The Fall Of the Southern Poverty Law Center

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John Stossel
Author and investigative TV reporter John Stossel discusses the SPLC. Screen grab via ReasonTV.

In case you haven’t been following the news, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) — the nation’s leading institute for race-baiting and progressive thought — isn’t doing too well. Over the past few months, the organization has come under fire for its less-than-savory practices and its own issue with bigotry.

Apparently, monetizing hate isn’t as lucrative as it appears.

The ultimate fate of the SPLC is uncertain; It could survive this difficult period, or they may fold altogether. But their recent troubles are the result of multiple factors that are plaguing the rest of the progressive left in America, and this can easily be seen in the recent action on the part of Citizens for Corporate Accountability (CCA).

Earlier this week, the CCA penned an open letter to Amazon urging them to end their relationship with the SPLC. The online retail icon works with the Southern Poverty Law Center to determine which organizations are allowed to use its Amazon Smile program. This program allows consumers to support their favorite charities when they make a purchase using the system.

But Amazon has excluded many different organizations from the program at the SPLC’s behest. It is for this reason that the CCA is urging the retail giant to reconsider its relationship to the non profit, which has earned profits by falsely labeling their political opposition as hate groups.


Here’s an example. Amazon recently dropped the Christian non-profit Alliance Defending Freedom because the SPLC accused them of being a “hate group.” The SPLC’s “hate map” is a list of organizations that the group has deemed to be hate groups. They document the Ku Klux Klan and black nationalist groups.

While many of the organizations they include are legitimate hate groups, others are simply organizations that espouse views with which the SPLC does not agree. The Alliance for Defending Freedom is one such group.

The SPLC labeled the Alliance as a hate group because it promotes traditional marriage. The group has never engaged in hate speech, nor have they advocated for violence against members of the LGBTQ community. The notion that they belong in the same category as Neo-Nazis is patently absurd, but the SPLC seems to believe they can lump them in together for political purposes.

One could simply chalk this up as a mistake on the SPLC’s part — but their track record suggests that the organization is deliberately using deceptive methods to discredit their political opposition while persuading gullible leftists to hand over their cash.

While the organization likely thought they were immune to any backlash from their deceitful practicess, their efforts did backfire when Maajid Nawaz, whom the group labeled as an Islamophobe, filed a lawsuit against the group. Apparently smearing someone as Islamophobic isn’t the brightest idea if your target happens to be a Muslim who is trying to stop Islamic terrorism. About 60 other groups are considering legal action against the SPLC as well. Most recently, comedian and former leader of the Proud Boys has filed a defamation suit against the group.


To make matters worse, the Southern Poverty Law Center appears to have its own issues with bigotry. Last month, dozens of employees signed a letter to the organization’s executives alleging the SPLC’s leadership engaged in sexual harassment and discriminatory behavior.

There are likely several reasons why the SPLC finds itself in such a negative position. But it seems that the main reason why the organization is going through this rough patch is because they are still living in the Obama era. Let me explain.

Remember how the left dismissed any criticism of President Obama by pretending that the person making the criticism was motivated by racism? This is a strategy upon which the progressive left has relied for decades – but it appears to have intensified under the Obama administration. It was a highly effective tactic, and unfortunately, the right did not respond to this political weapon in a meaningful way.

But times have changed.

Yes, good ol’ fashioned race baiting is still the progressive left’s preferred political strategy. After all, what else can you do when you can’t form coherent arguments? But the tactic’s potency has waned. Why? Because the left has squandered the political capital the strategy carried. Moreover, conservatives finally became fed up with constantly being called racist whenever they disagreed with he left. You’ve heard it a million times, but this is how they got Trump.


It became obvious that the Democrats were never trying to have a good faith conversation on racial issues; they just wanted a rhetorical cudgel to use against their opposition. For this reason, many Americans rejected the progressive orthodoxy and cast their support behind a man who doesn’t give a you-know-what about being called a bigot.

While the bulk of the progressive movement has not abandoned the race-baiting tactic, they have somewhat refined it. Instead of just using the word racist, they might deceptively call a conservative like Ben Shapiro “alt-right.” If your political views happen to be to the right of Mao Tse Tung, you are labeled as “far right.”

But the SPLC does not appear to have adjusted their approach – even worse – they have doubled down. Put simply, they overplayed their hand. Their blatant lies about people like Gavin McInnes and their dishonest inclusion of conservative organizations on their hate map reeks of sleazy political maneuvers rather than a genuine desire to advocate for civil rights. They aren’t simply countering arguments; they are trying to destroy the reputations and income sources of people they don’t like.

Moreover, they are conning people into donating money by pretending to fight bigotry. Any sensible person on either side of the aisle can see that the SPLC has become nothing more than the type of grift that makes the Krassenstein brothers look like choir boys. The far left has two options: Either they can start approaching the national debate in good faith, or they can continue to rely on identity politics, which is a strategy that is becoming less and less effective.



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