The start of the new year presents an opportunity to look back on the good works of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which purports to “fight hate” in the U.S., for only $86,500 a day.
This claim, no doubt, is the main reason why hundreds of thousands of mostly elderly donors sent the SPLC more than $31 million donor-dollars in 2010. After all, who wouldn’t want to do their part to “fight hate”?
Perhaps the best place to begin would be with the SPLC’s own case docket, found on their own website. A quick glance at the docket shows 16 cases for 2011, almost equally divided between law suits filed against under-funded school districts and suits filed on behalf of immigrants and illegal aliens.
In one “case,” the SPLC threatened to sue a school district for disqualifying a high school Homecoming King and Queen because both students were female. The school backed down before the “case” went to court.
While some may argue that these cases are important too, it really does not require a multimillion dollar law firm to file these suits, and let’s face it… “fighting hate” this ain’t.
By its own accounting, the SPLC hasn’t sued a “hate group” in nearly five years, and has only done so three times since 2000. In each of these cases the modus operandi has been the same:
1. Local thugs commit a crime, usually assault, are arrested, tried and sentenced to prison.
2. The SPLC steps in with a civil law suit, ostensibly on behalf of the victims.
3. The SPLC’s fund-raising machinery goes into high gear, bombarding the donors and the media with grisly descriptions of the crime and pleading for more money to “fight hate.”
4. The court finds in favor of the victims, awarding astronomical damages that the defendants will never begin to pay, especially from prison.
5. The SPLC pockets millions of tax-free donor-dollars garnered at the expense of the victims, who, of course, do not receive a single dime from the SPLC’s windfall.
Following the docket back in time we see that the SPLC pursued about the same number of cases in 2010, but then the numbers drop dramatically to 5 or 6 cases a year from that point back. In the meantime, the SPLC claims that the number of “hate groups” more than doubled since the year 2000.
Considering the SPLC has taken in more than a third of a BILLION dollars in the same time span, it doesn’t look like the donors are getting much of a return on investment.
The header for the “hate incidents” page includes an interesting turn of phrase that equates these “incidents” with actual “hate crimes.”
A closer look at the SPLC’s “data,” as usual, paints a very different story. First, note that the header states that the “incidents” are “drawn primarily from media sources.” This is because the SPLC does no original investigation of its own.
Since the media and law enforcement steadfastly refuse to examine any of the SPLC’s claims, this is not a problem for them.
As of this writing, data for only the first three quarters of 2011 was available on the SPLC web site, so let’s take a look at 2010, the last full year of reporting:
The SPLC reports 234 “hate incidents” for 2010, including arson, assault, harassment and murder, among other “incidents.”
Both of the “incidents” listed under “arson” are actually assaults, with no references to any fires set.
An “incident” where a black and an Asian man in Seattle nearly beat a 16 year-old white boy to death, because he was white, is listed under “vandalism.”
As it turns out, “vandalism” is the largest category of “incidents,” comprising 31% of the total. The majority of acts of vandalism involved graffiti.
Second to vandalism on the list is the category “legal developments,” coming in at 26% of the total. “Legal developments” consist entirely of follow-up reports on the charges, pleas and sentencing of people involved in previously listed “incidents.”
How in the world can these be counted as “hate incidents”??? This double-dipping serves only to pad out the numbers.
*** UPDATE *** The SPLC has released its full list of “hate incidents” for 2011, citing 112 “legal developments,” or an incredible 35% of the 312 “incidents” listed for the year.
This kind of fast and loose addition is the stock and trade of the SPLC’s public relations guru, Mark Potok. Potok makes up these numbers out of thin air and the media accepts and repeats them without vetting a single claim.
Two other categories of “incidents” making up 11% of the total, include “leafletting” and “rallies.” While the majority of people may or may not agree with the messages promoted by the participants, these are Constitutionally protected civil rights!!
An entry for a rally in Frankfort Township, Illinois, is listed twice, is just one of several examples where the same “incident” is reported more than once, just to pad out the totals.
Again, for the purposes of SPLC fund-raising, it really makes no difference what they write or how obvious it is that the numbers are meaningless. NOBODY EVER VETS THESE NUMBERS!
The same well-meaning folks who sent the SPLC hundreds of millions of donor-dollars since 2000 will continue to do so in the belief that they are somehow “fighting hate.”