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30 Aug, 2016 18:55

White Lives Matter declared a hate group by extremist monitor

White Lives Matter declared a hate group by extremist monitor

White Lives Matter, a white nationalist group based in Tennessee, should be considered a hate group, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that monitors hate groups and extremism in America.

White Lives Matter was birthed by a social media meme of the same name and made news last week after it held a rally in front of the Houston, Texas, office of the National Association of the Advancement for Colored People (NAACP) with members carrying rifles, Confederate flags, and signs referring to "14 words," a white supremacist code.

The group's website blames "white genocide" on deliberate immigration and racial integration schemes "being promoted in all and only white countries to deliberately turn them non-white."

"The White Lives Matter website says their movement is dedicated to the preservation of the white race. That tells you all you need to know," Heidi Beirich, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), told The New York Times. "They’re against integration, immigration. This is standard white supremacist stuff."

SPLC is an Alabama-based civil rights organization that identifies and tracks domestic hate groups, which include the neo-Nazi movement, anti-government militias, the Ku Klux Klan, black separatists, and white nationalist and supremacist organizations, among others. White Lives Matter will be included on SPLC's annual "Hate Map" when it's released in February.

Beirich told NYT that one chapter of White Lives Matter, based in Nashville, Tennessee, is  the focus of SPLC's latest hate group designation. 

"Its main activists, to put it plainly, are unvarnished white supremacists," the SPLC's Sarah Viets wrote in a profile of White Lives Matter in early August.

The chapter is led by Rebecca Barnette, who has been associated with the skinhead group Aryan Strikeforce and the neo-Nazi group National Socialist Movement. White Lives Matter has been promoted by the Aryan Renaissance Society, a white nationalist group.

Barnette, who has said she is the co-founder of the White Lives Matter chapter, has called for a North America consisting only of white people, according to SPLC, and has said Jews and Muslims are allied "to commit genocide of epic proportions" of whites.

Barnette's profile on Vk.com, a Russian social networking site where the group moved after being banished from Facebook, includes a message that defended White Lives Matter from the "domestic terrorist" label.

"We do not live by the code of the nonwhites," she wrote in a Vk.com post advocating action against the government and minority groups. "Our forefathers built the nation that is being allowed to be destroyed."

She added: "I wish Hitler were here alive and well today."

During its August 21 protest in Houston, White Lives Matter members railed against "atrocities" inflicted on whites by "pro-black organizations" such as Black Lives Matter.

"We came out here to protest against the NAACP and their failure in speaking out against the atrocities that organizations like Black Lives Matter and other pro-black organizations have caused the attack and killing of white police officers, the burning down of cities and things of that nature," group member Ken Reed said, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Reed added that the group, who protested with police protection, was "not our here to instigate or start any problems."

White Lives Matter has posted several videos on YouTube in recent weeks, including at least two videos decrying the hate group designation.