Attorney General Jeff Sessions yesterday not only completely discredited the Southern Poverty Law Center, he cut it off at the knees. He eviscerated it. He completely and thoroughly destroyed its credibility. Good for him.
The SPLC did some good civil rights work back in the day, and even won a $7 million wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the bereaved mother of a young black man, who died at the hands of a Klansman. (This was after Jeff Sessions, as Alabama’s attorney general, had gotten the Klansman sentenced to death.) The award bankrupted the Ku Klux Klan in the South. The KKK had no assets other than a broken down warehouse, so that’s what the mother got in the settlement.
Meanwhile, the SPLC went out and raised $9 million off this case, of which the mother saw precisely zero dollars. The SPLC kept it all, and left the mother with a worthless building. Since then, the SPLC has continued to pad its coffers, and now has a $477 million endowment, a lot of it tucked away safely in the Cayman Islands where the IRS can’t get to it.
Realize now that the SPLC presents itself as the champion of the little people, the champion who will fight for their civil rights in court. Well, last year, the SPLC spent a measly $3 million pursuing legal remedies for downtrodden clients while sitting on their obscene bankroll in the Caribbean. In other words, there is no “poverty” at the Southern Poverty Law Center, and precious little “law.” The SPLC spends three times as much on fundraising as it does on legal representation. Its founder, Morris Dees, was elected to the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame in 1998.
Even the Washington Post, no friend of any of the conservative groups the SPLC has blacklisted, says bluntly that the “Southern Poverty Center has lost all credibility.” Things have gotten so bad the SPLC actually paid a $3.4 million settlement to a Muslim they had falsely accused of being an extremist.
Jeff Sessions brought the hammer down on this smear machine in his speech to the ADF, the Alliance Defending Freedom, one of the leading First Amendment law firms in the country, which is ridiculously labeled as a “hate group” by the SPLC. ADF has won no less than nine Supreme Court cases in the last seven years.
After reviewing the sordid history of the SPLC, Sessions said, "I have ordered a review at the Department of Justice to make sure that we do not partner with any groups that discriminate. We will not partner with groups that unfairly defame Americans for standing up for the Constitution or their faith."
He eviscerated the SPLC by correctly accusing it of being energized by “a bigoted ideology which is founded on animus towards people of faith."
Sessions has done America a great turn here by calling out the SPLC as the real haters and bigots on the American landscape. The AFA was one of the first groups the SPLC targeted in its institutional jihad, demonizing us as haters for our position on homosexuality, homosexual marriage, and the threat of fundamentalist Islam.
But the truth is that we are not haters. We do not hate anyone. We love everyone enough to tell them the truth. Let’s never forget that truth is not hate, speaking the truth is not hate speech, and discernment is not bigotry. The sooner the SPLC figures that out, the better off they will be.