MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Hate groups are thriving in America. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of people joining the groups has skyrocketed over the last couple of years. They started keeping up with hate groups more than twenty years ago.
"Anger and resentment are rising around the county," said Mark Potok with the Southern Poverty Law Center. "The situation is bad out there and it seems to be getting worse. Hate groups have grown steadily over the last 13 or 14 years."
According to stats compiled by the center, there are more than 1,000 active hate groups in the country. Potok added, "Overall, no geographical area is particularly worse or better than any other particular area."
Tennessee has 33 hate groups, the 10th most among the states. Mississippi has 36, Arkansas has 23.
"Hate is something that's just embedded in certain individuals. That's why we still have the KKK," said Dwight Montgomery, President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He said he has an answer for those who want to preach hate and create chaos.
"Love will outlive hate. All we have to do is remain vigilant, work towards peace, work toward brotherhood. Try to bring a better community," he said. "What we have to do is work with various races. Cooperatively better our community. Those who want to work together who are various races, let's work together and in the process of doing that we will overshadow the negative hate groups try to perpetuate."
Montgomery wants everyone to join the SCLC for a discussion on how to improve race relations. The meeting will be held at Annesdale Cherokee Baptist Church at noon on March 28th.
For more on the Southern Poverty Law Center's report, visit http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/hate-map