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Southern Poverty Law Center Finds 3 Active Hate Groups In Maine

The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified three active hate groups in Maine.

The findings are in its annual “census” of active hate groups around the country, with a count of 838. These are groups that have taken some type of action on behalf of their racist or extremist beliefs in the previous year.

The three groups identified by the SPLC are known as the Colchester Collection, described by the Atlantic as “an online reading room by and for white nationalists;” New Albion, a white ethnostate plan advocated by former Jackman Town Manager Thomas Kawcyznski, who now lives in Greenville and hosts a popular coronavirus podcast; and a white nationalist group that bills itself as the Patriot Front.

“And the Patriot group is probably one of the bigger, better known groups. They were formed in the aftermath of the deadly 2017 ‘Unite the Right’ rally,” says Susan Corke, director of the Intelligence Project for the SPLC.

That rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, killed one person and injured nearly 20 others. Patriot Front followers pride themselves on activism and often use racist flyers as their calling cards to create fear.

“It’s an openly fascist group and has a very violent belief set. It believes America needs to undergo a cathartic rebirth to bring power to the country’s ‘founding stock,’ and by that they mean white Europeans,” Corke says.

She says part of the group’s strategy is to make its propaganda and ideology appear as pervasive as possible.

The number of hate groups tracked this year is actually down from 2019 and from a record number the year before. But Corke says the the level of hate is obviously up, fueled in part, she says, through social media and coalescing around the pandemic and anti-masking movement as well as the election that President Donald Trump repeatedly and falsely declared was stolen from him.