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Catalog of state hate groups

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Foundation for the Marketplace of Ideas is listed by the SPLC as a white nationalist website based in Clinton Township. Founded in March 2016, its self-described mission is to "educate the public about the freedoms guaranteed by the United States Constitution and people who and organizations which strive to usurp said freedoms." Executive Director Kyle Bristow is the attorney who recently filed suit against MSU for denying a speaking engagement for white nationalist Richard Spencer, who is listed as one of the group's board members.

Bristow, who failed to return multiple requests for comment to Downtown newsmagazine, caught the attention of the SPLC while still an undergraduate student at MSU. He is also president of the Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) group and served on the student government council. The SPLC said Bristow was recalled after pushing an agenda to capture undocumented immigrants in the area and cut school funding for non-heterosexual groups. As head of the YAF, he planned a "Catch an Illegal Immigrant Day," a "Koran desecration contest" and led a "straight power" rally in front of Lansing City Hall where protesters held signs saying "End Faggotry" and "Go Back in the Closet."

In 2010, Bristow released "White Apocalypse," his self-published "semi-fictional" novel based on a claim that North America was settled by European whites 17,000 years ago, but systematically murdered 5,000 years later by dark-skinned "Amerindians." To expose the truth, the hero of the book "a fiery lawyer" battles in the courtroom and in the streets to squash the "Center for Diversity and Multiculturalism," which, like the SPLC, maintains an active legal staff and hate group list.

Potok said one of the book's characters, David Greenberg, is based on a version of himself. In the book, Greenberg is described as an "oily, curly haired troll" who works for the Center for Diversity and Multiculturalism before his assassination by the novel's hero. Laid out in graphic and bloody detail in the novel, the SPLC said Bristow denied the assassination description or that the victim are meant to represent Potok.

American Freedom Law Center is an Ann Arbor-based law office that bills itself as "the national's first truly authentic Judeo-Christian, public-interest law firm." It was listed by the SPLC as a hate group for the first time in 2016 under the "anti-Muslim" category.

"I'm a conservative Catholic and my colleague is an Orthodox Jew from New York. The very suggestion that we are a hate group is an absurdity," said Robert Muise, the firm's co-founder. "The Southern Poverty Law Center has a history of going after the KKK, but it has since taken a hard leftist view. They now go after anyone on the conservative right. They don't like our viewpoint. They don't like our politics, so they marginalize us and push us off to the fringe. All the SPLC does with their hard left, secular agenda is peddle lies about organizations such as mine, and many others on the list. It's an absolute absurdity what they are doing."

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