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The image of a black man in the White House angers white racists, who fear nonwhites gaining too much power, said Jack Glaser, associate professor of public policy at the University of California-Berkeley.
But racist fears can also be more mundane and personal: Nonwhites in the White House could lead to nonwhites in their neighborhoods, which could lead to interracial dating, a great taboo among hate groups.
From the Holocaust in Europe to abuses against Irish Catholic immigrants in the 1830s in the United States, people are most likely to lash out against others when they feel vulnerable or need to displace their economic frustrations on others, psychologists say.
The site boasts 110,000 registered members today, Black said.Two weeks before Obama won, authorities said they foiled a skinhead plot to assassinate him.The two suspects, based in Tennessee, also apparently planned to shoot and decapitate dozens of African-Americans, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said.The study identified 926 hate groups -- defined as groups with beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people -- active in 2008.That's a 4 percent jump, adding 38 more than the year before.
Obama serves as a "visual aid" that is helping respark a sense of purpose in current supporters and lure new members, said neo-Nazi David Duke, the former Klan leader who was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in the 1980s.