Reader comment: What I learned about the SPLC over the years

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SPLC

This is from Deena Flinchum (see a previous comment here) who enlightens us on the Southern Poverty Law Center and how they have evolved over the last 4 decades. (Emphasis is mine)

Ann, I sent this to a reporter and thought you might find it interesting:

The social philosopher Eric Hoffer, author of The True Believer, once said: “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” This has been my observation of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

In 1973, I received a fundraising letter from the SPLC signed by Julian Bond, an icon of the civil rights movement, asking me to become a retainer supporter, meaning I’d send a monthly payment to retain lawyers for African-Americans seeking to secure voting rights, access to schools and neighborhoods, etc. I readily agreed, sending in my monthly contribution for over 25 years. Never missed a single payment. I was gratified to see progress in a cause I believed in and to have a chance to be a part of it.

As time went by, I saw less and less civil rights work but the fundraising continued.

We were told that SPLC needed to put away a lot of reserves so that they could withstand loss of contributions, etc. In essence, SPLC had become a business, piling up retained earnings from contributions that they didn’t spend on the cause. I began to see more effort in hunting down ‘hate’ and less on suing entities on behalf of those whose civil rights were being violated. It costs a lot less to ship copies of Teaching Tolerance out to schools and libraries and to designate as ‘hate groups’ organizations that disagree with you on issues than it does to finance complex lawsuits. More money in the reserve fund!

The break for this old-line environmentalist came when SPLC entered its racket phase by declaring FAIR and CIS – two organizations that saw massive immigration as not a good thing for the US – to be ‘hate groups’. How can two very mainstream organizations, ones who shared the opinions of the Jordan Commission led by Congresswoman Barbara Jordan under President Bill Clinton, be classified in the same terms as the KKK and Nazis? Were Congresswoman Jordan and President Clinton ‘far-right haters’? Hardly. I stopped my support immediately and told SPLC why. I was left alone for years until after Trump’s election when, I guess, SPLC considered me fair game again. I’ve had about 4 letters since then wanting me to re-up. Hilarious!

No way. I look upon the SPLC the same as I do scammers who try to separate senior citizens from their savings by pretending to be good causes intent upon some good work or another if only the mark would come through with hard cold cash. Unfortunately too many still do.

I’m stunned that anybody in the media takes the SPLC seriously anymore after all of the exposure there has been about their dishonesty, discrimination in hiring, and simple greed. All they are doing with their ‘hate group’ designations is trying to shut down dissent or even discussion if it varies from their opinions. I firmly believe that a lack of discussion over the years because people were afraid of being smeared is what has led to a lot of the bitterness in the debate over immigration now.

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