The Southern Poverty Lie - Oops, "Law" - Center Faces Its Worst-Ever PR Crisis

Article author: 
Paul Nachman
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Article date: 
19 July 2017
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National News
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The “Southern Poverty Lie Center”—that’s what late, lamented friend and talk-radio host Terry (“the Prisoner of South-Central”) Anderson called it. Officially—and to the journalists—it’s the Southern Poverty Law Center, founded and led by Morris Seligman Dees, Jr. But, in perhaps the SPLC’s worst-ever public relations crisis, the Respectable Right, and even some on the Left, are voicing disillusion. (There was even a critical twitter storm, #SPLCExposed, on Monday).

(Though of Scottish lineage and a Baptist, Dees’s obviously Jewish middle name—derived from the name of a merchant in Montgomery, AL whom Dees’s grandfather had admired—has been handy for fundraising mailers sent by his outfit to gullible Jews...)

Here at, we call it the “$PLC,” as recognition that its nation-breaking agendas are also cover for its real concern: fund-raising and nest-feathering.

Informed critiques of the $PLC are becoming thick on the ground. Of course, as’s own James Fulford just pointed out, they too often accept the $PLC-propagated myth that it was ever a “Civil Rights Stalwart, as POLITICO headlined its critique. But they still inflict damage. Thus recently the Respectable Right Federalist’s Stella Morabito rattled off 12 Ways The Southern Poverty Law Center Is A Scam To Profit From Hate-Mongering [May 17, 2017], including:

  1. SLPC Uses Emotion-Laden Images to Spread Innuendo;
  2. The FBI Stopped Citing SPLC as a Resource
  1. The Center Is Advertising For New Revenue-Raisers
  2. SPLC Propaganda Seems to Encourage Hoax Hate Crimes

And on March 19, 2017 the centrist Real Clear Politics posted The Hate Group That Incited the Middlebury Melee by Washington Bureau Chief Carl M. Cannon, referring to Charles Murray’s $PLC-provoked experience in February at Middlebury College, but noting frankly how far the SPLC has moved from “civil rights”:

But with the Ku Klux Klan literally out of business, how was the SPLC able to frighten people into still donating? That’s where the AEI’s Charles Murray reenters our story, along with many other mainstream conservative groups. Scaring the bejesus out of people requires new bogeymen, and lots of them.

In recent years, you can find yourself on the SPLC’s “hate map” if you haven’t gotten fully aboard on gay marriage — or the Democratic Party’s immigration views. In other words, the Dees group classifies individuals and organizations as purveyors of “hate” for holding the same view on marriage espoused by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton until mid-2012.

Over the years, there’ve also been some on the Left who’ve noticed the $PLC’s cynical antics. One example: King of the Hate Business: With haters on the wane, what will the hate-seekers do?, by Alexander Cockburn, in The Nation (of all places) on April 29, 2009.

Another: the letter from Atlanta civil-rights attorney Stephen Bright to dean of the University of  Alabama Law School Kenneth Randall, politely declining a request that he speak at a law-school event honoring Morris Dees. Bright crisply summed up Dees as “a con man and fraud.”...

In recent years, SPLC has been tarring as “hate groups” organizations advocating systematic enforcement of our immigration laws and reduced legal immigration — e.g., the Federation for American Immigration Reform [FAIR]. Poll after poll shows that huge majorities of Americans agree with FAIR, but the SPLC would put this vast swath of public policy, with its enormous implications for our national future, out of bounds for public discussion.

Meanwhile the SPLC shows no heartburn over MEChA (Spanish acronym for the Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan, with Aztlan the mythical ancestral home of the Aztecs), which has chapters at hundreds of American colleges and high schools nationwide. MEChA’s governing document, El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán, includes such ethnocentrisms as “We are a bronze people with a bronze culture.” And the group’s motto is “Por La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada” (“For our Race, everything, outside our Race, nothing”). That’s apparently too brazen to attract SPLC’s attention as it sleuths everywhere for “white supremacists.”...

So our late friend Terry Anderson was perhaps a bit off when he dubbed $PLC the “Southern Poverty Lie Center.” It doesn’t necessarily lie, exactly. Instead it typically make a hullabaloo over facts and ideas that it instinctively dislike and then demonstrate an unwillingness—or perhaps inability—to think about them on their merits.

Let’s re-dub the outfit the “Southern Point & Splutter Center.”



12 Ways The Southern Poverty Law Center Is A Scam To Profit From Hate-Mongering, by Stella Morabito, The Federalist, May 18, 2017.

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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