Archive for March, 2012

SPLC — More “Hate Group” Hypocrisy

March 12, 2012

The Southern Poverty Law Center for decades has been known as the “champion” of poor blacks in the U.S. This past year it has taken on the mantle of Defender of Islam in America.

Both are worthy undertakings, yet, once again, a closer examination of the SPLC’s own data reveal a very, very different story.

This week the SPLC released its annual “Hate Map” designating “hate groups” across the Realm. Guess who leads the pack of evil “hate groups” in America once again?

If you actually look at the SPLC’s spurious data, something NO mainstream media outlet can bother to do, you find that 247 of the the 1,018 “hate groups” designated by the SPLC are homeless. Nobody, not even the SPLC’s $150,000 donor-dollar-a-year public relations guru, Mark Potok, can tell you where those 247 “groups” are located, so why are they even counted?

So let’s do the math, minus the 1 in 4 “mystery” groups, the SPLC’s leading “hate groups” boil down to this:

Neo-Nazis         168-55= 113

Ku Klux Klan    152-70= 82

Skinheads         132-61= 71

Separatists        140-3= 137

And who exactly make up the “Black Separatist” movement, the most populous “hate group” in America? Chapters of the Nation of Islam and its auxiliaries, i.e., Black Muslims.

Far be it from Watching the Watchdogs to point out glaring “inconsistencies” in SPLC logic, but these are their own numbers.

Now do you get it?

If not, cut a check, a very generous check, to the SPLC today. After all, they’re down to their last $223 MILLION.

SPLC – 2012 – Still Caucasian after all these years

March 12, 2012

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It’s 2012, and here are the leaders the Southern Poverty Law Center. Presented here, according to the SPLC’s most recent IRS Form 990,  are “the nation’s leading civil rights group’s” top nine, highest paid executives, their titles and compensation packages and any significant changes in their base salaries from the previous year:

Richard Cohen — President/CEO — $339,764
Morris Dees — Founder and Chief Trial Counsel — $343,676 (-$1,133)
Joseph Levin — Director and General Counsel — $184, 411  (-$58)
Mary Bauer — Legal Director — $164,103 (-$94,566, Ouch!)
Teenie Hutchinson — CFO — $156,623 159,752 (+$3,129)
Wendy Via — Development Director — $148,537
Mark Potok — Intelligence Director — $151,392  (
David Utter — Director — Miami — 
$155,777 (+$18,521)

Not shown is Michael Toohey, the SPLC’s COO, $230,181 (+$4,416).  If anyone knows of a public photo of Mr. Toohey, please pass the info along to Watching the Watchdogs.

While there is some minor fluctuation in the compensation numbers, these need to be compared to the 4-,5- and even 6-digit raises the execs voted themselves the year before.

If you examine the photos closely, you may note a surprising coincidence: ALL of the SPLC’s highest paid executives are white.

Some people may find it odd that a civil rights organization, headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama, the very birthplace of the American Civil Rights Movement and home to Rosa Parks, would be run by white millionaires. Despite being located literally in the back yard of Dr. Martin Luther King’s home church, the Southern Poverty Law Center has NEVER hired a person of color to a highly paid position of power in its entire 41-year history!

Even the SPLC’s laughably named “Teaching Tolerance” program, which preaches diversity to K-12 schoolchildren and their teachers has been managed by “whites only” for 20 of its 21 years!

As long ago as 1994, Dan Morse, an investigative reporter for the Montgomery Advertiser noted the lack of diversity in the SPLC’s executive suite, and the situation has not changed whatsoever in the 17 years since.

(Dan Morse, “Equal Treatment? No blacks in center’s leadership,” Montgomery Advertiser, February 16, 1994.)

“Inside [SPLC headquarters], no blacks have held top management positions in the center’s 23-year history, and some former employees say blacks are treated like second-class citizens.”

The article continues:

“I would definitely say that there was not a single black employee with whom I spoke who was happy to be working there,” said Christine Lee, a black graduate of Harvard Law School who interned at the Law Center in 1989.”

In his defense, SPLC founder Morris Dees offered the following statements:

“There ain’t no plantation mentality. If that was the case, I don’t know what the blacks would be doing in the positions they are…” In 1994, when Dees made this eloquent statement, the SPLC’s highest paid African American employee was in charge of the mail room, where she had worked for the previous 20-plus years.

“It is not easy to find black lawyers. Any organization can tell you that.” This could be true. After all, for decades NFL and NBA team owners made the exact same arguments to explain their all-white executive suites, right?

“Well, we would hire a black head coach, only there aren’t any…”

And not to get nit-picky, but lawyers make up only about half of the SPLC’s top dogs. Apparently, it’s not easy to find black accountants, computer experts or public relations people in 2012, either.

Supporters of the SPLC will often point to the diverse “Board of Directors” posted on the SPLC’s web site as proof of inclusion at the top:

A veritable rainbow of diversity and multiculturalism, however the IRS Form 990 indicates that the board members are unpaid volunteers, which is not uncommon among such boards in the corporate world. The real question is how much influence does the board have over SPLC policies and practices?

During the same week-long investigative report of the SPLC, Dan Morse noted that most of the board members were old friends and cronies of Morris Dees who regularly rubber-stamped whatever the maestro put before them. Some of the board members in Morse’s 1994 report are still on the SPLC board today.

(Dan Morse, “Friendly Board,” Montgomery Advertiser, February 19, 1994.)

Conspicuously absent from the pantheon of highest grossing SPLC Movers and Shakers is Dr. Heidi Beirich. Dr. Beirich began working at the SPLC in the late 90s, around the same time as her boss Mark Potok, yet her longevity and advanced education have not done much to advance her career.

Dr. Beirich holds a PhD and two master’s degrees, compared to Mark Potok’s single Poli-Sci bachelor’s degree, yet even when an earlier IRS Form 990 included execs whose compensation dipped into the mere $70,000s, Dr. B. was nowhere to be found.

In short, it seems that Heidi Beirich, who gets as much face time on the networks as Mark Potok, is paid about half of what her less-educated male boss makes.

Apparently, it’s a man’s world at the SPLC, Dr. Beirich. A white man’s world.

SPLC — 2011 “Hate Map” — Another Year of Lies

March 9, 2012

The Southern Poverty Law Center has released its annual “Hate Map” fund-raising tool today. The SPLC claims it has designated 1,018 “hate groups” in the US in 2011.

Let’s have a look those numbers, but first, a few background facts are in order:

1. There is NO legal definition of “hate group,” which is why even the FBI does not, cannot, designate “hate groups.”

The SPLC uses the deliberately meaningless term “hate groups” in its fund-raising materials because it allows them to denigrate groups and individuals with which it disagrees without accusing them of any actual crimes, as noted in the last line of the “Hate Map” legend:

“Listing here does not imply a group advocates or engages in violence or other criminal activity.”

The fact of the matter is that the whole reason for a “Hate Map” is to imply that the “groups” on it are violent criminals. This has been the foundation of the SPLC’s ongoing fear campaign for more than 30 years. To this end, the “Hate Map” legend also states that:

“Hate group activities can include criminal acts, marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing.”

Marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, etc. are all Constitutionally protected under the Bill of Rights. The SPLC deliberately conflates these basic civil rights with criminal acts and “hate group” activities because it frightens their mostly elderly donor base.

2. The SPLC provides no information on the exact location of these groups or their membership numbers. In fact, they don’t even bother to affiliate 247 of these “groups” with any known city or town. That’s 24% right off the top. In many cases, 60%, 80% and even an incredible 100% of the “hate groups” in a given state are homeless.

Watching the Watchdogs questioned the SPLC’s public relations guru, Mark Potok, about these wild discrepancies last fall. Potok, who is responsible for the “Hate Map” numbers, admitted on camera that his “Hate Map” numbers were “anecdotal,” “a very rough estimate,” and “an imperfect process.”

Sadly, the media cannot bother to vet Mr. Potok’s spurious claims and simply regurgitate his bogus numbers as fact. Fortunately, Watching the Watchdogs is very willing and able to examine the numbers, and, as usual, we find them sadly wanting.

See them for yourself. Judge them for yourself.

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Because the “Hate Map” is the keystone to SPLC fund-raising efforts, Mark Potok is forever making claims of “explosive growth” in the number of “hate groups” in his press releases and media interviews.

Last year his “hate group” count “exploded” from 1,002 to 1,017, or 1.5%. In 2009, the first year of the Obama Administration and the worst year of the Great Recession, the count “exploded by 6 groups, or six-tenths of a percent, the lowest increase in SPLC history.

In 2010, Potok bumped the number of “hate groups” up by 70, but the number of homeless “hate groups” actually increased by 99 for the same year.

True to form, Mr. Potok bumped his numbers up by 15 “groups” for 2011, including 20 entries for a new “group,” the Georgia Militia. Oddly enough, Mr. Potok can’t seem to locate 18 of those units.

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This is hard data? NPR, the New York Times and MS-NBC all seem to think so. Look for them to quote Potok’s figures in the coming weeks.

Last year Mr. Potok warned of “explosive growth” in the number of “hate groups” in the Northwest:

“Montana is developing into a hotbed,” said Mark Potok, director of the SPLC Intelligence Project (ABC News, June 22, 2011)

The number of “hate groups’ in Montana actually dropped by 23%, from 13 to 10. Overall, the number of “groups” in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho “exploded” from 59 to 61, and 25% of those ‘groups” are homeless.

Another Potokian “explosion” turns out to be a damp squib.

Even if Mr. Potok’s powers of prognostication are somewhat lacking, the one thing we can always count on is that the number of “hate groups,” like the millions of tax-free dollars in the SPLC’s “Endowment Fund,” will continue to rise.

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The more money the Southern Poverty Law Center makes, the more “hate groups” they seem to find.

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