Smears for Money
A Commentary By John Stossel
The Southern Poverty Law Center just released a report claiming there are 1,225 hate and anti-government groups in America. These groups cause "fear and pain (in) Black, brown, and LGBTQ communities."
The SPLC lists such groups on its "hate map."
I once believed the center. Well-meaning people still do. Apple once gave them $1 million.
But what donors don't know is that today, the SPLC smears good people, not just "haters."
Ayaan Hirsi Ali grew up Muslim in Somalia, but now she criticizes radical Islam and sometimes (maybe this is what really bothers the SPLC) fraternizes with American conservatives. The center put Hirsi Ali on its list.
The center also smears the Family Research Council. I sometimes disagree with the council. But they don't belong on a "hate map."
"When they don't agree with you politically, they're going to list you as a 'hater,'" says council Executive Vice President Jerry Boykin in my new video.
"You are a hater!" I tell him. "You hate gays."
"No, I don't hate gay people!" he responds. "I know gay people, and I've worked with gay people." The council merely opposed gay marriage, an opinion they shared with Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton ...
One man became so enraged by what the SPLC wrote, he went to the council's headquarters to kill people. He shot a security guard. Fortunately, that wounded guard stopped him before he could shoot anyone else.
"He told the judge that he was there to kill as many of us as possible because we were a 'hate group,'" says Boykin.
The center also smears the Ruth Institute, a Christian group that believes adoption agencies should first try to place children with straight couples.
I told Ruth Institute President Jennifer Morse that she must be "a hater."
"I like gay people!" she laughs. "I have no problem with gay people! That's not the issue. ... There could be cases where the best person for a particular child would be their Uncle Harry and his boyfriend. ... But we owe it to the children to give them the best we can, which generally is a married mother and father."
When the SPLC put the institute on its hate map, its bank cut them off.
"You're an organization that promotes hate, violence ...," wrote the bank. "Therefore we're not doing business with you."
The Ruth Institute and Family Research Council are still on the hate list.
"There's no appeal. I sure don't know how you get off," Morse complains.
I suspect the center keeps its hate list long to bring in lots of money.
The center pays some of its people more than $400,000 a year.
"More than my entire annual budget," Morse says. "So yeah, whatever they're doing -- it pays."
It sure does. Harper's Magazine once reported that the center was the richest civil rights group in America, one that spends most of its time and energy trying to raise more money. They promised they'd stop fundraising once their endowment reached $55 million. But when they reached $55 million, they raised their goal to $100 million, saying $100 million would allow them to "cease costly fundraising."
But when they reached $100 million -- they didn't cease. They collected $200 million. Then $400 million. Now they have $730 million.
Yet they still raise money.
"Much of which is in offshore accounts in the Caymans," says Boykin.
It's true. You can see it on their tax forms.
Today the SPLC even smears groups like Moms for Liberty and Moms for America, calling them anti-government extremists because they oppose sexually explicit content in schools, and seek school board seats to try to "stop ... school districts (from) disregarding the opinions of parents."
Give me a break. The center puts Moms for America on its "hate map," but not Antifa, the hate group that beats up people on the right.
Today the Southern Poverty Law Center is a hate group itself.
It's a left-wing, money-grabbing smear machine. Every Tuesday at JohnStossel.com, Stossel posts a new video about the battle between government and freedom. He is the author of "Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media."
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