Amazon, CNN, YouTube, PayPal and other tech and media companies are being asked in an ad published Wednesday in a major U.S. newspaper by two family organizations whether they will continue using the “hypocritical” Southern Poverty Law Center as “an authority on hate and extremism.”
The ad, paid for by the Family Research Council and the American Family Association in cooperation with SPLCExposed.com, points out the condemnation of the historic “civil rights” group by former employees.
“The Southern Poverty Law Center, founded as a civil rights advocacy organization, has lost its way,” the ad says. “The bigotry and racial discrimination described by its former employees is evidence of SPLC’s hypocrisy.
“The SPLC has become a hate-for-cash machine that has weaponized its hate labeling of groups and individual people. As SPLC collected hundreds of millions in donations, it expanded its definition of ‘hate’ to non-violent conservative, Christian, and parent organizations who opposed the SPLC’s political agenda.
“Now, the SPLC’s hate for cash machine has been described by within as a ‘highly profitable scam,'” the ad states.
Many media outlets and other companies rely on SPLC to identify groups with which it should not conduct business. SPLC’s labeling of the Family Research Council as a “hate” organization prompted a man to attack its Washington headquarters, intending to kill as many people as he could.
The ad includes quotes from former SPLC employees.
Christine Lee: “I would definitely say that there was not a single black employee with whom I spoke who was happy to be working there.”
Gloria Brown: “I was surprised at some of the things I saw, because it was a civil rights organization … I’ve heard racial slurs in the place.”
Bob Moser: “We were part of the con, and we knew it.”
Anonymous former worker quoted by The New Yorker: “It could be racial, sexual, financial – that place was a virtual buffet of injustices.”
Mark Potok: “Sometimes the press will describe us as monitoring hate groups. I want to say plainly that our aim in life is to destroy these groups, completely destroy them.”
The ad points out that founder Morris Dees recently was fired and president Richard Cohen quit.
“It’s top lawyer departed as the scandal spread,” the family groups say in the ad.
“Those who use SPLC as their authority on hate and extremism should stop immediately. … Will corporations and media outlets continue to align themselves with an organization that its own employees say is racist, bigoted, and rife with sexual misconduct and discrimination?”
FRC President Tony Perkins said: “Now that employees of SPLC have pulled back the curtain on the organization’s hypocrisy, what will members of the media and big tech who aligned themselves with SPLC do? To continue to use SPLC’s politically-driven labeling will be an endorsement of SPLC’s blatant racism and bigotry.”
WND reported this week that Twitter has distanced itself from SPLC.
“It is long overdue that social media companies stop using the hypocritical SPLC as a reliable source to police their content and discriminate against pro-family and conservative nonviolent organizations,” said Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel. “The rest of the tech companies should follow Twitter’s lead and divorce from the SPLC.
“It appears to have taken a major implosion within the SPLC for others to finally see what organizations like Liberty Counsel have been saying all along.”
The Daily Caller reported a Twitter source said SPLC “is not a member of Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council or a partner the company has worked with recently.” In 2018, Twitter listed SPLC as a “safety partner” working to combat “hateful conduct and harassment.”
Staver, whose Liberty Counsel has been vilified by SPLC, charged that SPLC “hypocritically labels Christian, pro-family, and conservative nonviolent groups, such as Liberty Counsel, as ‘hate groups.'”
“The four major social media companies in Silicon Valley, Facebook, Amazon, Google and Twitter, worked with or consulted the SPLC as early as June 2018 to help police their platforms for ‘hate speech’ or ‘hate groups.’ Twitter appears to be the only one to now completely separate itself from the SPLC,” Liberty Counsel said.
WND reported recently when the Family Research Council and more than five dozen other conservative groups and individuals released a letter asking for news agencies to cut off their ties to the “discredited” SPLC.
It’s because the group “has been exposed from within as having a culture of long-standing, long-ignored racial discrimination and sexual harassment,” FRC explained.
SPLC began as a do-good organization fighting the KKK and others. But it’s turned into what one commentator has called a “hate group” because it attacks and defames publicly any individual or group that does not align with promotion of the LGBT agenda, abortion and other progressive causes.
The letter addressed to news media, noted a similar request had been made in 2017, largely based on information that became public when SPLC paid $3.375 million to former Islamic radical Maajid Nawaz for labeling him an “extremist.”
“Richard Cohen, the SPLC’s president, also had to read and post online a humiliating apology to Nawaz that showed the reckless and careless nature of their misguided push to label him an extremist,” the letter to media explains.
But last month, SPLC fired co-founder Morris Dees and a week later President Richard Cohen and legal director Rhonda Brownstein quit.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., also has asked for the IRS to review the SPLC’s tax-exempt status, and the American Freedom Law Center sued two Michigan officials for a policy directive that targets groups based on SPLC’s hate-group designation.
In January, Cohen and Heidi Beirich were sued in federal court in Washington, D.C., by the Center for Immigration Studies under the nation’s organized crime law for “falsely” designating CIS as a “hate group.”
Author and pundit John Stossel once called SPLC a hate group itself.
SPLC recently was sued by a lawyer who claims SPLC paid for stolen documents in an attempt to get him fired and destroy his future work prospects.
And a previous case brought against SPLC was settled by a payment of more than $3 million to Maajid Nawaz and his Quilliam Foundation, who sued after SPLC put them on its “hate” list.