What kind of "hate groups" are operating in Northeast Ohio?

Posted at 11:57 PM, Nov 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-22 20:03:40-05

One nonprofit advocacy organization lists five Northeast Ohio organizations in a list of 892 hate groups across the United States. 

There’s been growing focus on such groups after an uptick in hate crimes and incidents of harassment since the election

The Southern Poverty Law Center has recorded more than 700 incidents between Election Day and Nov. 21. 

The SPLC said the total number of hate groups in the United States grew 14 percent between 2014 and 2015. The group’s “hate map” currently counts 892 hate groups in the country. Thirty-four groups are in the state of Ohio and five of those groups are in Northeast Ohio. 

They include a chapter of the National Socialist Movement, Faith2Action, All Eyes on Egipt Bookstore, the Nation of Islam and the Geauga Constitutional Council. 

“All hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics,” a spokesperson for the Southern Poverty Law Center told News 5 in an email. 

But not all groups agree with their classification. 

Janet Porter, President of the local pro-life group Faith2Action, argues that her group is not an anti-LGBT hate group. 

“For 5,000 years of recorded history. It’s one man, it’s one woman,” Porter told News 5. “Not a hateful thing, a pretty reasonable and rationale thing.” 

Porter said she was overjoyed with the election of Donald Trump, who she believes will forge a path for the gay marriage debate to return to the Supreme Court. 

“He’s an outsider that I believe is going to make America great again,” she said.  

National Socialist Movement Commander Jeff Schoep told News 5 sister station WXYZ that his group was also pleased with the election of Donald Trump. 

“We didn’t specifically endorse Donald Trump for President but we’re happy that he was elected,” Schoep said. 

The remaining groups listed by the SPLC did not return News 5’s request for comment.