White Lives Matter to Be Listed as Hate Group by Southern Poverty Law Center

WLM a "racist response to the Black Lives Matter movement," the SPLC said.

August 31, 2016, 3:09 PM
People with a White Lives Matter sign demonstrate in front of the NAACP office in Houston, Texas, Aug. 21, 2016.
People with a White Lives Matter sign demonstrate in front of the NAACP office in Houston, Texas, Aug. 21, 2016.
Darla Guillen/Houston Chronicle via AP

— -- White Lives Matter will soon be listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a prominent civil rights and legal advocacy organization that monitors the "activities of domestic hate groups and other extremists" in the U.S.

"The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) confirmed in mid-August 2016 that it is adding White Lives Matter to its 2017 hate group map and list," reads an editor's note at the bottom of a post on SPLC's website that calls White Lives Matter the "racist response to the Black Lives Matter movement."

"White Lives Matter is a white supremacist group founded by people with long histories in racist movements," the editor's note adds. "The group, which is dedicated to 'the promotion of the white race,' claims to have representatives in several states, which the SPLC is currently investigating. A full list of White Lives Matter chapters will be released in February 2017 along with all hate groups for that calendar year."

The SPLC defines hate groups on its website as "those that vilify entire groups of people based on immutable characteristics such as race or ethnicity."

"This is exactly what White Lives Matter has been doing," SPLC senior fellow Mark Potoc told ABC News today. "When you have a group of people saying that an entire group of human beings are less -- that all black people are criminals and all Muslims are mad bombers -- that's a hate group."

Houston police stand around people with a White Lives Matter sign gathering in front of the NAACP office in Houston, Texas, Aug. 21, 2016.
Darla Guillen/Houston Chronicle via AP

Potoc added that on the other hand, Black Lives Matter "is not considered a hate group because its leadership and majority of members have never suggested all white people are evil or that all police officers should be killed or hurt."

"They're a civil rights organization," Potoc explained. "White Lives Matter is completely different. They're quite literally neo-Nazis who think white people are the cream of the earth and that marginalized groups -- such as black people, Muslims, and gay people -- are their enemies."

Though the SPLC is still investigating "the shape and scope" of White Lives Matter, Potoc said the group appears to be mainly operating online. There, members often use the hashtag to spread "racist messages and the false idea that there is a genocide going on against white people in this country," Potoc explained.

While White Lives Matter appears to be a small group right now, it seems to be influenced by larger white supremacist groups, especially the Aryan Renaissance Society (ARS), Potoc said. The ARS is a Texas-based neo-Nazi group that is part of the white nationalist coalition, the United Aryan Front.

The ARS has plans to create an "Aryan oligarchy based on genetic aristocracy" and has said it wants to create an "autonomous Aryan Society" that will keep whites safe from "bastardization of the white race, racial integration ... [and] inter-breeding," the SPLC said in a post on its website earlier this month.

The SPLC added that the ARS has said it is "committed to whatever it is necessary" to return a "sense of pride" to "the Aryan race."

Two prominent members of ARS, Rebecca Barnette and Scott Lacy, both managed Facebook pages for White Lives Matter, and Dough Chism, another ARS member, displayed a large "White Lives Matter" sign outside of his house, the SPLC also said in its post.

Potoc told ABC News today that the SPLC will have more information on White Lives Matter and its affiliations by February 2017, when the group conducts its next annual hate group list update.

White Lives Matter told ABC News today in a statement that the group wasn't surprised by the SPLC's decision to label White Lives Matter as a hate group.

"The SPLC routinely takes a very aggressive stance against white ethno-nationalism, so it doesn't surprise us that they would jump on a new opportunity to do that," White Lives Matter said. "To understand the SPLC's motivation to label White Lives Matter as a hate group, you have to consider they are a Jewish organization acting in the interests of a political ideology known as Talmudic Zionism."

The group added that White Lives Matter "is really about recognizing the contributions that people of European descent have made to civilization, and that we as a people and culture are worth preserving."

"We value Western civilization and the inherent safety of majority white populations," the group said. "We believe that if we're going to have non-white immigration to Western countries, they should not make us dumber or poorer. This means that immigrants should meet a minimum IQ requirement of 100, and should not be allowed to come to Western countries and get paid to not work."