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Breaking the Silence

What's Behind the Wave of Police, Security, and
Vigilante Killings of Black People?

Organized White Supremacy

Click here for the Southern Poverty Law Center's
Map of "Hate Groups" by State

While Supremacist groups in the United States share certain common elements and characteristics. In addition to a view of racial hierarchy, there is usually some form of antisemitism, dualism, apocalypticism, a reliance on conspiracy theories, a "macho" masculinist perspective, and opposition to rights for gays and lesbians.

They also share some common elements with all social movements. At the same time, there are distinctive differences among White Supremacist groups. There are several ways to illustrate these differences. In order to better explain how these groups operate in the public sphere, we think it helps to separate these groups into the categories of

  • Political,
  • Religious, and
  • Youth Cultural (racist skinhead, racist gangs, etc.)

This typology, proposed by Vysotsky in 2004, focuses on how these groups recruit and mobilize supporters around specific ideologies or cultural frames.


Adapted from Chip Berlet and Stanislav Vysotsky. 2006. “Overview of U.S. white supremacist groups.” In Journal of Political and Military Sociology, Vol. 34, No. 1, (Summer). Special Issue on the White Power Movement in the United States, Betty. A. Dobratz and Lisa. K. Walsner, eds., pp. 11-48.


These resources compiled at the request of the Spirit House Project for a
National Teach-In, Worship Service, and Candlelight Vigil
held On April 22, 2014, in Washington, DC

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