Learning Exercise

Mapping Hate Groups

An activity to expose students to the extent and variety of hate group activities in the U.S. today
Course: Soc 200, Soc 201, Soc 266, Soc 268
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Exercise

Click "Track U.S. Hate Groups" on the right to look at the Hate Groups Map produced by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which is the best-known group fighting hate activity in the U.S. today. Based on what you see on this map, answer the following questions: 1. How many hate groups are currently active in your state? (Please specify your state, as well as the number, in your answer.) 2. Which state has the greatest number of active hate groups? Which states are tied for having the least number of active hate groups? 3. Do you observe any patterns in which parts of the U.S. seem to have more hate group activity? Explain. Now, one by one, click on the links below the map that describe the different types of hate groups (black separatist, Ku Klux Klan, etc.). As you click on each one, read the short description of the basic ideas of that type of group. In at least two categories, also click on the ¿Read a list of hate incidents¿ link and read through the list of recent hate incidents committed by these hate groups. Now, answer the following questions: 4. What did you learn from reading about these groups? (Here, I¿m looking not for some specific facts you learned, but rather, for broader conclusions and observations.) 5. Add up the number of hate groups active in each category to get a total for all the different types of hate groups combined. (The numbers you are looking for, giving the number of active groups in each category, appear right above the ¿Read a list of hate incidents¿ link for each category). In total, according to the SPLC, how many hate groups are active in the United States today?

Requirements

Basic web surfing skills

Topics

race and ethnicity; hate groups/hate crimes

Learning Objectives

Understand the extent and prevalence of hate group activity in the U.S. today; Become familiar with types of hate groups and hate crimes; Examine distribution of hate activity across the country and in the student's home state

Assessment

I grade this small assignment for completion and for the thoughtfulness of students' answers to question #4. The goal of the assignment is really to expose them to the issue, not to guide them through an in-depth examination, so grading can be mostly a simple check-off.