Friday, 11 August 2017

12 Ways The Southern Poverty Law Center Is A Scam To Profit From Hate-Mongering


What makes the hate list of the Southern Poverty Law Center different from the “burn book” a high school queen bee keeps in the 2004 movie “Mean Girls”? Answer: not much. The burn book was a compilation of insults, gossip, and rumors intended to repel the diva’s “enemies,” label everybody, and keep herself on top of the heap.

The SPLC uses its list of designated hate groups in much the same way: to manipulate the lives of others, smear reputations, control personal relationships, and reap the spoils. The dynamic is the same, whether played on the adolescent scene or in the political arena. Both lists serve mostly as power-mongering tools.
 
In civilized societies, we supposedly grow out of that sort of tribalism. But look around and you’ll see such behaviors proliferating in every sphere: politics, journalism, education. A recent headline in the Washington Examiner nailed it: “The Bret Stephens Freak Out is a Reminder that the Media Is Basically a Massive High School Clique.”

Why do so many folks treat the SPLC with undeserved reverence, the way too many high school kids treat a self-appointed nasty queen bee? Why do they accept the Southern Poverty Law Center as the nation’s Grand Inquisitor dictating who may speak and who must shut up? And why are its smears and caricatures so often blindly accepted at face value? What qualifies the SPLC to act as judge, jury, and social executioner of any human being who is not their blind supporter?

Those questions have been hanging in the air for decades. As with all vilification campaigns, the SPLC plays a dangerous and cruel game under the guise of defending victims. So let’s take a closer look at some of the SPLC’s history and behavior. Let’s count some ways it’s a con game.

1. It’s a Big-Money Smear Machine

The SPLC’s main role is as a massively funded propaganda smear machine. The following information on the SPLC, provided by Karl Zinsmeister of Philanthropy Roundtable, is an eye-opener: “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.”

2. The Center’s Work Has Incited Violence

The SPLC’s agitation and propaganda have proven to incite violence. Any person or organization of note who doesn’t get with the SPLC’s political agendas—whether they promote family integrity, religious freedom, U.S. immigration law, or anything else—is liable to end up smeared as an SPLC-certified agent of hate.

The SPLC website keeps tabs on designated bad guys with a Hate Map of the United States and an invitation for readers to #reporthate. The SPLC’s hate list includes the Family Research Council in Washington DC, and the 2012 shooting at FRC headquarters was inspired through the influence of SPLC agitprop, according to the gunman himself. He would have committed mass murder if he wasn’t stopped.

The recent mob violence in response to social scientist Charles Murray’s talk at Middlebury College, and the assault of a faculty member there, were products of the SPLC’s smear of Murray as an “extremist.” The list goes on.

3. SLPC Uses Emotion-Laden Images to Spread Innuendo

SPLC uses emotion-laden images with nary any evidence to “spread stigma just by innuendo.” Zinsmeister from Philanthropy Roundtable notes: “Over the years, numerous investigators have pointed out that most of the scary KKK and Nazi and militia groups that the SPLC insists are lurking under our beds are actually ghost entities, with no employees, no address, hardly any followers, and little or no footprint.”
 
But “hate groups” and “extremist organizations” are great copy, especially for fundraising. So the SPLC list of storm-troopers-in-our-midst is catnip for journalists looking for dramatic stories. SPLC’s lack of reasonable criteria for who goes on its list of crazies combines effortlessly with careless reporting, and spreads stigma just by innuendo. Mere proximity to SPLC’s arbitrary “hate” list is enough to tar even the worthiest group.

4. The FBI Stopped Citing SPLC as a Resource

Two years ago, the FBI deleted the SPLC from its website’s list of legitimate resources on hate crimes. This is a promising sign of growing clarity that the SPLC’s designations for hate groups lack legitimacy. There also seems to be growing boldness in calling out the SPLC for its tactics intended to shut down serious scholarship.

5. People On Its Political Team See the Problems, Too

Even some self-identified progressives are taking issue with SPLC vilification campaigns after the 2012 SPLC-inspired shooting at the Family Research Council. The SPLC’s emotionally charged rhetoric ignites divisions among people rather than healing anything. And there’s no telling where that can end up. So even leftist Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank wrote that the SPLC’s labeling of the Family Research Center as a hate group was a reckless act.
http://thefederalist.com/2017/05/17/12-ways-southern-poverty-law-center-scam-profit-hate-mongering/

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, August 11th, 2017.]

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