While many left leaning sources site the Southern Poverty Law Center, do they deserve being cited?
What is the Southern Poverty Law Center?
The Southern Poverty Law Center or SPLC describes itself as a nonprofit legal advocacy organization specializing in civil rights and public interest litigation.
The Long List of Misfortunes:
Capitalizing off of fear
The Southern Poverty Law Center is one of the wealthiest “civil rights group” in America
The root of this is that profiteering has historically been prevalent in the SPLC. In 1986, the entire SPLC staff besides Dees resigned as they were, “disgusted with Dees’s refusal to address issues important to poor minorities – such as homelessness, voter registration and affirmative action – issues which appeared to be much less marketable to affluent benefactors than fighting the KKK.”
Eventually attorney Gloria Browne resigned, stating to reporters that the SPLC’s programs were designed to cash in on “black pain and white guilt.”
Though it styles itself as a public-interest law firm, the Southern Poverty Law Center does shockingly little litigation, and only small amounts of that on behalf of any aggrieved individuals. Its two largest expenses are propaganda operations: creating its annual lists of “haters” and “extremists,” and running a big effort that pushes “tolerance education” through more than 400,000 public-school teachers. And the single biggest effort undertaken by the SPLC? Fundraising. On the organization’s 2015 IRS 990 form it declared $10 million of direct fundraising expenses, far more than it has ever spent on legal services. –Karl Zinsmeister of Philanthropic Roundtable
In 2015, the SPLC obtained $50 million in contributions and foundation grants, an addition to its $334 million holdings of cash and securities and its headquarters worth $34 million.
“They’ve never spent more than 31 percent of the money they were bringing in on programs, and sometimes they spent as little as 18 percent. Most nonprofits spend about 75 percent on programs,” –Montgomery Advertiser Managing Editor Jim Tharpe
Dees promised to stop fundraising once his endowment hit $55 million. In which he raised the goal to $100 million after he hit the initial goal.
The way the SPLC is conducted is no surprise if we look at the co-founder.
The founder Morris Dees, a Marketing Guru, has previously worked as a finance director for George McGovern’s 1972 presidential bid, as well as campaigns of Jimmy Carter and Ted Kennedy.
He got especially wealthy while at the SPLC by guilt-tripping and virtue-signaling a load of affluent white donors who identify as progressives.
Morris Dees and I, from the first days of our partnership, shared the overriding purpose of making a pile of money. We were not particular about how we did it. We just wanted to be independently rich. During the eight years we worked together we never wavered in that resolve. –Millard Fuller, Former Business Partner of Dees
The profiteering behavior of the SPLC is explicit:
Morris Dees won a judgment for a black woman whose son was killed by Klansmen. She received $51,875 as settlement. Mr. Dees, according to an investigation by the Montgomery Advertiser, pulled in $9 million from fund-raising solicitation letters that featured a particularly gruesome photograph of the grieving mother’s son. Mr. Dees, who pays himself an annual salary of $275,000, offered the grieving mother none of the $9 million her son’s death made for him. -Washington Times
Bias with the Hate List
The SPLC has only targeted supposed right wing hate.
This is most obvious when Charles Cooke pressed the SPLC as to tracked the Occupy Wall Street movement after a group affiliated with the movement plotted to blow up a bridge in Cleveland, Eventually the representative said:
“We’re not really set up to cover the extreme Left.” -SPLC
Eventually, Cooke felt that “there was a little bit of a syllogism going on” in the SPLC, as he felt that in their mind “‘Left’ equals ‘good,’ and ‘Right’ equals ‘bad,’ and therefore anything ‘Left’ couldn’t be ‘bad’ unless it were infiltrated by the ‘Right.’
“We only ever cover left-wing groups when they have a right-wing component” -SPLC
One of the most notable cases of the SPLC showing bias was on their “Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists”. Members of this list included a practicing Muslim, Maajid Nawaz and a feminist for Islam, Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Because of inaccuracies, the guide was deleted.
Not even neurosurgeon Ben Carson was free from slander. Ben Carson was labeled an “extremist” for not believing in gay marriage. He was put in the same category of the leader of the Neo-Nazi leader of America, Jeff Schoep. After criticism, he was removed
Unfortunately, there are still people regarded as “extremists” by the SPLC that do not belong in this category including Charles Murray, the well respected author and political and social scientist who works for the American Enterprise Institute and Stefan Molyneux, the less respected but not extreme Canadian YouTube personality.
Laura Ingraham has been called the “high priestess of hate”, and Judge Jeanine: an extremist.
Organizations also have been smeared by the SPLC.
There are several organizations that have made it on the extremist hate group list for simply not agreeing with normalizing gay marriage. These include the: Alliance Defending Freedom, Family Research Center, and the Ruth Institute.
The problem with this is that these well respected factual conservative think tanks are in the same list as the Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Brotherhood, Stormfront and the Westboro Baptist Church.
This is a smear campaign to attack anyone right of center.
With all of this in mind, the SPLC refuses to categorize Antifa as a hate group.
A shooting occurred at the Family Research Council (FRC) in 2012 after the organization was labeled a hate group by the SPLC.
The shooter admitted that he wanted to “kill as many as possible… and kill the guard” after he saw the FRC being described as anti-gay on the SPLC’s website.”
“Southern Poverty Law lists anti-gay groups,” Corkins said in an FBI video. “I found them online, did a little research, went to the website, stuff like that.”
Leo Johnson, a security guard at the FRC, was shot by Corkins and survived. Corkins was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
The SPLC defended its designation of the FRC as a hate group even after the shooting.
The SPLC states that its intentions are dedicated for
“fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy, the SPLC works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality” -SPLC
However, in the words of SPLC former spokesman Mark Potok (who spent 20 years as a senior fellow at the SPLC), the group does not exist to monitor hate groups.
“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,” Potok 2007.
The SPLC should define themselves as a hate group.