The far-left Southern Poverty Law Center relentlessly promotes the Big Lie, wildly popular in the media, that conservative Americans are racists and the real threat to the nation rather than Islamic terrorists.
The group claims the principal enemies of the American people are presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, conservatives like David Horowitz, and the Tea Party movement.
The SPLC is a shamelessly hypocritical leftist attack machine funded by radical speculator George Soros and a rogue’s gallery of rich people and established philanthropies that want to fundamentally transform America. The fabulously wealthy 501(c)(3) nonprofit has an astounding one third of a billion dollars ($338 million) in assets, as well as investments in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, two offshore tax havens the Left loves to attack (but only when non-leftists stash cash there).
The Center characterizes all opposition to immigration and open borders as symptomatic of hate and all political expression of those views to be hate speech. In other words, if you disagree with founder Morris Dees and his minions you are evil and worthy of public condemnation. It may take some intellectual toughness to insist that the nation has the right to decide who may or may not cross its borders, but it's not hate.
Following the Islamist massacre at a gay club in Orlando a fortnight ago, the group has played an integral role in the Left's propaganda push aimed at taking the focus away from gay-hating Islam and finding creative ways to blame conservatives and Republicans for the slaughter.
Two days after Orlando as a sea of rainbow flags rivaling those that washed over Facebook and Twitter following the Supreme Court’s pro-same sex marriage ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges swept over social media, David Dinielli, deputy legal director of SPLC’s LGBT Rights Project, tossed out a red herring as he whined amidst a national outpouring of grief that somehow politicians weren’t doing enough to characterize the attack as an assault on the gay community.
Instead of blaming Muslim terrorist Omar Mateen, reportedly a registered Democrat, for the attack, Dinielli blamed people like Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) instead. Many politicians were secretly delighted so many gays were killed, he implied.
“[M]any who offered their ‘thoughts and prayers’ know exactly what they are doing. They are trading on political expediency. The demonization of gay, lesbian, and transgender Americans pays, politically.”
But this “demonization” of the LGBT community that the Southern Poverty Law Center complains of is pure paranoid fantasy. Anyone who followed media coverage in the days following the June 12 incident knows that cable TV and other media were filled with wall-to-wall denunciations of the Muslim terrorist Omar Mateen by politicians who acknowledged the sexual orientation of the victims whether explicitly or implicitly. Even those not generally sympathetic to gay rights made it clear that murder, including the murder of people based on their sexual preference, was morally abhorrent.
None of this is surprising to those of us who have been tracking the SPLC’s adventures in vilification and defamation over the years.
The SPLC is waging a scorched-earth war against Donald Trump. The group routinely and baselessly associates Trump with neo-Nazis, white nationalists, and other marginal political actors it calls “the racist right.”
Pointing out that these fringe figures back Trump in the election is the most obvious kind of smear. The Left did the same thing to Ronald Reagan in 1984 when the Ku Klux Klan offered him its unwanted endorsement.
Reagan waited a full two weeks to denounce the KKK and reject its endorsement.
But Trump waited barely a day after a bungled CNN interview Feb. 28 in which Jake Tapper asked him if he would reject the Klan’s endorsement of him.
Trump gave a less than clear answer to Tapper, blaming a “bad earpiece” that led him to misunderstand the question. The very next day Trump asked “How many times do I have to continue to disavow people?” and attacked the KKK on Michael Savage’s radio show. Replying to a question, he said “yeah, totally denounce, and I disavowed it, and I’ve disavowed it numerous times, and I’ve disavowed it on Twitter and on Facebook and all over the place but people refuse to accept it.”
The SPLC's annual report on "hate" in America this year features a cover picture of Trump, a man the group blames for increasing hate in the U.S.
According to the left-wing Guardian (UK), "the image underscores a theme laid out by the report’s author, about how hate speech has invaded mainstream political discourse in a way that might have shocked many even a year ago."
“I have been writing these Year in Hate and Extremism essays for 20 years now, and only very rarely, if at all, have we seen a year like last year,” said SPLC senior fellow Mark Potok.
Hate, of course, isn't exactly a precise concept in the world of politics and ideology, and the SPLC likes it that way because then it has wide latitude to malign and slander its targets. Its leaders are no doubt proud that Pentagon training materials borrow from SPLC reports and refer to extremists as "haters," a colloquialism that appears in hip hop music and in humorous graphic art posted on the Internet.
Trump is definitely a hater, according to the Center. On April 4 its blog cited his “continued embrace of racist and extremist ideas” and accused him of turning “the political landscape on its side and introduced countless numbers to hate speech and racist conspiracy theories.”
It’s all spin and lies. The SPLC is still bellyaching over the courageous, electrifying anti-illegal immigration speech Trump gave last summer when launching his campaign. In it Trump said many of the Mexicans crossing illegally into the U.S. are “people that have lots of problems” who bring drugs and crime with them and that some are “rapists.”
Trump’s statements are demonstrably true. He wasn’t saying all Mexicans are criminals, just many of the Mexicans sneaking into the country. This isn’t racism: it is empirical fact.
Many of the so-called hate groups the SPLC monitors are so labeled because they fail to genuflect before political correctness. The Center labels as hate groups respectable right-leaning organizations such as the Center for Security Policy (CSP), Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), American Freedom Defense Initiative, and the David Horowitz Freedom Center, which publishes FrontPage.
The Southern Poverty Law Center frequently targets New York-based civil rights attorney David Yerushalmi, a co-founder of the American Freedom Law Center and counsel to CSP.
In 2011 the SPLC named Yerushalmi to its 10-member “Anti-Muslim Inner Circle.” Among the other “members” of the inner circle are David Horowitz, Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, and Brigitte Gabriel. According to the Center, the rhetoric these individuals use “reveals how doggedly this group works to provoke and guide populist anger over what is seen as the threat posed by the 0.6% of Americans who are Muslim — an agenda that goes beyond reasonable concern about terrorism into the realm of demonization.”
The Guardian ran a story last week attacking Yerushalmi for daring to countersue a group of grandstanding Muslim women trying to shake down a Laguna Beach, Calif. café. The women filed a discrimination lawsuit claiming they were given the bum’s rush at the establishment because they were wearing hijabs. The café counters that the women violated the 45-minute seating time limit and that other headscarf-clad women present were not asked to leave.
The newspaper regurgitated SPLC writings on Yerushalmi who maintains that the women’s lawyers are “ambulance-chasers” involved in “an extortion.” It reported:
“Asked about the SPLC’s characterization of him, Yerushalmi said that he ‘represents a lot of Muslims.’
“I represent Muslim Americans, running from jihad and seeking asylum. If you want to say I’m an anti-jihad lawyer, you’re 100% right,” he continued. “Am I anti-Sharia? Yes, I am. Am I anti-Muslim? Not if he doesn’t have a gun in his hand shooting at me.’
“Yerushalmi alleged that the suit against Urth Caffe was part of a wider “civilizational jihad” waged by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) which aims, he said, “to weaken western civilization.”
The SPLC never tires of trying to assassinate the character of David Horowitz. A May 24, 2014 profile calls him “the godfather of the modern anti-Muslim movement.”
Without presenting a shred of useful evidence, the Center separately smears Horowitz as “a driving force of the anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-black movements.”
Horowitz rejects these characterizations. On Monday he told this writer:
"I’m called the godfather of the anti-Muslim movement, which puts a target on my back, whereas out of million words and scores of hours of speeches on the subject they couldn’t find one sentence to back up their claim."
The Southern Poverty Law Center has been playing this dangerous game for a long time. It doesn’t care if it gets innocent Americans killed.
It came close to getting people killed four years ago.
SPLC reports inspired left-wing terrorist Floyd Lee Corkins II to shoot up the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the Family Research Council four years ago. The Center identified FRC as a "hate group" not because it actually hates anyone but because it opposes same-sex marriage.
Even the reliably left-wing Dana Milbank rejected that designation for FRC in an Aug. 16, 2012 Washington Post column, calling that group "a mainstream conservative think tank."
"I disagree with the Family Research Council's views on gays and lesbians," he wrote. "But it's absurd to put the group, as the law center does, in the same category as Aryan Nations, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Stormfront and the Westboro Baptist Church."
Corkins apparently disagreed. Upon entering FRC's office he reportedly said "I don't like your politics" and shot a black Christian security guard who managed to subdue him and lived to forgive him.
Later Corkins told investigators "Southern Poverty Law lists anti-gay groups," the Washington Examiner reported at the time. "I found them online, did a little research, went to the website, stuff like that."
The gay rights-avenging shooter had planned to kill as many FRC staffers as possible and smear Chick-fil-A sandwiches -- his backpack contained 15 of them -- on their faces as a political statement. He chose that fast food chain whose management is unabashedly Christian because its president was revealed to be a supporter of traditional marriage. Corkins was convicted of terrorism in 2013 and sentenced to 25 years in prison.
And when the next Floyd Corkins comes along and actually succeeds in killing someone targeted by the Southern Poverty Law Center, its staffers will direct blame elsewhere.
Scapegoating is what they do best.