Posted on October 14, 2009

Craig Bodeker Refutes the SPLC

Craig Bodeker, Press Release, October 14, 2009

[Editor’s Note: Craig Bodeker is a filmmaker who produced A Conversation About Race, which we have reviewed here.]

On October 8th, and again on October 9th, Sonia Scherr, of the Southern Poverty Law Center, published two separate and scathing attacks on me and my documentary film, A CONVERSATION ABOUT RACE, on their HATEWATCH website.

Ms. Scherr made eight specific points regarding the film’s “errors,” before concluding that I am, in fact, a “racist.” Most critics agree the film does an excellent job pointing out the vagueness of that term, and that how it has recently morphed into the intellectual equivalent of calling me a “poopyhead.”

But I will still address Ms. Scherr’s eight points here.

Point 1

“Bodeker never says whether he believes that discrimination found by courts and government commissions also doesn’t ‘really amount to anything.'”

That’s because I don’t. What’s more real to you? Spontaneous answers from real people, or proclamations issued by courts and government commissions?

Point 2

“He makes no effort to examine the scientific findings on intelligence and race, which have yet to produce convincing evidence that IQ differences are caused by genetics.”

That’s because neither I nor any of the subjects said anything about causality. Nearly every interview-subject stated clearly that they believe blacks outscore whites in basketball, but that whites outscore blacks on standardized tests, and that Asians outscore whites on those same tests. Are these “beliefs” really radical and bigoted? Or are they mainstream?

Point 3

“After trying to get interviewees to admit that blacks are more criminal than whites. . . .” See the film. I don’t “try” to get anyone to admit anything. Each subject was chosen for their candor.

Point 4

“What he neglects to mention is that it’s unclear how many, if any, of the black-on-white rapes were hate crimes–that is, motivated at least in part by racial bias.”

According to the Justice Department report cited in the film, blacks sexually assaulted white women over 37,000 times in 2005. Whites sexually assaulted black women less than ten times. 37,000 to 10. How “random” does that sound to you?

Point 5

“Moreover, Bodeker asserts that Latinos are deliberately taking away whites’ majority status. ‘If we object to the stated agenda of replacing whites as the racial majority in America with Hispanics, it’s us who get called the racists,’ he says, ‘not the people who are openly and actively working to change the racial makeup of our country.'” I don’t really see the criticism here. Have they heard of La Raza?

Point 6

“The South Carolina Council of Conservative Citizens–a white supremacist group whose national conference Bodeker attended in June in Mississippi–recently hosted a big-screen showing of the movie in three locations.” And they told me they were Conservative Citizens. . . .! (I did actually ask the organizer if the CofCC was a “white Supremacist” group. He said absolutely not.) According to the SPLC, white organizations cannot be trusted to accurately stereotype themselves.

Point 7

“Since the documentary’s release last year, Bodeker has given interviews to the Romanian National Vanguard News Agency (motto: ‘International News for People of European Descent’), Mark Dankof (a radio broadcaster who also contributes to the anti-Semitic American Free Press), and The Political Cespool, an overtly anti-Semitic, racist show whose guests have included former Klan boss David Duke, neo-Nazi April Gaede and Holocaust denier Mark Weber”

How dare I seek publicity for my documentary! Why don’t I just calmly wait ’til CNN or PBS calls me to air it? Seriously, though, am I now to be held personally responsible for every word ever uttered by the staff, or even by the guests, of any radio show that I’ve appeared on? I accepted the generosity of those few in today’s media that actually understand the concept of free speech, warts and all!

Point 8

“On The Political Cesspool’s Jan. 31 show, for instance, one of the hosts asserts that ‘everything that is good about civilization–just about everything that is good, from literature to works of art to law is something that came from our [white people’s] minds.’ Bodeker’s response? ‘I have to agree.'”

What part of “just about” don’t you understand. . .?

On the next day, October 9th, Ms. Scherr released her follow-up attack. But rather than offer any stronger, or legitimate criticisms of, A CONVERSATION ABOUT RACE, she chose a different tactic. She relied upon an anonymous cyber-stalker to gather “quotes” attributed to me from the comments section of unrelated political videos from Youtube. She called this piece of journalism “A Peek Behind the Curtain: Views of a Racist Filmmaker . . ,”

Some pretty strong statements were quoted–as well as MIS-quoted, surgically and deceptively edited,, taken out of context, and even made up! And once again, these “quotes” that represent proof of my “racism,” were found on the comments section of Youtube.

Have any readers ever been to the comments section on Youtube? Does anyone NOT KNOW what a mosh-pitt of “free expression” it is? There are, sometimes, actual screaming matches, even though they’re conducted in written form. Sometimes people say harsh, mean things there, in that last remaining refuge of Free Speech. Am I to assume that the SPLS’s Sonia Scherr has never made a sarcastic comment? Or even a distasteful one? Or that anyone who EVER has should be stereotyped, marginalized and disenfranchised? This seems to be what the SPLC suggests. . . .

Most who have viewed A Conversation About Race, say it succeeds because of its fairness and clarity. American Thinker’s Larry Miller said, in his positive review of the film, “. . . People in America have no idea how to define ‘racism.’ The word flits about like an evil spirit in our national vocabulary–but none of us knows exactly what it means.”

So I will take it as a compliment, that the Southern Poverty Law Center, after viewing A Conversation About Race, (no doubt through a legal microscope) cannot find any genuine aspects of it to criticize, and end up instead having to resort to that same, tired conclusion, “Craig Bodeker is a Racist.”

Call me optimistic, but I see that as progress. They cannot refute the film’s basic premise, even though it contradicts the very essence their stated mission!

So instead they call me a poopyhead.

[Editor’s Note: The SPLC articles by Sonia Scherr to which Mr. Bodecker is replying can be read here and here.]