Bob Unruh, WND, April 30, 2014
For many years, the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled groups with values it doesn’t tolerate as “hate groups,” but now the organization is taking its attacks a step further, demanding Amazon and PayPal blacklist bloggers and websites that don’t fall in line with its leftist agenda.
Headlined “Financing Hate” in the group’s Intelligence Report publication, the Southern Poverty Law Center, or SPLC, listed 91 “hate groups” ranging from those clearly on the fringe to mainstream bloggers and websites such as Catholic Family News, Atlas Shrugs, Jihad Watch, WND and the Americans for Legal Immigration PAC.
Clearly stating its opposition, it describes how some of the organizations utilize Amazon, PayPal and other online services to sell products.
SPLC said the Intelligence Report contacted Amazon in September about the participation of “hate groups” and “hate sites” in Amazon programs that earn the groups commissions.
Amazon, according to the report, said it would assign “appropriate teams to investigate, review applicable policies, and take appropriate action.”
But SPLC lamented that some of its targets “were still earning commissions through Amazon.”
William Gheen, whose organization, Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, or ALIPAC, opposes illegal immigration and amnesty, said it was all too much.
In an open letter to SPLC posted online and to be “delivered to your offices by certified mail and then turned over to our attorney for further action,” Gheen said SPLC’s claims are “demonstrably false.”
“This letter is to inform you that we have Internet posts and emails containing threats and death threats against my life and the lives of my family members in reaction to your false claims that we are a hate group,” he said. “The threats we have received specifically cite SPLC claims that suggest we are somehow motivated by racism and advocating violence against minorities, both of which are demonstrably false.”
Gheen said SPLC is “fully aware” that ALIPAC is “racially inclusive . . . and that a substantial percentage of our supporters are minorities.”
“The SPLC is fully aware that ALIPAC has openly and eagerly worked with minority organizations and leaders,” he said. “The SPLC is fully aware that I have a background in registering and transporting minority and student voters and working to elect women and minorities to public office in the ’90s. The SPLC is fully aware that we never intentionally work with any racist or violent groups or individuals, and you are aware that we have publicly spoken out against racism and racist groups and individuals on numerous occasions.”
The letter, he wrote, is to “serve as your official notice of all of the factors I’ve listed here including your official notice that your designation of ALIPAC as a hate group, while no evidence exists that anyone in our organization has ever engaged in racism, hate, or violence against minorities, has crossed the line of civil discourse and is now directly encouraging people to threaten violence against me and my family.”
He charged that SPLC was “attempting to mislead our donations company, PayPal, by telling them that we are one of the 91 ‘hate groups’ using their services in the hopes they will stop allowing us to accept donations which pale in comparison to your multimillion dollar yearly budget.”
“Let this letter serve as notice to each of you at the Southern Poverty Law Center including Morris Dees, Mark Potok, and Heidi Beirich that I personally intend to hold you each legally responsible and personally responsible for any physical harm that befalls me, my organization, or my family due to your intentional lies and distortions.”
Judson Phillips, whose Tea Party Nation also was listed, said SPLC is “the ultimate left-wing hate group. This is a group that is somewhere to the left of Karl Marx, and they hate real Americans.”
WND Editor and CEO Joseph Farah, who long has been personally targeted by SPLC, along with the news site he founded, said, “The Southern Poverty Law Center is hardly a credible watchdog on so-called ‘hate groups.’ In fact, it is a hate group. But, sadly, with its budget of hundreds of millions of dollars and its cozy relationship with government and the media elite, it has more power and influence than most Americans realize. Its hateful finger-pointing at companies and organizations has actually resulted in real acts of violence, as is the case of the Family Research Council shooting attack. I actually consider it a badge of honor to be targeted by the SPLC. But their attacks do come at a price, because they actually do place real targets on the backs of their enemies.”