Wayzata white supremacists draw attention to hate in Minnesota

By: - September 21, 2023 1:07 pm

There are few things more pathetic than a Wayzata white supremacist.

But last weekend several such people — hiding behind masks —gathered on a pedestrian bridge over Highway 12. They unfurled banners with slogans like “end white genocide,” “white unity is strength” and “diversity means anti-white.”

Wayzata is in Hennepin County, which has a longstanding reputation as a bastion of progressive and anti-racist organizing. That led many observers on social media to express surprise and even disbelief that a white supremacist organization could have a foothold there.

But data compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center shows that numerous hate groups are active in Minnesota, and have been for years. They include obscure neo-Nazi organizations like the Folkish Resistance Movement, as well as more well-known general hate organizations like the Proud Boys and the Patriot Front.

All told, the number of hate groups active in Minnesota has fluctuated between six and 12 in any given year, according to the SPLC’s data. In 2022 the number stood at eight.

Here’s who they are:

The SPLC keeps tabs on 11 additional anti-government extremist groups in the state, including Moms for Liberty chapters and the Genesis Communications Network, which broadcasts conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ radio show. While these groups’ adherents typically hold fringe, far-right beliefs, their ideologies are not as explicitly rooted in racial animosity as a typical hate group. 

It’s important to not overstate the influence of the hate groups listed above, as some may only count a handful of supporters statewide. 

But as the events of last weekend illustrated, it only takes a handful of white supremacists to cause a scene in public. 

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Christopher Ingraham
Christopher Ingraham

Christopher Ingraham covers greater Minnesota and reports on data-driven stories across the state. He's the author of the book "If You Lived Here You'd Be Home By Now," about his family's journey from the Baltimore suburbs to rural northwest Minnesota. He was previously a data reporter for the Washington Post.

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