SPLC — The Black Elephant in the Room

The Southern Poverty Law Center released its annual “Hate Map” fundraising tool in February and, as usual, it made a lot of claims without providing a lot of proof. One thing that immediately caught our eye, however, was this graphic on the company’s web site:

Active Hate Groups 2016 _ Southern Poverty Law Center

While the numbers given do add up to the 917 “hate groups” promised at first glance, as usual, closer inspection reveals that the SPLC cannot provide a known city or town location for 191 of them, or about one-in-five. When you strip out these homeless “hate groups,” especially from the “Big Four,”  you come up with significantly different numbers:

2016 Homeless

Nearly half of the groups attributed to the KKK, neo-Nazis, racist skinheads and white nationalists seem to exist only in the imagination of the SPLC’s Public Relations Guru and chief Hate Map cartographer, Mark Potok.

We know these homeless groups really, really exist because Mr. Potok tells us so, and that’s more than good enough for the media. Note that Mr. Potok can assign at least a city or town to nearly all of his alleged Black Separatist groups, but more on them in a moment.

The first graphic we showed you, giving the SPLC’s own breakdown of its “hate groups” by category, got little or no mention from the press. The one that really excited them was this one:


Most media outlets were only too eager to allow Mr. Potok to pontificate on the, Gasp!!, “197% increase in anti-Muslim” groups to pay much attention to the other numbers. We explained Potok’s anti-Muslim group scam in an earlier post and won’t rehash it here.

Oddly enough, nobody in the media seems to have noticed that the biggest number on Mr. Potok’s list refers to his 193 alleged Black Separatist groups, which is to say, the largest single category of “hate group” in the country, according to Mark Potok.

When you add in the eight Black Muslim “hate groups” Mr. Potok has tucked away under “General Hate” (tucked away even more deeply under the sub-category of “Other”), you come up with 201 Black “hate groups” in all.

Even without stripping out the homeless “hate groups,” Mr. Potok’s Black groups outnumber his KKK groups outright and his neo-Nazi, racist skinhead and white nationalist groups by two-to-one, respectively, and yet the media doesn’t find this particular piece of Potokian punditry to be newsworthy. Why not?

The media couldn’t regurgitate Mr. Potok’s claims of 101 anti-Muslim “hate groups” quickly or often enough, and yet when Potok claims that 89 of his Black “hate groups” are distinctly Muslim in nature, nearly a one-to-one ratio to the alleged anti-Muslim threat, all we hear from the media is crickets.

“Nothing to see here. Move along!”

The remarkable thing about this situation is that Potok’s numbers are right out in the open where anyone on the planet can see them. You do not have to dig through his website or even be particularly numerate to compare the numbers. Mark Potok says that “hate groups” are some sort of threat to the world and that the largest segment of that threat, by far, is Black and/or Muslim, and yet nobody in the media will take him up on it.

Either Mark Potok and the SPLC are your go-to “experts” on hate or they are not. You cannot pick and choose which dire threat du jour you are going to take their word for. And take their word you must, because the SPLC provides little or no evidence to back the existence of most of its alleged groups.

Some “experts.”

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4 Responses to “SPLC — The Black Elephant in the Room”

  1. SPLC — The Black Elephant in the Room | National Vanguard Says:

    […] Source: Watching the Watchdogs […]

  2. scott Says:

    You sure do a put a lot of weight on the number of groups with no defined location in Mr. Potok’s lists. You seem to be assuming that they don’t exist as a result. That is, of course, utter bullshit.

    To explain why, I will use a real-life analogy. The Company I work for is “Virtual”. You know what that means? Every employee works from home, There is no corporate Headquarters. All we need to do the work we do is a computer and a decent internet connection. Think about that. If we can do that with a company, is it possible that hate groups might be able to do the same thing. Might there be loosely organized groups that exist on the internet only?

    BTW, I am in no way associated with the SPLC, but I do support their work.

  3. rkeefe57 Says:

    i put a premium on the number of groups with no defined location for two reasons. First, serious claims require serious proof. That’s not too much to ask, is it? Not only does the SPLC provide no known city or town for 20-25% of its alleged “hate groups,” it provides no information about the remainder of its alleged groups that a journalist or researcher could use to locate and identify any of its other groups. Is THAT too much to ask?

    Second, in 2011, I had the opportunity to ask the SPLC’s Intelligence Director, Mark Potok, directly about these phantom groups and this is what HE told ME:

    “Sure. Well, these aren’t.. I mean, look, let me tell you a little bit about how we do the “hate group” map. I understand the criticism and it’s not an illegitimate criticism.

    Let me first of all say, that we do the “hate group” map and the counts, and so on, as a very rough measure.”

    “But, what we’ve seen historically is that counts do seem to… very clearly… go up and down… we now see it going up again and we can see it reflected anecdotally.”

    “What you are asking about, and it’s true, we have a lot of groups that we can’t identify in a town, and you know, I’ll say we can’t always… it’s an imperfect process.”

    You can read the full text here and even watch a video of his comments, though we both know you won’t.


    When the company’s own “Intelligence Director” admits that his alleged evidence is “anecdotal,” “a very rough measure,” and “an imperfect process,” WHO in their right mind would consider them to be fair and accurate?

    As this post mentions, the SPLC… not ME… are the ones who claim that one in four of America’s top “hate groups” are Black or Black Muslim, and you’re good with that? You think they speak the truth?

    My friend, cognitive dissonance is a wonderful thing, but at some point you have to hold your heroes up and say, “You said what?”

    Do or don’t. These are the SPLC’s words/statistics, NOT mine.

  4. Chris Wiley Says:

    Great site and exposure of the SPLC. Mainstream sources finally turning against it. When will your next artcile on it come out? Also the ADL released a report on the kkk, claiming there were even fewer chapters: only 40. Why is there a discrepancy between the groups ? A bunch of rich white people smearing ” persons of color” such as Ayaan hirshi ali, Maajid Nawaz and Bridgette Gabriel as “hate mongers”.

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