Southern Poverty Law Center's Lucrative 'Hate Group' Label


Rosslyn Smith, American Thinker (August 20, 2012)

... the not-for-profit SPLC ostensibly began its mission to help those who had been victimized by civil rights violations by filing suits on their behalf. In recent years, the SPLC greatly expanded its definition of civil rights and hate groups to the point where any organization that opposes the left's favored causes risks being labeled a hate group by the SPLC. It has also moved away from suing on behalf of the aggrieved to raising awareness of the presence of "hate groups." Most of all, for the last 35 years, it has become a real fundraising dynamo...

When I look at the entire history of the SPLC, I don't think the recent trend of inflate the hate is as much about political correctness run completely amok in the age of Obama as it is about the greed and self-aggrandizement of the founder of the SPLC and the gullibility of the donor base...

Indeed, the SPLC was a latecomer to the civil rights movement, as many of the biggest legal and legislative battles had been won before the organization was formed in 1971...

By the mid-60s, Morris was rich. He also became deeply interested in the money side of leftist politics. The initial donor list of the SPLC consisted of those who had contributed to McGovern's political campaign, because Dees ran that campaign's direct mail operation and had requested the mailing list as his fee. The Southern-born Dees knew that many of the northern liberals on McGovern's donor list would get a vicarious thrill from sending a check to the Alabama-based SPLC to fight the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacists... If appealing to some of these rather naive donors meant tarring other Southerners as racist, bigoted hicks, so be it...

While the SPLC promoted its pursuit of lawsuits related to civil rights, especially those challenging the imposition of the death penalty on black offenders, fundraising was pursued even more fervently. By 1989, an ecumenical guide to charitable giving described the mission of the SPLC as "the aggressive distribution of junk mail, soliciting funds for more junk mail."...

by the late 1980s, a different problem was starting to develop: the Klan was all but dead, and few of the organizations labeled as white supremacists had more than a handful of members... But this didn't stop SPLC from using such groups for their direct mailing haul of shame.

A look at the recent numbers reported by SPLC is highly informative. With net assets of $238 million as of the close of its last fiscal year, the SPLC is among the wealthiest of civil rights and advocacy organizations. Despite this endowment, the SPLC often implies that it is on the verge of cutting back operations vital to the quest for equality and civil rights due to lack of funds. Yet it spends almost 19% of its annual budget on fundraising each year despite the fact its net assets are already an extremely healthy seven times annual expenses. Note that this 19% figure is under cost allocation rules that allow some solicitations to pass as program expenses because educational material is included with the solicitation.

Last year, the SPLC generated a surplus of $4.1 million on revenues of $38.7 million. CEO J. Richard Cohen makes $299K/year, and editor in chief of the SPLC Intelligence Report and Hatewatch blog Mark Potok makes $150K/year. Chief Trial Counsel Morris Dees, age 74, makes $305K/year. I wonder how many hours Dees spent on trial preparation compared to fundraising. The title Dees carries is Chief Trial Counsel, yet his chief bailiwick has always been direct mail marketing. ...

According to Silverstein, the payoff is also always the same -- the SPLC is all about making guilty white donors feel good about themselves for being understanding by writing a check to the wealthy and largely white SPLC. Actual attempts to help the oppressed and downtrodden aren't just optional. They are almost superfluous...

Perhaps if you personally know people who swear by the validity of the new SPLC hate map you may want to nicely inform them they are now charter members of the new secular version of the PTL Club and watch the reaction. If they get angry, remind them that this is not the assessment of the political right. The most damning quotes about Dees and the SPLC all come from former associates on the political left...

Read the complete article

Fair Use: This site contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of issues related to mass immigration. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information, see: www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode17/usc_sec_17_00000107----000-.html.
In order to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
Copyright 2006-2013 Dr. John H. Tanton