Ashley Herzog

This column will probably land me on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of “hate groups.”

After all, the left-wing group has a very broad definition of “hate.” Last week, it added the Family Research Council to its list for being “anti-gay”—alongside genuine hate groups like the KKK and Neo-Nazis.

I’m not a member of the Christian right, but I do have enough sense to realize that the FRC is a mainstream evangelical group. Its yearly event is the Values Voters Summit, which features exhibits from Christian and pro-family organizations, as well as speeches from people like Mike Huckabee and former Miss California Carrie Prejean. It’s not exactly a Klan rally. The SPLC’s classification of the FRC as a “hate group” would be laughable if it weren’t so devious.

After doing extensive research on the SPLC, the Social Contract Press revealed that the organization “has little to do with assisting poor people and much to do with enriching its already well-heeled directors…[The SPLC] has been rated ‘poor’ by Charity Navigator, stating that net assets were $152 million.” In short: the SPLC isn’t a nonprofit run by brave civil rights crusaders. It’s a band of sleazy, greedy lawyers who have gotten rich by declaring organizations hate groups and suing them. (After I write this column, they’ll probably try to sue me.)

And that’s when they’re not harassing people with endless fundraising letters warning of a resurgence of extremism. This is despite the fact that the KKK, America’s most infamous hate group, has 8,000 members nationwide (an estimated 10 percent of them FBI informants)--down from 6 million in the 1920s.

So they pad their list with mainstream conservative groups like the FRC so it can claim in fundraising letters that there’s been a 54 percent increase in the number of hate groups since 2000. And, despite the SPLC’s definition of hate as vilifying an entire group for their “immutable traits,” they’ve added immigration-control groups to the list. Apparently, the desire to cross the border illegally is now genetic.

Ashley Herzog

Ashley Herzog can be reached at