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Why the Mainstream Media Must Stop Citing ‘Anti-Hate’-Crusader Southern Poverty Law Center

Article author: 
Dale Wilcox
Article publisher: 
Breitbart
Article date: 
May 15, 2017
Article category: 
National News
Medium
Article Body: 

Last week, my organization, an immigration-control advocate, publicly released a 2016 disciplinary opinion from the Obama-era U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) officially reprimanding a Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) attorney for unprofessional and frivolous behavior in immigration court proceedings.

For decades, DOJ’s asked us to contribute briefs in difficult and complex immigration cases and in one such case the SPLC, a tax-exempt “anti-hate” organization, took it upon itself to file an unsolicited brief with the immigration court attacking us as “white supremacist,” “anti-Semitic,” and “anti-Catholic.” It was an odd bit of name-calling considering my small team happens to include Catholics, Jews, and non-whites.

Thankfully, even the Obama DOJ saw the move as a shameful and discreditable attack. DOJ’s disciplinary counsel fulsomely reprimanded the SPLC attorney, as well as attorneys from its partner-organizations, sending them a letter calling their attacks “frivolous behavior,” “derogatory name-calling,” and generally showing “a lack of professionalism.” DOJ also stated that the involved attorneys abused the briefing process and failed to aid the administration of justice.

DOJ’s reprimand actually builds on an existing trend for the SPLC. Over the last few years, the group’s “shoot-first, debate-never” approach has been skewered by a number of outlets, including Philanthropy RoundtableHarpersCounterpunchWeekly StandardHuffington Post, Reason, Washington Times, and Foreign Policy. The criticism seems to be correlated with the group’s ever-evolving and increasingly incoherent “hate-group” standard, a problematic feature inherent in the group’s business-model. Like the proverbial shark that has to keep swimming, the SPLC must keep fear-mongering and expanding its “hate-group” narrative lest its donors begin to stray. As JoAnn Wypijewski at The Nation once wrote, the SPLC knows “hate sells” and, hence, must continue telling donors that the Klan’s just around the corner...

But arbitrariness has apparently been the group’s maxim for some time. In 2007, they teamed up with the Hispanic lobbying group, La Raza [THE RACE], when the latter mounted a massive public relations-push in support of the Kennedy-McCain amnesty bill...

Then there’s the SPLC’s mercurial founder, Morris Dees. Despite his outward appearance as a fighter of “hate,” before starting the group, Dees reportedly worked for segregationists George Wallace and then-candidate for Alabama Attorney-General, McDonald Gallion...

But, of course, guilt-by-association’s an easy game to play. No one knows this better than the SPLC. For years, the group’s tried to smear FAIR by publishing random quotes from an early founder, Dr. John Tanton; quotes which are not only presented out of context but date back as early as the mid-1970s—ancient history for many Americans and prior to FAIR’s founding. These attempts to tar the good name of a legitimate organization with a long public record that shows no sign of favoritism or discrimination are as infantile as they are shameful...

 

Dale Wilcox is the Executive Director & General Counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute (irli.org), a public interest law firm that advocates for immigration policies that serve the national interest.

 


 

Related

IRLI Releases Obama Justice Department Reprimand of the Southern Poverty Law Center over its “Derogatory” Tactics, “Frivolous Behavior”, IRLI, May 8, 2017:

Today, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) announces the first-time release of an official letter of reprimand signed by the Obama-era Justice Department (DOJ) against the controversial tax-exempt “hate-watch” organization, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) (letter found here). In the letter, DOJ states that the SPLC attorney violated professional ethics, among other things, by making personal and baseless attacks against IRLI, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and their staff during official immigration court proceedings...

Although the SPLC’s utter lack of ethics was thoroughly condemned by the DOJ, the agency inexplicably requested that FAIR keep their conclusions confidential. FAIR and IRLI have complied with the request for more than a year; however, in that time, the SPLC has continued and escalated its attacks on both FAIR and IRLI, likely in part in retaliation for FAIR and IRLI filing a complaint with DOJ regarding its conduct. At this time, IRLI has decided it must release the letter to defend itself and protect its charitable purposes...

 

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