MichMash: Michigan ranks 4th for white nationalist incidents in the US

Krystal Nurse from the Lansing State Journal joins MichMash to discuss how white nationalism has changed in Michigan since the KKK.

"Stop Asian Hate" march down Woodward, March 2021.

The Anti-Defamation League released a report stating that white nationalist organizations targeted the Great Lake state more often than most of the country in 2022. Krystal Nurse from the Lansing State Journal joins MichMash to discuss why that is and what to look out for.

In this episode:

  • Theories on why Michigan is #4 in the nation in white nationalist incidents
  • The different forms of white nationalism and their approach to gain followers
  • How police are tracking anti-law enforcement crime

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A recent Anti-Defamation League report says hate crimes have increased across America, especially in Michigan. The state is fourth in the nation in white nationalist incidents. Krystal Nurse from the Lansing State Journal told WDET that white nationalism is displaying itself in different forms.

“It looks like groups like Patriots Front, Goyim Defense League and also the White Lives Matter movement,” Nurse says. “Those are all different factions of the white nationalism the ADL attributed with being the drivers of this.”

In Nurse’s reports, she remarks that there has been a push to label white nationalists as domestic terrorists to emphasize their threat to public safety. In Michigan, groups like the KKK were growing massively but quietly around the 1970s.

“The leader of the KKK in the south called the Michigan KKK the strongest one outside of the south.”

Nurse reached out to several lawmakers and leaders to get a reaction to ADL’s report, but she says there hasn’t been much response.

Tracking anti-police crimes

However, there is a report from the state police’s annual incident crime reporting logs that catches attention as well.  One of the log’s categories is designated for crimes stemming from anti-police sentiment.

“In 2021’s report, they had 148 crimes, but the real issue is that when the state police is describing to people about these crimes, it was the second highest bias-motivated crime behind race.”

Nurse says this is an issue because many people are not labeled with an anti-law enforcement crime.

“Michigan is the only state out of five that already tracks anti-police incidents as hate crimes to do this without any sort of criminal statute.”

State police are recording this data to figure out what is behind a crime but Nurse presses that the police should also be looking within themselves to see if there is any implicit bias.

“Your vocation cannot be a protected class. You can change your vocation, but you can’t change your race.”


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  • Hernz Laguerre
    Hernz Laguerre Jr. is a Multimedia Journalist at 101.9 WDET. He is one of the co-host for "Detroit Evening Report," one of the weekend anchors for "Weekend Edition," the producer for our political podcast, "MichMash," and reports on arts, culture and politics.