Tag Archives: SPLC

Hate, Inc.: The SPLC Is a Hyper-Partisan Scam

SPLC

The purported fact-finding group is in fact a machine for turning leftist hysteria into cash.

There was a time when the Southern Poverty Law Center did useful work reporting on actual hate groups such as the KKK. These days, though, the SPLC is simply a MoveOn or Media Matters–style outfit. Its core mission now is trying to marginalize and shut up even mildly right-of-center voices by calling them instruments of hate, making increasingly strained attempts to tie conservative commentators, authors, political figures, and professors to the alt-right or neo-Nazism. At the same time it elevates absurd bloggers to the level of potential leaders of lynch mobs.

The equivalent of a Drudge-siren moment for SPLC is when it rolls out yet another faux-neutral report on hate, which is always getting worse and threatening to engulf the republic. The SPLC’s report on “Male supremacy,” which it calls “a hateful ideology for the subjugation of women” and ties to the men’s-rights activists lurking on 4Chan and Reddit who boast about their supposed dominance of women, lists as pernicious allies the psychologist, author, and PJ Media columnist Helen Smith and the American Enterprise Institute scholar Christina Hoff Sommers, calling them “anti-feminist female voices” who “give the men’s rights movement a veneer of even-handedness” and lend a “mainstream and respectable face to some MRA concerns.”

You will search Smith’s and Sommers’s writings in vain for the sort of chest-thumping idiocies espoused by men’s-rights bloggers such as Paul Elam of the site A Voice for Men or “Roosh V.” (a.k.a. Daryush Valizadeh), a self-proclaimed “pickup artist” from the site Return of Kings. The SPLC is designating both of these websites “hate groups,” which offers an answer to the question of why the number of hate groups always seems to be growing in the SPLC’s tabulations. Got a blog you use to attract clicks by saying the most outrageous things you can come up with in between playing shoot-’em-up games on the PlayStation? Congratulations, you’re a “hate group.” Just like the Nazi party.

Elam and Valizadeh have said plenty of controversial, indeed hateful, things, but what fault is that of such distinguished scholars as Sommers and Smith? Nothing either of them has written gets quoted in the report. We’re meant to take the SPLC’s word for it that these women somehow “give a mainstream and respectable face” to the louts. Sommers told The Weekly Standard that she used to admire the SPLC, but now “they’re blacklisting in place of engaging with arguments. They blacklist you, rather than try to refute you.” Smith (a contributor to the Instapundit blog run by her husband, Glenn Reynolds) wrote at PJ Media, “I get emails and letters from men across the US and even other countries who tell me about the difficulties and downright atrocities that they are dealing with” but they find themselves subjected to “contempt by society, the courts and miserable, misandric places like the Southern Poverty Law Center.”

SPLC, founded by a direct-mail zillionaire named Morris Dees, spends far more on direct-mail fundraising pleas ($10 million) than it ever has on legal services, according to an analysis by Philanthropy Roundtable, and has never passed along more than 31 percent of its funding to charitable programs, sometimes as little as 18 percent. Meanwhile it has built itself a palatial six-story headquarters and an endowment of more than $200 million. In essence it is a machine for turning leftist hysteria into cash that portrays itself as a non-partisan, fact-finding group and has long been treated as such by media institutions such as the Washington Post and the New York Times. Yet it has also targeted Senator Rand Paul, surgeon–turned–HUD secretary Ben Carson, and human-rights activists Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Maajid Nawaz, calling them extremists or agents of hate (though it removed Carson from its list after an outcry), and it tagged both the Family Research Council and Mark Krikorian’s think tank, the Center for Immigration Studies, as hate groups, though the latter has been invited to testify before Congress more than 100 times.

SPLC’s tactics inspired a Politico piece wondering whether, in an era when the group’s “biggest fights seemed to be behind it,” it was “overstepping its bounds.” “There is a desperate need for more objective research on hate crimes and domestic extremism,” J. M. Berger, a researcher on extremism and a fellow with the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism at the Hague, told Politico. He said that “the problem partly stems from the fact that the [SPLC] wears two hats, as both an activist group and a source of information.” Progressive journalist Ken Silverstein, who in Harper’s compared SPLC’s practices to those of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, told Politico, “The organization has always tried to find ways to milk money out of the public by finding whatever threat they can most credibly promote.”

The SPLC is, as Philanthropy Roundtable put it, “Hate, Inc.,” or “The Anti-Hate Group That Is a Hate Group.” Its shameful attacks on Smith, Sommers, Ali, Carson, Paul, Krikorian, and others are simply scaremongering for suckers. It may portray itself as a justice-minded team of Atticus Finches. In reality it’s more like a goon squad of David Brocks.

Corporations Dance to SPLC Tune

SPLC

The “hate-list-generating Southern Poverty Law Center already has the media firmly in its pocket,” notes Charlotte Allen at The Weekly Standard, “and now corporate America seems to be jumping” on the bandwagon.

Increasingly, companies are “trying to cut off the financial livelihoods of organizations that the SPLC has branded as haters because their policy positions don’t accord with whatever the SPLC deems politically correct.” Vanco Payment Solutions, a credit-card processor, “abruptly canceled its services to the nonprofit Ruth Institute”: The SPLC claims the group’s “focus on heterosexual marriage” is a cover for a campaign “against LGBT people in general.”

Meanwhile, Apple, JP Morgan, Bank of America, Pfizer, Lyft and Newman’s Own have all become SPLC donors – even as the group has parked $69 million “in offshore hedge funds, a common tax dodge.”

Muslim Reformer Attacked by SPLC

Maajid Nawaz and Ayaan Hirsi Ali

The Southern Poverty Law Center has in recent years taken to labeling an array of legitimate Christian and other organizations as “hate groups.”

These targets now have an unlikely ally in anti-Islamist British politician Maajid Nawaz. He has been added to group’s hate lists and is suing for defamation, reports Tyler O’Neil at PJ Media.

Indeed, given the way Nawaz angers Muslim extremists and the way the SPLC riles up left-wing nuts (a man who shot up the Family Research Council, a Christian group, in 2012 said he did so because he was following the SPLC’s hate map), it’s an issue of personal safety as well: “From the murder of Theo van Gogh, to the Scalise shooting, to the terror committed against the FRC, it is no hyperbole for Nawaz to say that the SPLC’s list is putting his very life in danger.”

 

Southern Poverty Law Center Transfers Millions in Cash to Offshore Entities

SPLC

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a liberal, Alabama-based 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization that has gained prominence on the left for its “hate group” designations, pushes millions of dollars to offshore entities as part of its business dealings, records show.

Additionally, the nonprofit pays lucrative six-figure salaries to its top directors and key employees while spending little on legal services despite its stated intent of “fighting hate and bigotry” using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy.

The Southern Poverty Law Center is perhaps best known for its “hate map,” a collection of organizations the nonprofit deems “domestic hate groups” that lists mainstream conservative organizations alongside racist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and is often referenced in the media. A gunman opened fire at the Washington, D.C., offices of the conservative Family Research Council in 2012 after seeing it listed as an “anti-gay” group on SPLC’s website.

The SPLC has turned into a fundraising powerhouse, recording more than $50 million in contributions and $328 million in net assets on its 2015 Form 990, the most recently available tax form from the nonprofit. SPLC’s Form 990-T, its business income tax return, from the same year shows that they have “financial interests” in the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, and Bermuda. No information is available beyond the acknowledgment of the interests at the bottom of the form.

However, the Washington Free Beacon discovered forms from 2014 that shed light on some of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s transfers to foreign entities.

The SPLC’s Form 8865, a Return of U.S. Persons With Respect to Certain Foreign Partnerships, from 2014 shows that the nonprofit transferred hundreds of thousands to an account located in the Cayman Islands.

SPLC lists Tiger Global Management LLC, a New York-based private equity financial firm, as an agent on its form. The form shows a foreign partnership between the SPLC and Tiger Global Private Investment Partners IX, L.P., a pooled investment fund in the Cayman Islands. SPLC transferred $960,000 in cash on Nov. 24, 2014 to Tiger Global Private Investment Partners IX, L.P, its records show.

The SPLC’s Form 926, a Return by a U.S. Transferor of Property to a Foreign Corporation, from 2014 shows additional cash transactions that the nonprofit had sent to offshore funds.

The SPLC reported a $102,007 cash transfer on Dec. 24, 2014 to BPV-III Cayman X Limited, a foreign entity located in the Cayman Islands. The group then sent $157,574 in cash to BPV-III Cayman XI Limited on Dec. 31, 2014, an entity that lists the same PO Box address in Grand Cayman as the previous transfer.

The nonprofit pushed millions more into offshore funds at the beginning of 2015.

On March 1, 2015, SPLC sent $2,200,000 to an entity incorporated in Canana Bay, Cayman Islands, according to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) records and run by a firm firm based in Greenwich, Ct. Another $2,200,000 cash transfer was made on the same day to another fund whose business is located at the same address as the previous fund in the Cayman Islands, according to SEC records.

No information is contained on its interests in Bermuda on the 2014 forms. SPLC’s financial stakes in the British Virgin Islands were not acknowledged until its 2015 tax form.

Lucinda Chappelle, a principal at Jackson Thornton, the public accounting firm in Montgomery, Ala., that prepared the SPLC’s tax forms, said she does not discuss client matters and hung up the phone when the Free Beacon contacted her in an attempt to get the most updated forms from the group in relation to its foreign business dealings.

Tax experts expressed confusion when being told of the transfer.

“I’ve never known a US-based nonprofit dealing in human rights or social services to have any foreign bank accounts,” said Amy Sterling Casil, CEO of Pacific Human Capital, a California-based nonprofit consulting firm. “My impression based on prior interactions is that they have a small, modestly paid staff, and were regarded by most in the industry as frugal and reliable. I am stunned to learn of transfers of millions to offshore bank accounts. It is a huge red flag and would have been completely unacceptable to any wealthy, responsible, experienced board member who was committed to a charitable mission who I ever worked with.”

“It is unethical for any US-based charity to invest large sums of money overseas,” said Casil. “I know of no legitimate reason for any US-based nonprofit to put money in overseas, unregulated bank accounts.”

“It seems extremely unusual for a ‘501(c)(3)’ concentrating upon reducing poverty in the American South to have multiple bank accounts in tax haven nations,” Charles Ortel, a former Wall Street analyst and financial advisor who helped uncover a 2009 financial scandal at General Electric, told the Free Beacon.

The nonprofit also pays lucrative salaries to its top leadership.

Richard Cohen, president and chief executive officer of the SPLC, was given $346,218 in base compensation in 2015, its tax forms show. Cohen received $20,000 more in other reportable compensation and non-taxable benefits. Morris Dees, SPLC’s chief trial counsel, received a salary of $329,560 with $42,000 in additional reportable compensation and non-taxable benefits.

The minimum amount paid to an officer, director, trustee, or key employee in 2015 was $140,000 in base salary, not including other compensation.  The group spent $20 million on salaries throughout the year.

The SPLC, which claims to boast a staff of 75 lawyers who practice in the area of children’s rights, economic justice, immigrant justice, LGBT rights, and criminal justice reform, reported spending only $61,000 on legal services in 2015.

Following recent violence in Charlottesville, Va., the group raised a great deal of money.

Apple CEO Tim Cook told his employees that the company is donating $1 million to the SPLC and would match employee contributions two to one. Cook also placed an SPLC donation button in its iTunes store. The company is additionally providing a $1 million donation to the Anti-Defamation League.

J.P Morgan Chase vowed to add a $500,000 donation for the group’s “work in tracking, exposing, and fighting hate groups and other extremist organizations.”

The Washington Times reported that CNN ran a wire story following the Charlottesville events originally titled, “Here are all the active hate groups where you live” using SPLC’s list of 917 groups.

Brad Dacus, the president of the Pacific Justice Institute, a Sacramento-based group that defends “religious freedom, parental rights, and other civil liberties without charge,” was listed on the “hate groups” list.

“Why is the Southern Poverty Law Center doing this? It’s simple. They want to vilify and isolate anyone that doesn’t agree with their very extremist leftist policy and ideology,” Dacus told the Times. “This isn’t about defending civil rights; this is about attacking civil rights.”

“I am shocked that CNN would publish such a false report on the heels of the Charlottesville tragedy,” added Mat Staver, the founder of Liberty Counsel, a Christian nonprofit that provides pro bono assistance and representation, which is also featured on SPLC’s list. “To lump peaceful Christian organizations, which condemn violence and racism, in with the KKK, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists is offensive. This is the epitome of fake news and is why people no longer trust the media.”

CNN later changed its headline to, “The Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of hate groups.”

“The SPLC is an anti-conservative, anti-Christian hate group that the media have given pretend legitimacy to. One glance at their 990 tax forms is a reminder just what a fund-raising super-power it is,” Dan Gainor, vice president of Business and Culture at the Media Research Center, told the Free Beacon. “Its assets are over $328 million in 2015 and went up $13 million in just one year. It doesn’t need new liberal money. It could operate for at least six years and never raise a penny. It’s like a perpetual motion machine for fundraisers.”

The SPLC has also been hit with a number of lawsuits over “hate” defamation claims in recent days.

The Southern Poverty Law Center did not return a request for comment on its foreign financial dealings by press time.

Washington Free Beacon

Southern Poverty Law Center and ABC News Label Christians ‘Hate Group’

ADF

ABC News’ Pete Madden and Erin Galloway “smeared Christians who believe the Bill of Rights secures religious liberty as a ‘hate group,’ ” reports Mollie Hemingway at The Federalist.

The story concerned a recent speech by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to Alliance Defending Freedom, which is “not a hate group at all, but a civil liberties organization that battles for religious liberty.”

But try telling that to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which goes after “reasonable groups it merely disagrees with politically but labels as hate groups” and whose analysis ABC swallowed whole.

Says Hemingway: “ABC News can certainly quote the Southern Poverty Law Center’s extreme views, but it shouldn’t build a story around the wholesale acceptance of their flawed premises.

That turns journalism into anti-religious propaganda on behalf of a partisan group.”

A DISGRACE! Brave Muslim Leaders Viciously Attacked For Fighting Against Honor Killings, Child Marriages, And Female Genital Mutilation

Maajid Nawaz and Ayaan Hirsi Ali

He’s a former Muslim extremist who speaks out against such extremism — yet he’s been labeled an extremist.

Last October, the Southern Poverty Law Center called British author and activist Maajid Nawaz, 39, “part of the ‘ex-radical’ circuit of former Islamists who use that experience to savage Islam.” During a recent appearance on Bill Maher’s show, Nawaz announced he’d be suing the SPLC for defamation.

Citing what he calls “the poverty of low expectations,” Nawaz argues that Islam, like any other religion, should not only field criticism but withstand it. Why, he asks, does the Western world — and liberals, in particular — refuse to condemn what they otherwise find abhorrent?

The SPLC, he says, fights against the oppressions of Christian fundamentalism, yet “the same causes they fight for within America are somehow deemed illegitimate for people like me to fight for within our own communities.”

To wit: The current case in Michigan — the first federal case of its kind — over female genital mutilation, practiced among a Shiite Muslim sect there. The New York Times, incredibly, has framed this as a potentially legitimate custom. “Michigan Case Adds US Dimension to Debate on Genital Mutilation,” ran a June 10 headline.

Debate? Really? An estimated 100 girls have been brutalized in this specific community since 2005 — yet because this barbarism is contextualized as Islamic, far too many liberals seek to justify what is plainly child abuse, a gross violation of human rights.

There are plenty of Catholics and fundamentalist Christians who believe abortion is morally wrong, yet Roe v. Wade remains the law of the land. Why should Islam get special dispensation? Isn’t it a supercilious attitude to take — that a muscular religion of 1.6 billion people requires deference to the point of infantilization?

Also on the SPLC’s list is Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born author and activist who herself survived female genital mutilation and a forced marriage. Ali and fellow activist Asra Q. Nomani recently appeared before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and were shocked that none of the four female Democrats on that panel — including Kamala Harris, who’d become a feminist cause célèbre the day before, after male colleagues interrupted her interrogation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions — asked a single question.

In a June 22 Times Op-Ed, Ali and Nomani called out Harris along with Sens. Maggie Hassan, Heidi Heitkamp and Claire McCaskill.

“What happened that day was emblematic of a deeply troubling trend among progressives when it comes to confronting the brutal reality of Islamic extremism and what it means for women in many Muslim communities here at home and around the world,” they wrote. “When it comes to the pay gap, abortion access and workplace discrimination, progressives have much to say. But we’re still waiting for a march against honor killings, child marriages, polygamy, sex slavery or female genital mutilation.”

These are horrors, misogyny masquerading as religion, and it’s a Jedi mind trick that works almost every time.

Sen. McCaskill, for example, said she was “worried” about Ali and Nomani’s testimony. “Anyone who twists or distorts religion is an exception to the rule,” she said. Tell that to women in Saudi Arabia, who cannot drive, work or travel alone, or to women in Pakistan, where a so-called “women’s rights bill” was passed last year allowing men to beat their wives, instructions included.

“These recommendations are, according to the Koran and Sunnah, the prophet’s teachings,” a state official told the BBC. “No one can dispute that.”

Reformers like Ali and Nawaz do, and they continually exhort those Muslims who disagree with such diktats — and those outside the religion — to speak up.

In her Op-Ed, Ali noted the false argument so often made, that to criticize Islam is bigotry. Her ideas, she writes, are often labeled backward and conservative, “as if opposition to violent jihad, sex slavery, genital mutilation or child marriage were a matter of left and right.”

Her critics would point to the success of Muslims in America, a deeply assimilated population that, according to multiple studies — including one published by the Cato Institute in October 2016 — is among the most educated and affluent. Their cultural views don’t deviate as much from non-Muslims either. It’s hard to quantify why, but our national DNA surely contributes; we are a county and a culture of immigrants. We don’t force newcomers to learn English, but life’s easier if you do. Nor do we grapple with dress codes, burqa bans and other such debates that have consumed Europe for years. According to the Cato Institute, American Muslims are the most religiously tolerant and socially liberal in the world and are becoming more so. Has this population self-selected to America, or are their views encouraged by our open society?

No one really knows, but Nawaz and others believe that Europe’s tendency to isolate Muslims — or allow them to isolate themselves — rather than integrate only fuels alienation and resentment. Such communities live parallel to society under their own rule of law, and rather than combat Islamic extremism and jihad, such neglect foments it.

Yet such fear of offending remains that Theresa May, upon becoming prime minister last year, said that England “could benefit a great deal” from the estimated 100 Sharia courts operating there.

“Ideas are more dangerous than people,” Nawaz writes, and a 2016 survey bears that out — 58 percent of British Muslims believe homosexuality should be outlawed and one-quarter said they’d support Sharia law replacing British law. A poll of Muslim immigrants and natives in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium and Sweden, published in December 2013 by Professor Ruud Koopmans of the Berlin Social Science Center, found that 75 percent believe the Koran can be interpreted only one way, that 60 percent would not befriend someone who is gay and 54 percent think the West wants to destroy Islam.

In his new book, “The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam,” author Douglas Murray argues that Europe — Germany especially — has a tendency to overcorrect for past injustices and atrocities. He cites the left’s rejection, in 2015, of concerns raised by Angela Merkel, David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy that Europe had erred in allowing some citizens to live in opposition to their nation’s own laws. In an interview with NPR on Tuesday, Murray raised the irony of liberals supporting illiberal beliefs.

“This is a big problem,” Murray said. “As well as speaking the language of inclusion, we have to speak the language of exclusion — what it is that we won’t tolerate as well as what it is that we do.”

Nawaz himself believes extremism is fertilized by three subsets: Islamist theocracies, hard-right populism and what he calls the regressive left — those who argue for genderless bathrooms but won’t acknowledge that honor killings happen in Europe and the United States. In compiling their list, he says, the SPLC has employed a tactic used by those they should condemn.

“Just imagine how ex-Muslim Islam-critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali must feel to be included in your list,” he wrote in October.

“Her friend Theo van Gogh was murdered on the streets of Amsterdam in 2004. And back then, there was another list pinned to Theo’s corpse with a knife: It, too, named Ayaan Hirsi Ali.”

Why I Left The Southern Poverty Law Center And Why You Should Too

Southern Poverty Law Center

FYI, I am not a conservative and from 1978 to 1980 I participated in 13 civil rights marches and was seriously injured four times. I bled for the cause.

I don’t share this information with you to brag but to justify what I am about to say.

For several decades, I was a member and ardent supporter of the SPLC. As a USDOJ instructor and adviser I would advise federal and state law enforcement agencies to use the SPLC data for investigations.

Then several years ago I noticed a disturbing trend, Southern Poverty Law Center was not covering leftist domestic terrorist organizations. And more importantly they began to move outside of white supremacy and adding other topics that were contrary to the focus of their original charter.

These topics aligned with the standard rhetoric of leftist groups in the U.S.

The foundational focus of the organization had blurred.

I made my concerns known to them and was politely responded to but nothing changed.

Several federal, state and regional police agencies that I work with also noticed the trend and mentioned their concerns to me.

SPLC was clearly not going to change.

Sadly, I had a similar experience in 1980 when I gave up my membership with the NAACP.

I have never been an arm-chair critic of racism, anti-government actions or extremist violence. I have been in the fight for decades personally and professionally and my body bears the scars of that fight.

I am sad.