President-elect Donald Trump has said he wants to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border to keep our southern neighbors out. Pastor Charles L. Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden also wants to build a fence, but to keep gays and lesbians corralled behind a 50-to-100-mile electrifed fence to die.
Worley’s comments in 2012 put his church near Charlotte on the Southern Poverty Law Center list of North Carolina’s 29 hate groups. The SPLC has also mapped the headquarters of these organizations both nationwide — there are 892 — and state by state.
North Carolina’s who’s who of hate includes variations on traditional racist groups like the neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and the Black Separatist Nation of Islam.
There are also relative newcomers, such as Americans for Legal Immigration, which is based in Raleigh. Led by William Gheen, ALI-PAC reared its head about 10 to 12 years ago. The group was particularly active in the mid-’00s, when it found some sympathizers in the state legislature (Rep. George Cleveland, for one), including several that convened an immigration committee. That committee made a lot of noise but accomplished relatively little.
The Advanced White Society of Mt. Airy is a white supremacist group led by a defector from the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement. The national HQ of the League of the South is in Alabama, but North Carolina members of this neo-Confederate organization are centered in Wilmington. (The League’s website account has been suspended.)
The SPLC has received more than 200 reports of hate crimes, including harassment and vandalism, since Election Day.