The SPLC has recently added 30 so-called right wing extremists to the list of potential threats, including David Barton, Frank Gaffney, and Pamela Geller, as reported by theBlaze. Four of the radical right wing leaders on the list are WND founder and CEO Joseph Farah, marketing coordinator Kevin DeAnna, columnist Molotov Mitchell, and columnist Pamela Geller.
Who is The Southern Poverty Law Center?
The SPLC is a progressive organization with some on their board of directors having Communist/Socialist ties, such as Julian Bond. Their website claims that they monitor "hate groups and other extremists throughout the United States and exposes their activities to law enforcement agencies, the media, and the public." The "Hate Map" is a collection of mainly white or Christian hate groups, with a disclaimer for the black groups, "Although the Southern Poverty Law Center recognizes that much black racism in America is, at least in part, a response to centuries of white racism, it believes racism must be exposed in all its forms." Out of 1,018 "active hate groups," 141 are Black Groups, mainly consisting of the Nation of Islam, National Black Foot Soldier Network, and the New Black Panther Party Chapters.
Interestingly, they SPLC states that just because a group is listed, it does not "imply a group advocates or engages in violence or other criminal activity," so why list them? They do not list Occupy Wall Street groups, who have often times engaged in criminal acts, but they do list "Patriot Groups," such as 9/12 groups and Tea Party groups. They claim that the reason for the boom of patriot groups was fuelled by "a proliferation of demonizing conspiracy theories, the changing racial makeup of America, and the prospect of four more years under a black president who many on the far right view as an enemy to their country." The unsubstantiated rhetoric also included a statement that "Even as most of the nation cheered the election of the first black president that November, an angry backlash developed that included several plots to murder Obama." None of these allegations are sourced.
The SPLC, by claiming that Malik Zulu Shabazz is a right-wing radical and by lumping Christian groups and Patriot groups in the same category with white power groups, are clearly pushing an agenda based on intimidation and hate, while professing to be "dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry."
It is quite lucrative to be in the hate business.
As of October 2008, the group's net assets were $170,240,129. Chief Counsel Morris Dees was paid $273,132 and the President and CEO, Richard Cohen, was paid $290,193. Total revenue in 2007 was $44,727,257 and program expenses were $20,804,536. In other words, they raised twice as much they spent. Fund-raising and administrative expenses were $9 million, leaving $14 million to be put into the center's vast assets.
With their fuzzy, inconsistent, and undisclosed criteria for being added to the list of haters, the funders of the SPLC should demand transparency and consistency. This organization has an opportunity to do some real good, but has lost their credibility by pushing an agenda that should be clear to anyone without an agenda themselves.