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Community members take part in a protest to demand stop hate crime during the funeral service of Imam Maulama Akonjee, and Thara Uddin in the Queens borough of New York City, Aug. 15, 2016. Photo by Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

Twitter chat: Is hate on the rise?

Last year was “an unprecedented year for hate,” said Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center and editor of its annual census on hate groups and crimes in America.

In 2016, “the radical right was more successful in entering the political mainstream” than it had in half a century, the report says.

The SPLC counted 917 hate groups in 2016 – up from 892 in 2015. The number is 101 shy of the all-time record set in 2011, but high by historic standards, the center says.

Why is hate on the rise? And how are we dealing with these escalating racial tensions in America? Asma Khalid (@asmamk) and Armstrong Williams (@Arightside), two panelists on the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research forum on Race and Racism in the Age of Trump, will join the PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) for a Twitter chat at 1 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17 to answer those questions and more.

READ MORE: Post-election spike in hate crimes persists in 2017

Since Trump took office, 150 different civil rights organizations have called on the president to more forcefully denounce hate crimes and racism in the U.S., like the white nationalist rally Saturday in Charlottesville that turned deadly after a 20-year-old man drove a car into counter protesters. Trump drew criticism for not more directly condemning groups like the KKK in his initial statement about the incident. He condemned the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists by name on Monday, but sparked outrage again Tuesday by blaming “both sides” for Saturday’s violence.

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