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  • Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Synergy Flight Center on March 13, 2016 in Bloomington, Illinois

    Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Synergy Flight Center on March 13, 2016 in Bloomington, Illinois | Photo: AFP

Published 15 March 2016

The head of the NAACP said, "Let's not underestimate what we're dealing with. This is a very, very ugly moment in America."

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People President Cornell William Brooks criticized Republican front-runner Donald Trump stating the he represents a "kind of Jim Crow with hairspray and a blue suit."

"The fact of the matter is this is hateful. It is racist. It is bigoted. It is xenophobic. It represents a kind of Jim Crow with hairspray and a blue suit," Brooks told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Monday. "Let's not underestimate what we're dealing with. This is a very, very ugly moment in America.”

In recent months, U.S. lawmakers and civil society organizations have warned that Trump's vehement opposition against immigrants, Muslims and multiculturalism will inspire acts of racially-motivated violence and a rise in extremism 

"The fact of the matter is he's engaged in rhetoric that represents a kind of apologetics, if you will, of violence," Brooks said.

RELATED: How Latinos, Blacks and Muslims Silenced Trump in Chicago

Meanwhile, the Southern Poverty Law Center hinted at a possible correlation between the recent rise in extremism and the campaign rhetoric of presidential candidates like Donald Trump.

According to a report released earlier this month, the SPLC found that the number of hate groups operating in 2015 was 14 percent higher than in 2014.

RELATED: Donald Trump Cancels Rally in Florida

The report falls short of holding Trump directly responsible for the recent surge in hate groups, but says that his “demonizing statements about Latinos and Muslims have electrified the radical right.”

WATCH: USA: Trump Claims He Is Not Responsible for Violence in His Rallies 

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