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It's Time To Put Away Our Phones

The Hate Industry

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

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.

Profit, not tolerance, has been the goal all along. The SPLC’s founder, Morris Dees, started out defending Klan members before he realized he could make more money suing them. As the Social Contract Press discovered, “Dees won a judgment for a black woman whose son was killed by Klansmen. She received $51,875 as settlement. Mr. Dees, according to an investigation by the Montgomery Advertiser, pulled in $9 million from fund-raising solicitation letters that featured a particularly gruesome photograph of the grieving mother's son. Mr. Dees offered the grieving mother none of the $9 million her son's death made for him.” He probably bought a new vacation home with it. It’s hard to say where else the money goes, since in 2007, the SPLC raised twice as much money as it spent on its anti-hate programs.

With a miniscule number of genuine hate groups left in America, the SPLC has simply stretched the definitions of “extremist” and “hate groups.” It was bad enough when fellow phony Southern folksy lawyer John Edwards made a fortune by suing doctors based on specious medical claims. The SPLC ruins reputations and slanders decent people who don’t believe in gay marriage or illegal immigration.

The only thing remarkable about the FRC’s classification as a “hate group” is the fact that anyone still takes these shysters seriously.

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