Subscribe

72 hate groups operated in California last year. Here's where and what they are

In California last year, 72 hate groups and 51 extreme anti-government groups operated in the state, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which compiles lists of such groups annually.

SPLC tracked 838 hate groups and 566 anti-government groups across the U.S. in 2020.

What does it mean to be an extremist group?

Hate groups are collectives that denigrate other groups of people for personal characteristics they cannot change such as race, religion, ethnicity, gender identity or sexual orientation, according to SPLC.

For example, the Ku Klux Klan, originally formed in the wake of the Civil War and then revived in the early 20th century, is the most notorious hate group in the United States. It is known for extreme acts of violence against Black people and is recognizable from its white robes, hoods and cross burning.

Hate groups include organizations who have not conducted any criminal activity or other illegal actions based on their beliefs.

Awareness around the prevalence of extreme anti-government groups grew in the U.S. in 2020 and 2021 when such groups stormed the Michigan Capitol Building on April 30, 2020, and the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6. These groups, often militias or paramilitary outfits, express antipathy toward the government or toward the concept of government in general. Many members of these groups buy into conspiracy theories that falsely postulate that the government has been taken over and therefore not legitimate.

Many of these groups hold overlapping ideologies and extremist groups take many forms. Here's a breakdown of each type and where they operated in California last year:

General Hate

SPLC defines general hate groups as those that "peddle a combination of well-known hate and conspiracy theories, in addition to unique bigotries that are not easily categorized," according to the organization's website.

— True Nation Israelite Congregation: Los Angeles

— Tony Alamo Christian Ministries: Canyon Country

— Sicarii 1715: San Diego, Long Beach, San Francisco

— Proud Boys: Sacramento, Anaheim, Modesto

— Official Street Preachers: Los Angeles

— Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge: Los Angeles, Oakland

— Israel United In Christ: Los Angeles, Sacramento, Bakersfield

— House of Israel: Inglewood

— Great Millstone: Los Angeles

— European-American Evangelistic Crusades: Sheridan

— Chick Publications: Ontario

— Black Riders Liberation Party: Los Angeles

— The Realist Report: Long Beach

— Nation of Islam: Compton, Oakland, San Diego, Los Angeles

— Institute for Historical Review: Newport Beach

— Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust: Mill Valley

White Nationalist

White nationalist groups base their viewpoints around the false, unfounded idea that nonwhite people are inferior to white people.

— The Base: Statewide

— Rise Above Movement: Huntington Beach

— Right Brand Clothing: Anaheim

— Patriot Front: Statewide

— Our Fight Clothing: Statewide

— Occidental Observer: Laguna Hills

— National Reformation Party: Statewide

— Koschertified?: Statewide

— International Conservative Community: Statewide

— Counter-Currents Publishing: San Francisco

— American Identity Movement: Sacramento

— American Freedom Party: Los Angeles

Radical Traditional Catholicism

Groups that believe in Radical Traditional Catholicism are antisemitic and generally adhere to extremely conservative beliefs around the social roles of women. These groups arose in opposition to the Second Vatican Council, which modernized the teachings of the Catholic Church in the 1960s.

— Tradition in Action: Los Angeles

Racist Skinhead

Skinhead groups are a type of white supremacist group similar to neo-Nazis. Adherents typically wear shaved heads, black boots and tattoos like swastikas or other symbols of hate. These groups are still active today but largely peaked in the 1980s.

— Western Hammerskins: Statewide

— Nationalist Women's Front: Statewide

— Golden State Skinheads: This group has two chapters, one for Northern and one for Southern California

— American Front: Statewide

Neo-Völkisch

Neo-Völkisch groups glorify a vision of Viking Era living that centers around ethnocentrism, hypermasculinity and a rejection of modernism. This ideology has roots in a similar movement that arose in what is now Germany and Austria in the 19th and 20th centuries.

— Viking Brotherhood: Statewide

— Ásatrú Folk Assembly: Statewide

Neo-Nazi

Neo-Nazis profess a hatred primarily for Jewish people, but also for nonwhites and LGBTQ people. Neo-Nazis idolize Adolf Hitler.

— White Aryan Resistance: San Jacinto

— Atomwaffen Division: Statwide

Hate Music

Hate music is associated with white power movements and is connected to racist skinhead groups. It often is used to help recruit people.

— Vinlandic Werwolf Distribution: Statewide

Anti-Muslim

Many groups opposing Muslims grew in the U.S. following the Sept. 11 terror attacks despite the fact that the perpetrators of those attacks practiced a fanatical, militant interpretation of Islam rather than mainstream interpretations of the religion. Many of these groups falsely claim that the U.S. legal system is being supplanted with Shariah Law, or Islamic religious law.

— Soldiers of Odin: Statewide

— Glasov Gang Productions: Los Angeles

— David Horowitz Freedom Center: Sherman Oaks

— Counter Jihad Coalition: Santa Monica

— American Freedom Alliance: Encino

— ACT for America: Corona, Mission Viejo, Los Angeles, Laguna Woods, San Gabriel Valley, San Fernando Valley

Anti-LGBTQ

Anti-LGBTQ groups vilify people who do not identify as heterosexual and falsely claim LGBTQ people are threats to society.

— Verity Baptist Church: Sacramento

— Save California: Sacramento

— Pacific Justice Institute: Sacramento, San Jose, Santa Ana

— MassResistance: Torrance, San Diego, Downey

— First Works Baptist Church: El Monte

— Chalcedon Foundation: Vallecito

Anti-Immigrant

Anti-immigrant groups profess xenophobic ideology and typically support racist ideas in general.

— San Diegans for Secure Borders: San Diego

— Californians for Population Stabilization: Ventura

Anti-Government

SPLC maintains a separate list of anti-government groups:

— III% Defense Militia: Statewide

— III% United Patriots: Sacramento Valley, Sunnyvale

— American Patriot Vanguard: Statewide

— American Patriots Three Percent: Statewide

— California State Militia: Bay Area, Central, Northern, Sacramento, Southeast, Southern

— California Three Percenters: Sanger

— The Constitution Club: Hemet

— Constitution Party: San Leandro

— DEMOCRATS AGAINST U.N. AGENDA 21: Santa Rosa

— Eagle Forum: Orange County, Sacramento, San Diego, Santa Rosa

— Educate Yourself: Costa Mesa

— The Foundation: Walnut

HISAdvocates.org: Costa Mesa

— Jeremiah Films: Los Angeles

— Liberty Under Fire: Taft

— National Assembly: Statewide

— Oath Keepers: Anaheim, Central, Huntington Beach, Northern, Victorville

— Outpost of Freedom: Los Molinos

— People's Rights: Statewide

— Reign of the Heaven's Society: Ontario

— State of Jefferson Formation: Calaveras County, El Dorado County, Lassen County, Mariposa, Nevada County, Placer County, Siskiyou County, Sonora, Stanislaus County, Sutter County, Tehama County, Trinity County, Yuba County

— Tenth Amendment Center: Los Angeles

— The Three Percenters-III%ers: Statewide

— United States Justice Foundation: Ramona

— We Are Change: Fresno, San Francisco

UPDATED: Please read and follow our commenting policy:

  • This is a family newspaper, please use a kind and respectful tone.
  • No profanity, hate speech or personal attacks. No off-topic remarks.
  • No disinformation about current events.
  • We will remove any comments — or commenters — that do not follow this commenting policy.
Send a letter to the editor

Our Network

The Press Democrat
Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Sonoma County Gazette