The Southern Poverty Law Center released its annual report on hate groups in the US, The Year in Hate, today. The findings show a marked rise in hate group membership since 2000 stemming from Latino immigration fears, the election of an African American president and the economic spiral.

A map of hate groups across the US shows high concentrations of fringe elements in the South and California, which counts 84 groups within its borders. The perception that the US-Mexican border is under attack has led armed nativist groups to form ad-hoc patrols in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Intelligence Report also documented nearly 5 million immigrants as holders of bad mortgages, a high number that fuels hate group propaganda.

Do big thinkers see hate groups as a viable force in America holding back progress and intelligent discourse? And is the media responsible for inflaming the illegal immigration debate? Send us your thoughts.