The Southern Poverty Law Center touts itself, according to a recent article:
[A]s a humble little non-profit doing the people’s work of identifying and eradicating racism. They’d have us believe they’re just an unassuming little band of warriors carrying out their mission from what they surely see as Racism Central … the deep South. In this case, Alabama.
The media, especially CNN of late, swallows its grossly inaccurate propaganda — for that’s exactly what it is — hook, line, and sinker, to the serious detriment of those it places on its “hate map” because it does not agree with their political and/or ideological views. However, the recent disclosures of its transfers of millions of dollars to offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda, highly unusual, to put it most charitably (pun intended), for a 501 (c) (3) “non”-profit, are causing many to take a closer look at this obscenely wealthy hate machine. This was vividly illustrated by the excellent reportage of Joe Schoffstall of the Washington Free Beacon in one of several recent articles shining the bright light of sunshine on the true nature of this fundraising hatemonger.
It must be noted, however, that political commentators and analysts have been sounding the alarm for years, as shown by deeply researched articles going back to 2010, 2013, and several excellent and carefully documented studies over the past few months, here, here, and here.
A brief scan of the titles of recent articles makes it clear that more and more light is being shed on this reckless slander machine, such as “Our Leading Hate Group,” “Hate Group hits Jackpot,” “The Hatemongers at the Southern Poverty Law Center are even worse than you think,” “Getting Rich on Poverty Law or Something,” “Trust Not the Southern Poverty Law Center,” and “A Demagogic Bully,” just to name a few.
One of the best brief summaries of the breadth and scope of the hateful, if I may be permitted to the use of that word to describe such an organization, slander and careless besmirching of names and reputations by this “Poverty” law group (by the way, when did that become a recognized sub-specialty in the law?) is found in a letter recently sent to the media by representatives of conservative and traditional values advocacy organizations. This letter urged the media to cease “using the SPLC’s data and its various lists and maps in your reporting”, after setting out a great deal of very persuasive evidence to support their characterization of the SPLC as a “a discredited, left-wing, political activist organization that seeks to silence its political opponents with a “hate group” label of its own invention and application that is not only false and defamatory, but that also endangers the lives of those targeted with it.”
The letter recounted the domestic terrorist attack by a deranged person on the Washington, D.C. office of the Family Research Council in 2012 in which he badly wounded the building manager who stopped him from engaging in a killing spree. The danger of the reckless slander spewed by the SPLC was illustrated by the evidence in the federal criminal case record:
That day, Corkins carried both the means to carry out this act of terrorism and a list of additional targets. The U.S. Attorney stated in federal court that Corkins targeted FRC and the additional targets by using the SPLC website’s “Hate Map.” On February 6, 2013, Corkins pleaded guilty to three felonies, and became the first person convicted of violating the District of Columbia’s Anti-Terrorism Act of 2002.
The letter also cited this evidence from the more recent case of Bernie Sanders supporter James Hodgkinson, who set out to shoot as many Republican members of Congress as possible, almost killing House Whip Steve Scalise:
More recently, James Hodgkinson, the attempted political assassin of House Whip, Rep. Steve Scalise and many other Republican members of the U.S. House and Senate, was discovered by the public to have “liked” the SPLC on Facebook. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, “Support for Southern Poverty Law Center Links Scalise, Family Research Council Shooters” (June 14, 2017). Scalise had for years been the subject of the SPLC’s vitriol.
Their “hate net” reaches far and wide, as vividly illustrated in a couple of recent examples, including attacking Presidential candidate and former neurosurgeon of universal renown, Dr. Ben Carson because of his biblical views:
Ben Carson had the unfortunate distinction of making the SPLC’s list in 2014, though the criticisms from the public were so vehement that the SPLC was pressured into removing him.
Recently, the SPLC made the apparently rare mistake of casting their net of hate over an organization which decided to fight back:
Fort Lauderdale, FL: Dr. Frank Wright, President & Chief Executive Officer at D. James Kennedy Ministries (DJKM), announced that DJKM filed suit today in the United States District Court against the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that the SPLC illegally trafficked in false and misleading descriptions of the services offered by DJKM and committed defamation against DJKM arising from the publication and distribution of false information that libels the ministry’s reputation and subjects the ministry to disgrace, ridicule, odium, and contempt in the estimation of the public.
In a statement released today, Dr. Wright said: “We embarked today on a journey to right a terrible wrong. Those who knowingly label Christian ministries as ‘hate’ groups, solely for subscribing to the historic Christian faith, are either woefully uninformed or willfully deceitful. In the case of the Southern Poverty Law Center, our lawsuit alleges the latter.
Wright went on to say: “These false and illegal characterizations have a chilling effect on the free exercise of religion and on religious free speech for all people of faith. After having given the SPLC an opportunity to retract, we have undertaken this legal action, seeking a trial by a jury of our peers, to preserve our own rights under the law and to defend the religious free speech rights of all Americans.
But, while it has committed many outrages with its “hate maps,” “hate lists,” and various other scaremongering tactics, the slander which has raised the most ire recently has been the inclusion of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the details of which are outlined in the letter referenced above:
The SPLC attacked numerous critics of radical Islam in one of its recent publications, “A Journalist’s Manual: Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists,” but the seventh profile was particularly disturbing. In it, the SPLC slandered human rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a woman who has experienced the violent and misogynistic side of Islam first-hand. The first sentence of the two-page section defaming her stated, “Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Somali-born activist who says she endured female genital mutilation and fled civil wars and an arranged marriage in Africa.
Ms. Ali answered this sleaze attack in an op-ed in the New York Times, entitled “Why Is the Southern Poverty Law Center Targeting Liberals?”. After noting the millions of dollars donated by the CEO of Apple, celebrity George Clooney and J.P. Morgan Chase Bank (currently our bank; perhaps not much longer), she said:
I am a black woman, a feminist and a former Muslim who has consistently opposed political violence. The price for expressing my beliefs has been high: I must travel with armed security at all times. My friend and collaborator Theo van Gogh was murdered in broad daylight.
Yet the S.P.L.C. has the audacity to label me an “extremist,” including my name in a “Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists” that it published on its website last October.
In that guide, the S.P.L.C. claims that I am a “propagandist far outside the political mainstream” and warns journalists to avoid my “damaging misinformation.” These groundless smears are deeply offensive, as I have dedicated much of my adult life to calling out the true extremists: organizations such as Al Qaeda and ISIS. Yet you will look in vain for the S.P.L.C.’s “Field Guide to Muslim Extremists.” No such list exists.
That’s a shame, because Islamic extremism — a movement that aims to impose a caliphate and Sharia law by violent means — is as toxic as white supremacy. In the past two decades, it has certainly been responsible for many more deaths.
Like neo-Nazis, Islamic extremists despise liberalism. They deny the equality of the sexes, justify wife-beating and, in some cases, even the enslavement of female unbelievers. The Islamic State and groups like it regularly murder gay people in the most heinous ways. Islamic extremists are also virulently anti-Semitic, like the Nazis before them. And like today’s American Nazis, they brandish swastikas, chant slurs and peddle conspiracy theories.
Ms. Ali closed her op-ed with a most interesting question, which serves as a perfect segue into a final discussion of some explosive revelations recently about the “unusual” financial transactions of this “non”-profit “charitable organization:
Cui bono? That question is nearly always the right one to ask of organizations like the S.P.L.C. Who really benefits from their activities? Repeatedly, and for more than a decade, journalists at publications ranging from Harper’s to Politico to The Nation to The Weekly Standard have pointed out that the center’s founders seem more interested in profiting off the anxieties and white guilt of Northern liberals than in upholding the civil rights of poor Southerners, or anyone else. There’s a less cynical explanation, though, which is that liberals are deeply and increasingly uncomfortable with calling out Islamic extremism for fear of being smeared as “Islamophobic,” or worse.
Cui bono, indeed! According to several meticulously reported exposés in the past few weeks, examination of financial records of this fundraising machine shows that it reports over $69 million of “non-U.S. equity funds” among the assets comprising the total endowment fund of almost $320 million. In other words, it has $69 million in offshore banks. Once again, that total asset figure – for a “non”-profit, tax-exempt charitable organization—is $320 million!
A reporter with the Washington Free Beacon, Joe Schoffstall, examined many records of this “charity” and observed:
The nonprofit pushed millions more into offshore funds at the beginning of 2015.
On March 1, 2015, SPLC sent $2,200,000 to an entity incorporated in Canana Bay, Cayman Islands, according to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) records and run by a firm based in Greenwich, Ct. Another $2,200,000 cash transfer was made on the same day to another fund whose business is located at the same address as the previous fund in the Cayman Islands, according to SEC records.
Tax experts contacted by the reporter expressed serious doubts about the ethics, if not the legality, of these transfers:
Tax experts expressed confusion when being told of the transfer.
I’ve never known a US-based nonprofit dealing in human rights or social services to have any foreign bank accounts,” said Amy Sterling Casil, CEO of Pacific Human Capital, a California-based nonprofit consulting firm. “My impression based on prior interactions is that they have a small, modestly paid staff, and were regarded by most in the industry as frugal and reliable. I am stunned to learn of transfers of millions to offshore bank accounts. It is a huge red flag and would have been completely unacceptable to any wealthy, responsible, experienced board member who was committed to a charitable mission who I ever worked with.
It is unethical for any US-based charity to invest large sums of money overseas,” said Casil. “I know of no legitimate reason for any US-based nonprofit to put money in overseas, unregulated bank accounts.
It seems extremely unusual for a ‘501(c)(3)’ concentrating upon reducing poverty in the American South to have multiple bank accounts in tax haven nations,” Charles Ortel, a former Wall Street analyst and financial advisor who helped uncover a 2009 financial scandal at General Electric, told the Free Beacon.
In my view, the most telling comment about these “questionable,” to put it mildly, transfers was made by a representative of one of the targets of SPLC’s hate net:
“I’ve never heard of a group with ‘Poverty’ in its name that has so much money,” said Kerri Kupec of the Alliance for Defending Freedom, an organization that has been on the receiving end of SPLC’s well-funded smear campaign. “On other hand, considering who we are talking about, it comes as no surprise. Whether it’s shady money transfers or being discredited for decades by investigative journalists and charity watchdogs as a ‘direct mail scam,’ the Southern Poverty Law Center lost its way a long time ago.”
The best way to sum up the extreme and hateful bile this organization spews so recklessly upon with whom it disagrees and the potential damage it can do to the lives of is to quote from a speech given by Israel’s Ambassador to the United States to a meeting of one of its targets. Speaking of the shock of learning that SPLC had placed Ayaan Hirsi Ali on one of its hate lists, he had this to say:
But the biggest shock of all came when I saw a name on that [SPLC] list of someone I regard as a hero – Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
For those of you who do not know Ayaan, she was the Dutch parliamentarian who in 2004 produced a film with Theo Van Gogh called Submission, which focused on the oppression of women in the Muslim world.
Because of that film, Van Gogh was assassinated by a fanatic Muslim and Ayaan was forced into hiding. She has had to live with death threats and under constant protection ever since.
Yet rather than cower in anonymity, Ayaan writes books, publishes articles, makes speeches and fights for her ideas – in particular, the need for sweeping reform in the Muslim world.
Today, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is one of the world’s great champions of freedom, pluralism and tolerance.
And every self-respecting group that claims to value any of those things should be defending her not defaming her.
Yet in an Orwellian inversion of reality, a woman whose life is threatened every day by extremist Muslims is labeled by the SPLC an anti-Muslim extremist.
Have those who put Ayaan on that list no shame? Have they no decency?
The SPLC and others who asked me not to come here tonight claim to support free and open debate. But in reality, they seem to want to stifle debate….
Unfortunately, some have amended that famous Voltairian dictum to be “I hate what you say and I will never defend your right to say it.”
I will defame you as an extremist. I will label you a racist and a bigot. I will put you on the blackest of lists that should be reserved for Nazis, for the Klan, and for the true enemies of mankind.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, I don’t stand with the defamers and the blacklisters. I stand with Ayaan Hirsi Ali. We all should stand with Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
For if we do not stand with her, then the values she champions – the same values we cherish – will be under threat and the dangers we face will only grow.
We must not let the defamers and blacklisters succeed….
While I devoutly wish I could answer the Ambassador in another way, the fact is that this organization has proven repeatedly that it has no shame, and it has no decency. The only way I see to stop this sleaze machine would be for far-leftist sources of big money to read such heartfelt pleas as that of the Ambassador and his friend Ms Ali’s op-ed so they can realize what a truly dangerous propaganda machine the SPLC really is.
However, for those of us who have taken the time and effort to inform ourselves, it is certainly true to say: “We must not let the defamers and blacklisters succeed”!