Americans fought a civil war to enhance civil rights. We work tirelessly to expand diversity and marginalize hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan and factions of neo-Nazis.
Meanwhile, a rich and powerful domestic hate group has fooled the masses into embracing and funding it. The hate organization uses the mainstream media like a sock puppet that blurts "racist" on cue.
The Southern Poverty Law Center foments hatred under a pretense of fighting "hate and bigotry." For years, The Colorado Springs Gazette's editorial board sounded a lonely voice warning about the hateful, judgmental and fraudulent tactics this law firm uses to raise money and benefit the left by destroying individuals on the right.
Today, we are far from alone.
Washington Post columnist Marc A. Thiessen took on the Southern Poverty Law Center in June, under the headline "The Southern Poverty Law Center has lost all credibility."
Thiessen documents how the law firm makes money by "labeling virtually anyone who does not fall in line with its left-wing ideology an 'extremist' or 'hate group.'"
Last week, Washington Post general features writer David Montgomery eviscerated the hateful law firm in a 7,000-word expose titled "The State of Hate: Researchers at The Southern Poverty Law Center have set themselves up as the ultimate judges of hate in America. But are they judging fairly?"
Nearly every inch of the article leaves the reader answering "no."
The article begins with retired Lt. Gen. William G. "Jerry" Boykin showing the reporter a bullet hole in the wall of the Family Research Council's office in Washington. Boykin, former undersecretary of defense of intelligence under George W. Bush, serves as executive vice president of the research council.
The bullet hole attests to the first round fired by Floyd Lee Corkins in 2012. The second round went through the arm of building manager Leo Johnson, who tackled Corkins and prevented a massacre. Corkins told the FBI he planned to shoot up the family values lobbying organization because the Southern Poverty Law Center blacklisted it as an anti-gay hate group.
Montgomery's interview with the law center president Richard Cohen reveals how the law firm uses the "hate" label as an instrument of force against those with mainstream values that simply conflict with those of the far left.
Montgomery asks Cohen about the hate listing of organizations advocating secure borders and immigration reform, such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform. He asks about the hate listing of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a nonprofit law firm that helps people fight to preserve their First Amendment rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion.
Do they, Montgomery asks, "really have so much in common with neo-Nazis and the Klan that they belong in the same bucket of shame?"
"Obviously the hate label is a blunt one," Cohen says. "It's one of the things that gives it power... The fact that a group like the ADF can get in front of the Supreme Court — to me that makes them more dangerous, not less so."
Got that? The leader of the Southern Poverty hate group thinks a group of pro-bono lawyers, petitioning the Supreme Court for just airings of grievances, poses more danger than the Klan — an organization best known for lynching, torturing, raping and dragging minorities to their deaths. That is just plain sick, Cohen.
For the record, the ADF frequently wins at the Supreme Court. It is the law firm that showed the Supreme Court how the Colorado Civil Rights Commission committed a veritable hate crime against cake designer Jack Phillips by calling his religion "despicable" and forcing him into political re-education for practicing his faith.
The haters of the Southern Poverty Law Firm sit on an endowment of roughly $400 million, generated mostly by fundraising efforts that scare people with a "hate map" that shows "hate groups" throughout the country.
Until recently, victims of the SPLC felt helpless. Then, Maajid Nawaz sued the center for including him in the "Field Guide to anti-Muslim Extremists." Nawaz wound up on a hate list for advocating the peaceful practice of Islam over violent Islamic "extremism." The law center settled for $3.4 million last summer.
Few things are more hateful than maligning peaceable, loving people as hateful — for money and political gain.
Victims of the law center should not passively endure the hateful politics of personal destruction. They should follow the Nawaz lead and sue. The law center's $400 million war chest should become a reparation fund to compensate targets of a longstanding, self-serving and careless campaign of hate.
REPRINTED FROM THE COLORADO SPRINGS GAZETTE