John Perazzo, Frontpage, May 29, 2020
The left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is a $592 million non-profit. It is also the creator and leader of the largest blacklist, by far, in American history. Its infamous list of “hate groups,” which currently consists of 940 separate entities in all 50 U.S. states, is the centerpiece of a massive smear campaign that conflates a small number of mostly insignificant fringe groups with entities whose sin is being politically conservative, but which are not “hate” groups in any meaningful sense of the word.
By equating a smattering of actual hate groups with respectable conservative organizations, SPLC seeks to delegitimize conservatives as repugnant monsters whose viewpoints do not merit a hearing. And by labeling mainstream conservative individuals and organizations as “hate mongers,” it seeks to deprive them of the funding they need to reach an audience or even stay alive. Consider, for instance, the SPLC’s branding of David Horowitz, founder of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, as an “anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim extremist” and as one of the “10 Most Dangerous Hatemongers” in the United States — solely because he opposes illegal immigration and warns against the dangers of Islamic jihad.
After Horowitz gave a speech to the bi-partisan American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in August 2018, SPLC organized a boycott that singled out his remarks as worthy of suppression and called on ALEC’s corporate sponsors to withdraw their support. The actual sin Horowitz committed was confined to one sentence in which he referred to Black Lives Matter as a “racist organization” and the Muslim Brotherhood as a “terrorist” group. Within two weeks, 79 leftist organizations had joined the boycott. This led to the withdrawal of financial support by major corporations like Verizon, AT&T, and Dow Chemical, and the loss of tens of thousands of dollars for ALEC.
The following month, SPLC’s slurs were the basis of major media attacks smearing Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis as a “white supremacist” for appearing at a Restoration Weekend event hosted by Horowitz, who was described as “an infamous racist” in a headline that appeared in the Huffington Post. (As a side note to this baseless slander, Horowitz is a friend of Arianna Huffington — who founded but no longer owns the Post — and was married in her home.)
The SPLC blacklist is enabled by — and could not be successful without — the mindless support of media outlets like the Washington Post, New York Magazine, Vanity Fair, and so-called “liberal” organizations like People for the American Way and Common Cause. It is also empowered by major support from billionaires like Apple CEO Tim Cook and JP Morgan chairman Jamie Dimon, and by the charitable arms of such major American corporations as Amazon.
Amazon’s alliance with SPLC is institutionalized in its popular “AmazonSmile” program, through which customers can purchase Amazon products at their regular prices and then indicate, at checkout, that they wish to have Amazon redirect 0.5% of the payment to a charitable nonprofit organization of the customer’s choice. In fiscal 2018, AmazonSmile funneled some $44 million to non-profits via this program.
But not every governmentally recognized non-profit is eligible to receive Amazon’s largesse. Amazon warns its customers that “organizations that engage in, support, encourage, or promote intolerance, hate, terrorism, violence, money laundering, or other illegal activities are not eligible to participate.” Among the organizations denied Amazon charity on these grounds is the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the chief legal non-profit group committed to protecting religious liberty. ADF is ineligible for Amazon’s program because it defends the First Amendment rights of religious organizations to hold views that SPLC doesn’t support.
ADF, by its own telling, provides legal advocacy “for the right of people to freely live out their faith,” with a specific focus on “cases involving religious liberty issues, the sanctity of human life, and marriage and family.” In other words, ADF thinks that if a religious organization opposes taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand, or believes that marriage should be defined explicitly as a sacramental union between one man and one woman, such an entity should be allowed, in accordance with the First Amendment, to freely espouse those particular values.
But to the leftists at the Southern Poverty Law Center, the defense of the First Amendment by organizations like ADF is a “hateful” endeavor which merits the group’s inclusion in the SPLC blacklist. And AmazonSmile, in turn, has dutifully declared itself off-limits to ADF. As one AmazonSmile spokesperson has acknowledged: “We remove organizations that the SPLC deems as ineligible.” And by that chain of unexamined “evidence” — i.e., the mere word of SPLC — the blacklist works.
ADF is just one of scores of mainstream religious organizations that have been targeted by SPLC. In particular, SPLC depicts any entity objecting to transformative cultural changes involving homosexuals — such as gay marriage — as a “hate” group whose opinions have no more legitimacy than those of an Aryan militia. In this way, SPLC classifies the conservative Family Research Council, a Christian public policy ministry, as yet another purveyor of hate. And in accordance with SPLC’s guidance, AmazonSmile has removed the Council from the list of charities eligible to receive AmazonSmile donations.
The D. James Kennedy Ministries (DJKM), whose mission is to proclaim “the Gospel of Jesus Christ” as widely as possible, likewise opposes the notion that marriage should be redefined to include same-sex unions. Consequently, SPLC has defamed DJKM as yet another “active hate group.” And AmazonSmile, in turn, refuses to direct any of its customer funds to DJKM. But in fact, there is not the faintest trace of “hate” in DJKM’s message. As Ministries spokesman John Rabe has said: “We desire all people, with no exceptions, to receive the love of Christ and his forgiveness and healing. We unequivocally condemn violence, and we hate no one.”
Other noteworthy Christian groups blacklisted by both SPLC and AmazonSmile include the Religious Freedom Coalition (RFC), the Ruth Institute, and the Saint Benedict Center — all of which are guilty of the apparently unpardonable sin of opposing same-sex marriage on religious grounds. When a spokesman for the Saint Benedict Center, Brother André Marie, asked Amazon to explain why his Center had been barred from participating in AmazonSmile, the company told him candidly: “We rely on the Southern Poverty Law Center to determine which charities are in certain ineligible categories. You have been excluded from the AmazonSmile program because the Southern Poverty Law Center lists Saint Benedict Center Inc. in an ineligible category.”
In stark contrast to its shabby treatment of the aforementioned Christian groups, AmazonSmile has had absolutely no objection to passing along 0.5% of its customer expenditures to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which was co-founded by individuals with close ties to Hamas — a proudly genocidal organization of murderous Jew-haters. Terrorism expert Steven Emerson, citing federal law-enforcement sources and internal documents, has bluntly described CAIR as “a radical fundamentalist front group for Hamas.”
AmazonSmile is likewise happy to funnel some of its customer funds to the Islamic Center of Jersey City (ICJC), an institution whose imam, in a recent sermon, not only characterized Israeli Jews as “apes and pigs,” but also besought Allah’s assistance in killing them, right “down to the very last one.” Moreover, a former ICJC imam was a Hamas activist who was named on a “List of Possible Unindicted Co-conspirators for the  World Trade Center Bombing.”
The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) — a Jew-hating entity that praises terror attacks, supports the imposition of Sharia Law, promotes the establishment of an Islamic caliphate, has ties to the radical Pakistani group Jamaat-e-Islami, and is closely linked to the Muslim Brotherhood — is also an AmazonSmile member in perfectly good standing.
Similarly, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which promotes Sharia Law and Islamic supremacism, is free to rake in loads of cash through AmazonSmile. Established by U.S-based members of the Muslim Brotherhood, ISNA was identified by declassified FBI memos as a Brotherhood front group as early as 1987. Four years after that, ISNA was explicitly named in a Brotherhood document as one of 29 likeminded Islamic organizations that shared the common goal of carrying out a “grand Jihad” in America and “destroying … Western civilization from within.” But it’s not a “hate group,” according to the cheerful, grinning folks at AmazonSmile and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Obviously, the double standards of AmazonSmile are many. But perhaps most troubling is the fact that the single most noteworthy beneficiary of the program is none other than the Southern Poverty Law Center itself. That’s correct: The principal gatekeeper that determines who should, and who should not, be permitted to earn money through AmazonSmile, routinely stuffs its own deep pockets with AmazonSmile cash. Indeed, SPLC is currently the 33rd leading recipient of contributions through AmazonSmile. This of course is in keeping with SPLC’s legendary aptitude for wringing every last penny out of every cash cow in the proverbial barn. Today SPLC boasts a $592 million endowment, of which nearly 30% is sheltered in offshore tax havens.
In their crusade against conservative organizations, SPLC and AmazonSmile have plenty of company. For instance, Color of Change has pressured corporations to cut all business and commercial ties to entities that SPLC designates as “hate groups.”
Similarly, BloodMoney.org will not be satisfied until all “financial service companies” stop “profiting from hate” by “tolerating the use of their services by hate groups.” In short, BloodMoney favors the blacklisting and economic suffocation of conservative groups in much the same way as AmazonSmile does. Particularly remarkable is the fact that BloodMoney has named none other than Amazon as a company guilty of conducting business with various “hate groups” that pursue “dangerous agendas.” In other words, AmazonSmile’s blacklist doesn’t go far enough for BloodMoney, which boasts that, as a result of its own blacklisting efforts, “158 funding sources have been removed from white supremacist sites.”
In 2017, Discover, Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal — much like AmazonSmile — blacklisted a number of organizations deemed objectionable by self-anointed arbiters of “hate” like SPLC, Color of Change, and BloodMoney. As PayPal said in a statement at that time, its own objective was to “ensure that our services are not used to accept payments or donations for activities that promote hate, violence or racial intolerance.”
While aiming to deprive conservative organizations of funding from a host of sources, leftist entities like Amazon and SPLC unapologetically seek to pack as much cash as possible into their own massive coffers. Business Insider recently published an article speculating that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is on track to become the world’s first trillionaire by the year 2026. And if present trends continue, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s holdings may surpass the $1 billion mark at just about that same time. Such a parallel would be a fitting reflection of AmazonSmile’s unique relationship with SPLC — one gang of reckless slanderers lining the pockets of another, in an obscenely crooked, rigged charade.
The SPLC’s massive blacklist is sustained by a powerful movement on the left and in the Democratic Party, which is determined to suppress its conservative opposition and create a one-party state — a feat it has already accomplished in our colleges and universities and in large swathes of our media institutions.