Hate Is Our Business
Last week, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) released a report entitled The Year in Hate and Extremism. It missed more than half the story.
“The number of anti-Muslim hate groups in the United States has nearly tripled since 2015,” summarized the Washington Post, “due in part to radical Islamic attacks and the incendiary rhetoric of last year’s presidential campaign.”
Mark Potok, the Center’s senior fellow, was quoted declaring that, “2016 was an unprecedented year for hate.”
Oddly, with violence and intimidation rampant against conservative speakers on college campuses and protests against Trump increasingly turning violent, none of those insurrectionist anti-capitalist groups — the Antifa or By Any Means Necessary — were mentioned in the SPLC report.
Well, it’s surprising if you didn’t already know that, while the Southern Poverty Law Center gained notoriety by winning lawsuits against the violent Ku Klux Klan and tracking the Klan, Nazis, and racist “hate groups,” it is nonetheless completely uninterested in hate and violence . . . when committed by folks on the left side of the political spectrum.
“We’re not really set up to cover the extreme Left,” was the response SPLC gave to National Review’s Charles Cooke, when he inquired about the SPLC looking at the Cuyahoga 5, arrested in 2012 for attempting to blow up a downtown bridge in Cleveland. All five men arrested were part of Occupy Cleveland (a fact that ABC News also decided didn’t matter enough to mention).
But, hey, the tripling of anti-Muslim hate groups shouldn’t be ignored, should it?
Of course not . . . if SPLC could be believed.
Writing at Reason.com last year, Jesse Walker points out that when groups splinter, they get weaker, not stronger. Yet, for SPLC purposes there are more groups to hype.
In fact, SPLC’s hate-hype machine is so lucrative that the group now boasts an incredible $250 million in the bank, in addition to raising $40 million per year.
Walker also detailed how the SPLC exaggerates the problem by counting every affiliate group as a separate hate group, writing that last year’s “list of anti-government groups, for example, includes 44 chapters of Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, 24 chapters of the John Birch Society, a separate listing for ‘the John Birch Society Shop,’ and the paleolibertarian website LewRockwell.com.”
Surprised that groups such as Eagle Forum receive listing as “hate groups”? Wonder how a website such as LewRockwell.com — featuring a variety of opinion pieces — can possibly be a “hate group”?
They have plenty of company. Any religious organization (or newsletter) holding that homosexuality is a sin or that heterosexual parents are better for children may be listed as a “hate group.” Groups such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which don’t favor open borders and amnesty for immigrants in the country illegally, are “hate groups.”
The recent headline in National Review best sums up the SPLC worldview: “Everyone Who Disagrees with the SPLC Is Hitler.”
It’s time the mainstream media got a clue and covered the SPLC accordingly. “Many news organizations, from wire services to TV networks, covered the new [SPLC] figures uncritically,” a Foreign Policy piece argued, adding that “their research needs to be weighed more carefully by media outlets that cover their pronouncements.”
This country needs an anti-hate group that isn’t itself a hate group.
Read more at Townhall
Photo credit: Spiegel