I live on the East Coast of the United States, but I am not one of those people who happens to believe that racism is exclusive to the South or Southwest.
This is why the story about a group of white supremacists setting up shop right next door does not surprise me.
A white supremacist group who call themselves "Advanced White Society" now make their national headquarters in Birmingham, New Jersey. (As if New Jersey doesn't have a bad enough national reputation.) Birmingham is a very small town, I think that there are 33 people living there. (One of them- poor person- happens to be black.)
This creates an interesting dilemma for the political types of Burlington County where the township of Birmingham is located. They want the group out, but if they (AWS) have broken no laws, and are not being a nuisance to their neighbors, they, like everyone else, have every right to be there.
New Jersey, like so many other Northern states, attracts a lot of these hate groups, because racism and ignorance does not have any specific geographical boundary or a preference for a particular region.
The good news is that these groups are declining nationally in numbers. The bad news is why they happen to be declining according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
"The highest number of hate groups were found in California (77), Texas (57) and Florida (58).
Although the SPLC has documented a decline in the number of groups in existence throughout the country this year, it has also measured a “disturbing dynamic at play,” according to Potok.
“At the same time that the number of extremist groups is dropping, there is more mainstream acceptance of radical-right ideas,”
It makes sense; the more mainstream these groups become the less there is a need for them to organize under a more radical and extreme umbrella.
Why join groups like the Klan and the aforementioned Advanced White Society when you can find like minded people who are better organized and have more funding in groups like the Tea Party?