Known for labeling mainstream conservatives such as Dr. Ben Carson as “extremists,” the Southern Poverty Law Center is out with its latest list, this time putting WND, WND Books, Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum and others who espouse constitutional principles and traditional views of family among its 623 “extreme antigovernment groups” that should apparently be monitored because of their danger to society.
Reason magazine, the libertarian publication, noting SPLC is “counting extremists again,” pointed out the list includes WND and WND Books and asked: “What on earth could justify that?”
On its list of “ACTIVE PATRIOT GROUPS IN THE US IN 2016” are 165 militia groups, SPLC said.
The list is part of SPLC’s 2017 “The Year in Hate and Extremism,” an annual study, Reason said, “inevitably covered heavily in the press, in which the SPLC tries to count the number of hate groups and anti-government ‘Patriot’ groups that were active in the U.S. in the prior year.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center is exposed in the Whistleblower issue “THE HATE RACKET: How one group fools government into equating Christians and conservatives with Klansmen and Nazis – and rakes in millions doing it”
SPLC issued a report in November that compiled 867 alleged incidents of “harassment and intimidation” in the 10 days that followed the presidential election.
But many turned out to be hoaxes and most of the incidents on SPLC’s list, while deplorable if they actually happened, did not include physical violence, meaning the use of the term “attack” was misleading. Most of the incidents were uncorroborated assertions of verbal threats or racist comments that don’t appear to rise to the level of a crime, including chalking the word “Trump” on a university sidewalk and middle school students chanting “Build the wall!”
Further, SPLC’s definition of “haters” and “extremists” has been at variance with the mainstream. The organization, for example, labeled Carson, now President Trump’s HUD secretary, an “extremist.” After a nationwide backlash last year, the organization apologized and removed the post.
But the SPLC website still has a negative “file” on Carson that insists he has said things that “most people would conclude are extreme,” such as his belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.
SPLC also inspired a domestic terrorist and would-be mass murderer to conduct an armed attack on the headquarters of the Family Research Council with the intent of killing every single employee and leaving a Chik-fil-A sandwich on their corpses.
When SPLC issued a widely cited survey-report charging Trump’s election sparked “hate crimes” in schools against minorities, it censored its finding that at least 2,000 educators nationwide reported racist slurs and other derogatory language against white students.
SPLC, headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama, made a name for itself decades ago by fighting the Ku Klux Klan. Today, it presents itself as the nation’s premier defender of civil liberties and protector of the innocent from violent extremism. But through its highly publicized “Hatewatch” lists and “Hate Maps,” it solicits millions of dollars in donations to demonize and defame mainstream conservatives, Christians and Jews by lumping them together with genuine haters such as neo-Nazi Skinheads and the Klan.
Progressive civil-rights activist Stephen Bright once declined to attend an event honoring SPLC’s director, Morris Dees, calling Dees a “con man and fraud.”
“The positive contributions Dees has made to justice – most undertaken based upon calculations as to their publicity and fundraising potential – are far overshadowed by what Harper’s described as his ‘flagrantly misleading’ solicitations for money,” Bright said.
“He has raised millions upon millions of dollars with various schemes, never mentioning that he does not need the money because he has $175 million and two ‘poverty palace’ buildings in Montgomery. He has taken advantage of naive, well-meaning people – some of moderate or low incomes – who believe his pitches and give to his $175-million operation. He has spent most of what they have sent him to raise still more millions, pay high salaries and promote himself. Because he spends so much on fundraising, his operation spends $30 million a year to accomplish less than what many other organizations accomplish on shoestring budgets.”
One of the best-known illustrations of Bright’s point is the case SPLC won for a black woman whose son was killed by the Ku Klux Klan. While the organization raised $9 million sending out solicitation letters featuring a gruesome picture of the victim, the mother received a total of $51,875 in the settlement. Dees pays himself more than $280,000 a year.
The Southern Poverty Law Center is expose in the Whistleblower issue “THE HATE RACKET: How one group fools government into equating Christians and conservatives with Klansmen and Nazis – and rakes in millions doing it”