Racial Racketeering for Fun and Profit: The Southern Poverty Law Center Scam

Thomas J. DiLorenzo, Lew Rockwell, June 22, 2011

When Rush Limbaugh attempted to buy into an NFL franchise, the political left spread spectacular lies about him, even falsely and absurdly claiming that he had defended slavery on his radio program. When the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., sponsored a public debate on immigration policy, the left-wing hate group known as the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) smeared and denounced AEI by claiming that it was “mainstreaming hate” by sponsoring the debate. Of course, Americans have been debating immigration policy ever since the Louisiana Purchase. The SPLC is the leading leftist group that engages in this kind of totalitarian behavior.

When a group of military and police officers organized a group called “Oathkeepers” to simply affirm the oath they had all taken to respect and live by the U.S. Constitution, they were denounced by the SPLC as a “hate group,” the exact same language the SPLC uses to describe the KKK. When in 2009 the Department of Homeland Security issued a statement that “Ron Paul for President” bumper stickers “could identify likely threats,” their asinine statement came from information supplied to them by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The League of the South recently published its “Declaration of Cultural Secession” advocating a society that advances what it calls the virtues of “Celtic culture,” defined on its Web site as “the permanent things that order and sustain life: faith, family, tradition, community, and private property; loyalty, courage, and honour.” The SPLC lied about and defamed the League of the South by spreading the falsehood on its own Web site that by “Celtic culture” the League of the South means, and I quote, “white people.” Apparently the SPLC believes that only white people embrace family, tradition, community, private property, courage, etc.

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The SPLC’s Extreme Left-Wing Agenda

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Perhaps the most absurd thing the SPLC does is to sponsor a Web site called “Tolerance.org” and to purportedly teach “tolerance” in primary and secondary schools. The man in charge of Tolerance.org is none other than William Ayers, the “Weather Underground” terrorist of the 1960s who admitted to setting off bombs at the U.S. Capitol building in his youth. “I don’t regret setting the bombs,” Ayers told the New York Times on October 4, 2008. “I feel we didn’t do enough” bombing, he said.

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The SPLC as a “Hate Group” Hedge Fund

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For example, it was the SPLC that spread the false stories during the Clinton administration that there was an “epidemic” of fires at predominantly black churches in the South. Investigative reporters at the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere quickly proved the story to be false, which would have destroyed the credibility of any conservative or libertarian organization, but never an organization or individual on the extreme Left. That of course is where your typical member of the “mainstream” media sits.

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The teachers of tolerance at the SPLC responded to the creation of the TEA Party movement by issuing a 2010 “Intelligence Report” entitled “Rage on the Right: The Year in Hate and Extremism” claiming that the TEA Party movement is “shot through with rich veins of radical ideas, conspiracy theories, and racism.” Most “mainstream” journalists support everything the SPLC stands for (radical socialism, essentially) and therefore reports such hysterical nonsense as though it were scientific fact.

The SPLC has become an extraordinarily wealthy organization, and its directors and employees profit very handsomely from it. Morris Dees long ago became a millionaire from this shady scam. Apparently, its main source of revenue is fundraising letters that are sent out to the least intelligent/most gullible liberals in America who actually believe the SPLC’s wild and unproven smears and respond by sending them a check. In a Social Contract article entitled “Bashing for Dollars: The SPLC’s Predatory Game,” Brenda Walker writes that by 2005 the organization had an endowment of $174 million. “Very little of the hoard is spent on actual civil right work,” writes Walker. “The major products are smear campaigns,” which are essentially fundraising campaigns.

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All of this is undoubtedly why leftist journalist Alexander Cockburn wrote in the New York Press in 2007 that “I’ve long regarded Morris Dees and his Southern Poverty Law Center as collectively one of the greatest frauds in American life. The reasons: a relentless fundraising machine devoted to terrifying mostly low-income contributors into unbolting ill-spared dollars year after year to an organization that now has an endowment of more than $100 million . . .” Amen, Brother Cockburn.

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  • Tim in Indiana

    Have you seen a picture of the SPLC’s headquarters? The building is hideous and looks like a bunker, and a very expensive one at that. When you realize that the building is, in fact, fortified against car bomb attacks, you realize that these are paranoid nutcakes indeed (but very well-funded ones).

  • Hirsch

    Here are some facts. Matthew Hale, the leader of “Creativity” the white racial religion, operated his headquarters out of his father’s attic. Eric Gliebe, leader of the National Alliance, was living with his mother the last time the SPLC reported on him. Tom Metzger, the “most dangerous racist in America” is a TV repairman who was implicated in a civil suit because some kids who read one of his publications beat a homeless man to death. George Burdi, lead singer of the white power band “Rahowa” left the movement, embraced diversity, and publicly stated that all of these cells and hate groups were essentially nothing but PO boxes.

    Knowing all of this (and Mark Potok did admit it on Jim Giles radio program) why does the SPLC need several hundred million dollars to combat TV repairmen and dudes who live in their mothers’ basements? This kind of fear-mongering is alive and well on the left. I saw an article at grio.com with the headline: “Islamaphobia Overshadows Threat of Domestic White Terrorists.” Must have been opposite day over at the Grio. Unless someone found a way to reanimate the corpse of Timothy McVeigh.

  • Anonymous

    The biggest question concerning the SPLC is who are the sources of their enormous funding?? Obviously, there are numerous left-wing hate groups in this nation but none have the financial resources the SPLC has. The sources of their funding, general and/or specific should be researched and publicized to the hilt. In my opinion, the sources of their funding are in effect a Marxist fifth column within the United States.

  • Wayne Engle

    The SPLC is, indeed, a horrid, authoritarian-minded group which tries to shut down any dissent from its views — especially when the dissent comes from White people trying to stand up for their rights. “Racist,” “hate-monger” and “bigotry” are among its favorite weapon-words — or should I say, “hate words.”

    Someone styling themselves “SPLC Observer” has posted several times on a local forum in my home town, taking snide shots at me about my website, oldcorporal.com , which the SPLC views as spreading “hate.” The website this lurker posted on has nothing to do with the issues the SPLC normally focuses on. I challenged this person on the forum once to post his comments about me on my own website. I’ve yet to see one. He’s obviously a coward, as well as a bully.

  • Anonymous

    “Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say ‘what should be the reward of such sacrifices? If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude more than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!” – Samuel Adams, Founding Father

  • flyingtiger

    Wow, you know the SPLC is bad news when a far to the leftwinger calls them a fraud.

  • Zach Sowers

    Founded by an agenda put forth by world communism, the SPLC proudly marches forward into a new century, born of socialism.

  • Zach Sowers

    Founded by an agenda put forth by world communism, the SPLC proudly marches forward into a new century, born of socialism.

  • Karl Ketzer

    I am glad to see such critical articles carried on lewrockwell.com. Maybe there’s hope for libertarians after all.

  • Anonymous

    “In my opinion, the sources of their funding are in effect a Marxist fifth column within the United States.”

    If you look around you, you can see that this “fifth column” (cultural Marxists) has taken over the universities, the media, government at all levels and just about every other significant institution in the US.

  • white is right, black is whack

    I wonder what will happen to groups like this when there aren’t enough (naive) whites to fund their organizations? I highly doubt that they are getting a majority of their donations from blacks or hispanics.

  • Duran Dahl

    The $PLC is an “affinity con”, ala Bernie Madoff. It targets and separates hard-core pinks and reds from their money by dangling the imminent threat of a “Nazi” resurgence. The state security apparatus exploits them as “useful idiots” in their attack on the Constitution and to expand the surveillance state. Unlike Madoff’s victims however, none of the $PLC’s donating dupes will ever see their money again. Maybe Moe and his henchpersons intend to use their ill-gotten gains to bribe their way out of the country post “Der Tag.”

  • Question Diversity

    1 Tim in Indiana:

    I agree. See my comment #6:

    http://www.amren.com/mtnews/archives/2011/06/ala_governor_si.php

  • Anonymous

    Probably the most vulnerable aspect of $PLC is the extent to

    which it is variously a nuisance and an impediment to federal

    law enforcement. Providing–if anonymously?–accurate information to the feds about particular SPLC errors or omissions can be very effective.

  • Question Diversity

    13 Anonymous:

    Relationship between the SPLC and Federal law enforcement? Mostly symbiotic. Level-headed scholars who have looked into the matter think the quid pro quo is that the Feds use the SPLC to spy on the “far right” in ways prohibited to them (Constitution, civil rights laws, etc.), and the reward from the former to the latter is compelling some of its informants and stool pidgeons to run around in the middle of the street wearing a funny uniform full of funny symbols at such a time when SPLC photogs are right there, so that the SPLC can have “photographic proof” of this “rising tide of right wing hate” that only “your generous contribution” can help stop.

    The scholarship doesn’t say this, but I also suspect that part of the QPQ is that the SPLC gets to boast whenever information it provided to the alphabet gang allows them to arrest the aforementioned losers living in their mother’s basements and father’s attics and TV repairmen for some sort of “conspiracy,” again, for fund raising purposes.

  • Anonymous

    Alexander Cockburn is wrong, the SPLC fundraising list does not consist of low income contributors. Its fundraising list is the same as the fundraising list of ADL, AJC, ACLU and Commentary and Tikkun magazines.

    Alexander Cockburn is just jealous that anti White racism and race warfare is more successful and profitable than his brand of universal marxism and class warfare.