adds in the same post, for ‘the blood of our enemies [to] soak our soil to form new mortar to rebuild our landmasses.'”
According to the SPLC, Black Lives Matter is not a hate group…
In recent weeks, we’ve received a number of requests to name Black Lives Matter a hate group, particularly in the wake of the murders of eight police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Numerous conservative commentators have joined the chorus. There is even a Change.org petition calling for the hate group label.
In our view, these critics fundamentally misunderstand the nature of hate groups and the BLM movement.
Generally speaking, hate groups are, by our definition, those that vilify entire groups of people based on immutable characteristics such as race or ethnicity. Federal law takes a similar approach.
“Her background, the rhetoric of the group, the hangers-on of the group are white supremacist,” Beirich said. “The only question is how widespread they are, how many chapters there are.”
It is also worth noting that the phrase “14 Words” seen on posters at these events is a reference to the popular white supremacist slogan “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” The slogan was coined by David Lane, a member of the white supremacist terrorist group known as The Order, who later died in prison in 2007.
It also is sometimes used in reference to the slogan, “Because the beauty of the White Aryan woman must not perish from the earth,” which was also coined by Lane.
White Lives Matter protest at NAACP in Houston
The question as to whether the White Lives Matter group is a white supremacist group was asked, yet again, after protesters with the organization set up shop outside of the NAACP in Houston on Aug. 21.
SEE ALSO: White Lives Matter protests outside of NAACP in Houston’s Third Ward
The group waved Confederate flags – a historic symbol, yes, but one that is also associated with slavery and oppression – and wore guns. As a result not everyone was convinced when Ken Reed, one of the protesters, said, “It has nothing to do with racism on our part.”
“The Confederate flag throws me off,” resident Quintina Richardson said during the protest. “You’re saying Black Lives Matter is a racist organization but when you’re throwing the Confederate flag up and saying White Lives Matter, are you saying you’re racist?”
Black Lives Matter movement’s motives questioned
The same question has been asked about the Black Lives Matter movement, the movement which inadvertently birthed its antithesis.
The Southern Poverty Law Center took notice after many requests to label the Black Lives Matter movement a hate group came across its figurative desks in the wake of the murder of eight Dallas and Baton Rouge police officers.
SEE ALSO: Southern Poverty Law Center’s ‘Hate Map’ identifies Texas groups
Short answer: The center says the Black Lives Matter movement is not a hate group because it seeks to promote a race that has been marginalized throughout history (in other words, black lives also matter.) Plus, the center points out the movement’s leaders have condemned violence.
The center also points to the fact that “thousands of white people across America – indeed, people of all races – have marched in solidarity with African Americans during BLM (Black Lives Matter) marches, as is clear from the group’s website.”
Looking at the photos above, the reverse can’t be said for the White Lives Matter group.
Hate groups have been steadily on the rise since 1999, starting with 457 groups identified by the SPLC. The center says the number exploded around the turn of the century “driven in part by anger over Latino immigration and demographic projections showing that whites will no longer hold majority status in the country by around 2040.”
The number of hate groups peaked in 2011 with 1,018 identified groups, before decreasing and reaching its lowest point of 784 groups in 2014. However, that number is back on the rise, with 892 groups identified in 2015
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