Texas is experiencing a considerable uptick in confrontations with anti-government extremists, mirroring a troubling nationwide phenomenon, reports the Houston Chronicle. Law enforcement agencies are witnessing the resurgence of a dangerous anti-government movement that peaked with the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Last month, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported so-called “patriot” groups, including militias and sovereigns, skyrocketed from 149 in 2008 to 1,274 in 2011, the highest it has ever been. Texas topped the list with 76 groups, up from six in 2008.
Mark Potok, who tracks extremist groups for the center, called the growth “astounding.” Fueling the rise is a long list of grievances: the shoddy economy; the foreclosure crisis; Barack Obama’s presidency; income inequality; concerns about the Second Amendment; fear Hispanics will overtake whites as the majority; and unease about the role of white working-class men in the U.S.