I was writing just yesterday about the Southern Poverty Law Center reporting assets of over half a billion dollars, with a large chunk of it parked in “overseas investments” in tax havens such as the Cayman Islands (maybe the SPLC should be renamed the “So-long, Poverty, Law Center.”) It had barely gone out when shocking news came that the group had fired (or “terminated its partnership with,” in their weasel words) Morris Dees.
Dees founded the SPLC way back in 1971 as a genuine defender of civil rights that successfully took on the KKK. Sadly, in recent years, it has squandered its reputation by becoming a fundraising machine, financing its well-salaried staff and fancy offices by constantly alarming supporters with claims of the rising numbers of hate groups in America that they need money to fight. Unfortunately for them, there was no rising number of hate groups in America (even the SPLC admitted recently that the KKK was “collapsing,” with only a handful of racist idiots still participating.) So like Professor Harold Hill in “The Music Man,” if River City didn’t have any problems, they had to create one.
The SPLC’s version of a pool table in River City was all the mainstream, religious-based non-profit organizations that don’t “hate” anyone, they simply refuse to sign on to the radical LGBTQ agenda because it violates their constitutionally-protected, Biblically-based beliefs. By falsely branding these organizations as “hate groups,” the SPLC keeps the money rolling in and also recently found a second revenue stream by providing cover to social media giants that need an excuse for banning conservative and Christian groups other than “We don’t like you, dude” or the ever-popular “Our algorithm has sensitive feelings.”
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(This is a good place to remind you of H.L. Mencken’s dictum that the aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed and hence clamoring to be led to safety from a series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.)
When news came of Dees’ axing, speculation ran rampant as to the cause. Did it have anything to do with the embarrassment of the revelations of how much lucre the “Poverty” law center had stashed away? Or the recent bad publicity that had earned the SPLC a reputation as America’s most successful leftwing hate group? Or the rising tide of lawsuits by conservative groups fighting back against being slandered?
The reason is still shrouded in mystery, but SPLC president Richard Cohen released this vague but intriguing statement:
“As a civil rights organization, the SPLC is committed to ensuring that the conduct of our staff reflects the mission of the organization and the values we hope to instill in the world,” SPLC said in an emailed statement. “When one of our own fails to meet those standards, no matter his or her role in the organization, we take it seriously and must take appropriate action.”
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That sparked journalists (the few remaining real ones) to dig into the record for clues as to what that might refer to.
As this article notes, a 1994 newspaper report found that Dees had (irony of irony) been accused of creating a racially discriminatory work atmosphere that made black employees feel threatened. At the time, the SPLC denied it and no action was taken against Dees.
Again, it’s not known if this has anything to do with Dees’ removal from the organization he created. But until the SPLC is more forthcoming about its reasons for its stunning move, this type of speculation will likely continue.
In the meantime, we can guess what the SPLC would call any organization that was accused of being racist, did nothing about it, and took 25 years to fire the boss accused of it without explaining why.
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