UNLV professor compares domestic hate groups to ISIS - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

UNLV professor compares domestic hate groups to ISIS

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UNLV professor Dr. Robert Futrell during an interview on Aug. 17, 2017. (Cyndi Lundeberg/FOX5) UNLV professor Dr. Robert Futrell during an interview on Aug. 17, 2017. (Cyndi Lundeberg/FOX5)

Following Charlottesville, a lot of terms have been used to describe the protesters on both sides. The most common ones are White Supremacist, White Nationalist, Neo-Nazi, the KKK and the alt-right.

Dr. Robert Futrell at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas said he knows it can be confusing to differentiate the groups and he's been studying them for decades. He maintains that despite the different names their messages and goals are very similar. 

"[These groups] believe there are fundamental differences between white and other races," Futrell said. 

Dr. Futrell said all of the groups fall under the umbrella of Alt-Right, but said if there is one big difference it's with White Nationalists, who actually seek to create a completely white nation or colony. He said White Nationalists and other newer groups are just the KKK re-branding itself to appear more mainstream in an effort to reach more people. 

"They have become more savvy in how they characterize themselves," he said. "Our research has found in the last decade white power movement has pulled back and developed new strategies. For example, Neo-Nazis now grow out their hair, and cover their tattoos, get an education and get powerful positions in the community."

Dr. Futrell said these groups operate mainly online, and actively reach out and try to bring people in, similar to how ISIS radicalizes Jihadists. 

"[The internet] is where they connect, they bolster their ideas and grow and grow under the radar," he said. 

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are a few hate groups operating in Las Vegas, the most notable being the Daily Stormer, a website pushing Nazi propaganda. 

"The Daily Stormer is everywhere; it's on the internet," Dr. Futrell said. "We do see some of it in Southern Nevada, and southern Utah, but really southern California is where all the activity is and it spreads here."

Dr. Futrell said he's not surprised about the violence in Charlottesville and he believes it's only the beginning.

"We've fought and won world wars over these ideas, civil wars over the ideas they're pushing, the message is, ideas are powerful."

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