Saturday, 23 June 2018

Acting Like a Hate Group, SPLC Pays Large Settlement and May Be Sued Further

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“SPLC” may not stand for Sneaky Propaganda and Libel Center, but more and more Americans think it should. This is especially true after the organization had to pay a large settlement to an Islamic reformer it falsely labeled an “anti-Muslim extremist,” a victory that has inspired other targeted entities to also consider suing the SPLC.

The far left-wing SPLC, or Southern Poverty Law Center, has long played a real-life cross between Santa Claus and Stalin, making a list of who’s naughty or nice and then managing to “gift” those it deems “haters” with stigmatization. Yet the misnamed organization — it has little to do with poverty or law, neither experiencing nor alleviating the former and violating the latter’s spirit — makes a habit of targeting those whose only trespass is, well, disagreeing with the SPLC. I ought to know: I myself was placed on its “HateWatch” page about a decade ago (more on that later).

The problem is that the SPLC has become the media go-to organization for who or what should be considered a “hater,” and being thus labeled can mean censorship by social media; with such media being today’s public square, this can deny the SPLC’s victims (almost always conservatives) a voice.

But one of these victims, finally, has gotten some justice. As National Review reported Monday, the SPLC “has reached a settlement with liberal Islamic reformer Maajid Nawaz and his organization, the Quilliam Foundation, for wrongly including them on its now-defunct list of ‘anti-Muslim extremists.’”

The SPLC will pay Nawaz and Quilliam $3.375 million, the “result of a lawsuit Nawaz filed in April over his inclusion on the SPLC’s ‘Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists,’” National Review further informed.

The site continued, “The list, which was published in 2016 and was intended to serve as a resource for journalists, was deleted shortly after Nawaz filed the suit…roughly two years after Nawaz first demanded a retraction.”

This victory has now inspired others. As PJ Media reported June 20:

On Wednesday, no fewer than 47 nonprofit leaders maligned by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) — many if not most of whom are considering a lawsuit against the organization — warned a vast array of executives and leaders that if they parrot the SPLC’s damaging “hate group” labels, they would be “complicit” in “defamation.”

“Editors, CEOs, shareholders and consumers alike are on notice: anyone relying upon and repeating its misrepresentations is complicit in the SPLC’s harmful defamation of large numbers of American citizens who, like the undersigned, have been vilified simply for working to protect our country and freedoms,” the signatories wrote.

The letter followed news — broken at PJ Media — that no fewer than 60 organizations are considering suing the SPLC following a groundbreaking settlement in which the organization formally apologized to a Muslim reformer, Maajid Nawaz, for branding him an “anti-Muslim extremist.”

While the SPLC rose to prominence by combating the Ku Klux Klan decades ago, it now, again, targets the “unfashionable,” such as those defending marriage and opposing the “LGBTQ” agenda. The aforementioned list of signatories bears witness to this. As the Washington Times tells us, “Signers included former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, American Values president Gary Bauer, Center for Security Policy founder Frank Gaffney, New Zealand author Trevor Loudon and ACT for America founder Brigitte Gabriel.”

“Other organizations represented include the Family Research Council, Alliance Defending Freedom, PragerU, Americans for Limited Government, the Ruth Institute, the Liberty Counsel, Public Interest Legal Foundation and WallBuilders,” the paper continued.

The SPLC even once put mild-manner physician and ex-presidential candidate Ben Carson on its “Extremist Watch List.” His sin? He opposed faux (same sex) marriage, a position that, mind you, most of the world embraces. (Video about the SPLC’s targeting of conservatives below.)

Just as incredible is my appearance on the SPLC’s “HateWatch” page, which ostensibly was warranted because I used the term “lynching” to describe the, well, media lynching that prevented radio host Rush Limbaugh from buying into the St. Louis Rams in 2009. It’s reminiscent of how President Trump was excoriated for calling MS-13 gang thugs “animals”: When at issue is someone the Left despises, it suddenly plays Mr. Spock and cannot fathom the existence of figurative speech. Never mind that CNN’s Ana Navarro had characterized Trump as an “animal” just two years before.

I wrote “ostensibly,” however, as I believe the real reason I was targeted was because I’d exposed an SPLC fund-raising deception. While the organization had claimed at the time that “right-wing” militia groups were proliferating after Barack Obama’s 2008 election, I examined the data and pointed out that most of the increase actually occurred under President G.W. Bush. A few months later, “poof!”: I became the SPLC’s Hater du Jour.

But this is standard SPLC practice. With the KKK down to just several thousand members (hundreds of whom, we understand, are FBI informants) and actual “right-wing” hate groups in short supply, the SLPC must invent them to scare its donors into forking over more money.

A good example is the “SPLC Exposes Epidemic of Nonexistent White-on-Black Violence,” as a recent American Thinker headline put it. In reality, there’s precious little such violence. As an example, 92 percent of black homicide victims are murdered by other blacks, and most of the rest are killed by Hispanics.

But the SPLC’s donors don’t know they’re being fed fantasies of white threats as fictional as Captain Ahab’s white whale or Narnia’s white witch. Thus has the SPLC’s war chest grown from approximately $200 million when I first began reporting on its shenanigans to $320 million today, 20 percent of which is invested “in offshore equities located in the Cayman Islands and elsewhere,” the Washington Times informs.

But following the money has always led right to the SPLC, as Ken Silverstein wrote in his striking 2000 Harper’s Magazine exposé “The Church of Morris Dees.” This man, dubbed by some Morris “Sleaze” Dees, is the SPLC’s co-founder and chief trial counsel. While portrayed heroically in a 1991 film, the non-fiction, non-Hollywood-enhanced Dees is somewhat different. “‘He’s the Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker [disgraced evangelists] of the civil rights movement,’ renowned anti-death-penalty lawyer Millard Farmer says of Dees, his former associate, ‘though I don’t mean to malign Jim and Tammy Faye,’” wrote Silverstein. In 1996, the then-director of the Southern Center for Human Rights, fellow leftist Stephen Bright, called Dees “a fraud and a conman.” And in 1986, Dees’ entire legal staff quit in protest because of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s refusal to, well, actually help poor people — as opposed to just showboating and virtue-signaling to make money.

Hopefully the Sneaky Propaganda and Libel Center will have to pay many, many more settlements to its much maligned victims. It certainly can afford it.

Photo: alfexe/iStock/Getty Images Plus

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