August 24, 2017

"Why Is the Southern Poverty Law Center Targeting Liberals?"

Asks Ayaan Hirsi Ali (in a NYT op-ed).
[T]he S.P.L.C. has the audacity to label me an “extremist,” including my name in a “Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists” that it published on its website last October.

In that guide, the S.P.L.C. claims that I am a “propagandist far outside the political mainstream” and warns journalists to avoid my “damaging misinformation.” These groundless smears are deeply offensive, as I have dedicated much of my adult life to calling out the true extremists: organizations such as Al Qaeda and ISIS....

Who really benefits from [S.P.L.C.] activities? Repeatedly, and for more than a decade, journalists at publications ranging from Harper’s to Politico to The Nation to The Weekly Standard have pointed out that the center’s founders seem more interested in profiting off the anxieties and white guilt of Northern liberals than in upholding the civil rights of poor Southerners, or anyone else. There’s a less cynical explanation, though, which is that liberals are deeply and increasingly uncomfortable with calling out Islamic extremism for fear of being smeared as “Islamophobic,” or worse.

56 comments:

rcocean said...

I think the SPLC is doing God's work here on earth.

Everyone should support them.

Really.

buwaya puti said...

Gods work as in bringing on the rapture?

Virgil Hilts said...

If SPLC adhered to its original mission and actually did good work, it would not get the huge virtue signalling donations that it vacuums in. The SPLC and its leaders/employees may have lost their way/purpose, but they are not dummies - they are swimming in wealth and luxury, keeping actual charitable expenditures as % of inputs way below industry standards. The comparisons to Jim and Tammy Bakker are apt. They too may have made corrupt fools of themselves, but you cannot gainsay how much $ the PTL brought in and how rick they became.

mccullough said...

The SPLC is a money-making operation. It won't call out Muslim extremists because there is no money in it for them and they don't want their heads chopped off. They made a strategic misstep in labeling Catholics as a hate group but are now recovering nicely from the Brown Shirt scare by the tithing of imbecilic corporations.

Michael K said...

Ralph Nader once described NOW as a fund raising operation with no true message about women other than scaring them.

SPLC is a very successful trial lawyer research operation that has become excellent at fund raising from fools like George Clooney and his Muslim wife both of whom fled Italy to avoid the Muslim "immigrants."

Scott said...

Tribalism ... virtue signaling ... garbage politics ... where to begin?

J. Farmer said...

Better question: why does anyone take this organization and its loathsome founder Morris Dees seriously?

Alexander Cockburn, member of the famously leftwing Cockburn family, was always contemptuous of the SPLC and wrote a delicious takedown for his Counterpunch magazine:

King of the Hate Business

Molly said...

Scott at 5:53: Yes. When people put a value on virtue signalling, then there is money to be made by figuring out a way to "sell" virtue signalling. SPLC (and BLM) has cleverly found a way to fill that niche. Antifa needs to work some more on its business model.

J. Farmer said...

p.s. Cockburn's politics were a million miles from my own, but I always had a soft spot for the old socialist curmudgeon. Whatever you thought about his politics, Cockburn was at least a true blue dyed in the wool leftist who always put truth and principle above careerism and self-promotion. His contempt for the right was only matched by his contempt for the faux leftist oligarchs runnings things from their palatial headquarters in ritzy coastal zip codes.

Gahrie said...

the center’s founders seem more interested in profiting off the anxieties and white guilt of Northern liberals than in upholding the civil rights of poor Southerners,

This is true.



There’s a less cynical explanation, though, which is that liberals are deeply and increasingly uncomfortable with calling out Islamic extremism for fear of being smeared as “Islamophobic,” or worse.


Change "liberals" to "Leftists" and I can agree with this also. But wouldn't that make the SPLC less likely to identify Muslims such as Ali as extremists?

The truly outrageous thing is that the SPLC attacks Muslims warning about the dangers of Islam like Ali, but refuses to do so for true Muslims extremists like Sarsour.

By the way, surely it is just commonsense to be Islamiphobic, considering that Islam desires to destroy our civilization and kill or enslave us.

Alex said...

The SPLC is doing Trump's work for 2018/2020. Another in a lone line of shrill left-tard organizations 'crying wolf' over and over again. You think the Michigan voters who put Trump over the top will give a FUCK about SPLC?

Alex said...

Behind the NY Times paywall, pass.

DWS said...

rcocean
"I think the SPLC is doing God's work here on earth.

Everyone should support them.

Really."
That final "Really." is a tell.

Steve Uhr said...

Good interview of her by Sam Harris. A courageous woman.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gS_JODe6IWs

SPLC is crazy.

JaimeRoberto said...

Giving to organizations like the SPLC is like buying indulgences.

Darrell said...

The SPLC makes its money on Northern liberal guilt. And doing Leftist work is never God's work.

mockturtle said...

J. Farmer writes: p.s. Cockburn's politics were a million miles from my own, but I always had a soft spot for the old socialist curmudgeon. Whatever you thought about his politics, Cockburn was at least a true blue dyed in the wool leftist who always put truth and principle above careerism and self-promotion. His contempt for the right was only matched by his contempt for the faux leftist oligarchs runnings things from their palatial headquarters in ritzy coastal zip codes.

Why, that sounds like our Cookie! Bless his heart!

Renee said...

"We were first listed on that map in 2013. At that time, no one from the SPLC contacted us about the possibility of being included on their "hate map." They made no effort to understand our mission, then or now. No one outside the SPLC knows how organizations come to be included on the list. No one knows how to get off the list. The SPLC sets itself up as judge, jury and enforcer of the charge of “hate.”

People who cannot defend their positions using reason and evidence resort to name-calling to change the subject away from their anemic arguments. The "hate group" label is a club such people invented to bludgeon their political opponents.

The Ruth Institute's primary focus is family breakdown, and its impact on children: understanding it, healing it, ending it. If this makes us a "hate group," so be it."

http://www.ruthinstitute.org/press/the-ruth-institute-s-statement-on-being-included-on-the-splc-hate-map

Sam L. said...

I got on their mailing list. Got off it after returning their mailer with a note that
I considered THEM a hate group.

n.n said...

SPLC is a leading non-profit for-profit label maker.

Alex said...

Since when is the SPLC an organization on a level that the public cares about? Do they even deal with 'southern poverty"?

Alex said...

SPLC lost all remaining legitimacy when they put Ayaan Hirsi-Ali and Maajid Nawaz on their 'hate person' list. These are 2 ex-Muslims of 'color' you SPLC libtard fucks.

stever said...

This

Jupiter said...

"There’s a less cynical explanation, though, which is that liberals are deeply and increasingly uncomfortable with calling out Islamic extremism for fear of being smeared as “Islamophobic,” or worse."

Where Morris Dees is concerned, it is impossible to be too cynical. I especially like the profound cynicism of including the word "Poverty" in the name of his organization.

tim in vermont said...

ISIS and liberals have a common enemy. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend"

Luke Lea said...

If I could only remember how to spell her name I would sing her praises more often. A true heroine of our time.

EMyrt said...


Sam L. said...

I got on their mailing list. Got off it after returning their mailer with a note that
I considered THEM a hate group.
8/24/17, 6:35 PM

Damn, I should've done that to the mailing I got from the SPLC this week. Even worse, it was couched as a renewal notice, a sleazy trick not original with them. But it just infuriated me. Every time they put their shills in my path when I'm out and about, it's all I can do to confine myself to giving them the old Acid Queen Glare of Death rather than stop and spit at them.

Fabi said...

They came to do good, and did well.

Fabi said...

The SPLC had net assets of about a quarter-billion last time I checked. That's a lot of hate!

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

SPLC are a joke. They have ZERO credibility.

Alex said...

I wonder how many rich liberals donate to the SPLC. It must be one of those cocktail party things. "Oh I gave $400K to the SPLC recently, aren't I grand...".

Ambrose said...

The comments are very instructive. Lot of lefty mansplaining putting Ms. Ali in her place. Apparently SPLC is doing God's work and she is an Islamaphobe taking blood money from Heritage. Life is simple for the NYT commentariat.

eddie willers said...

The comments are very instructive. Lot of lefty mansplaining putting Ms. Ali in her place. Apparently SPLC is doing God's work and she is an Islamaphobe taking blood money from Heritage. Life is simple for the NYT commentariat.

They [the comments] kind of surprised me too. Being from neighboring Georgia, I have been onto Mo Dees and his hucksters for decades, but you'd think when they are so baldly exposed that some would check their premises instead of wallowing in cognitive dissonance.

Michael said...

They are a money raising outfit. Precious little of their millions is allocated to legal efforts on behalf of the poor or anyone else for that matter. Morris is notorious for this and is a well known fraud to all but the incurious.

Todd Galle said...

When I worked in a storage facility I used to put steel blanks, used to level storage racks into the return envelopes of charities I thought were beyond the pale. They were on the hook for the postage. We had a lot of shelving, I got a lot of requests.

Alex said...

So I imagine SPLC has as SuperPAC for Democrats. Otherwise why have all the money sitting around for nothing?

Crazy Jane said...

Going after Ayaan Hirsi Ali is unconscionable.

Still waiting for the SPLC to condemn the Black Bloc.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

J. Farmer said...Better question: why does anyone take this organization and its loathsome founder Morris Dees seriously?

Because the Media says we should, J. Farmer. NPR et al. cite the SPLC as an authority.
Now---why do THEY do THAT?
Almost like there's some big Leftist bias corrupting institutions and distorting what's presented as reality, isn't it?
Oops--I'm probably goin' on some list!

Paul from Minneapolis said...

The moron who sold that Jerry Garcia guitar earlier this summer gave the money to the SPLC. Along with a matching grant it meant 3.2 million for the dreadful outfit. So, it helped fund most of one Tuesday afternoon.

I suppose when you do something that spectacularly chowderheaded there's no way you'll ever be able to admit it to yourself. Which means you're stuck with a life of defending the SPLC, no Jerry Garcia guitar and $1.6 mil peed down your leg. Eventually wouldn't your head explode?

Flat Tire said...

I never found anything about the disgusting SPLC to be amusing till reading these comments. The term "chowderheaded" is new to me but I won't forget it. I'm working through my recently deceased mother's messy paperwork and found she'd been donating monthly to SPLC since she turned 90. She managed to live independently on very little. whatever scam they fed her makes me ill.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali"s books are worth reading. Thanks to Althouse for this blog.

Leigh said...

So the Southern Prosperous Law Center targets Ayaan Hirsi Ali because she tells the truth. Please. Is Juan Williams on their list, too, since he admitted he gets nervous when he's around Muslims on an airplane? Is there a group or person on the SPLC "hate" list whose fear or worry about Islamic terrorism is truly irrational? After all, we're talking about Islamaphobics, and virtually all terrorists are Islamic.

Good point, @Crazy Jane. When will Antifa and the Black Bloc make the list?

Unknown said...

I can't believe whom the media takes seriously. I mean, aside from SPLC, why do we still have stories quoting the scolds at "The Center For Science In The Public Interest"?

William said...

I hear a lot of questionable things about it, but apparently they're good at their core mission of raising money.......It doesn't particularly matter whether you're on the right or the left. People who cheat on their spouse or steal from the poor box are equitably distributed along the political spectrum. Vice transcends politics. It's crazy to think that the people who voted for Trump are in some way more evil than the people who voted for Hillary......Ali is a genuine hero. This will backfire on them.

Portia said...

Some People Like Criminals

EDH said...

I'm thinking of opening a competing organization: the Northeast Wealthy White Liberal Guilt Center.

Craig said...

Blogger Alex said...
Behind the NY Times paywall, pass.

8/24/17, 6:18 PM

---

Alex, You may already know this, but you can skate by the paywalls of most of the read-x-for-free-then-pay organizations by using private browsing (shift-option-N in safari, but all major browsers have it).

Chuck said...

Great post, Althouse. Still reading the NYT, so that I don't have to.

What a wonderful Op-Ed by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. I am amazed, as much as anything, that the Times published it.

Caligula said...

"Better question: why does anyone take this organization and its loathsome founder Morris Dees seriously?"

vs

"Apple To Donate $1 Million To Southern Poverty Law Center" ( http://dailycaller.com/2017/08/17/apple-to-donate-1-million-to-southern-poverty-law-center-in-charlottesvilles-wake/ )

If Apple is dumb enough to do this, could this be a signal not of "virtue" but that Apple has lost whatever made them so insanely profitable? How can Apple's CEO and Board not see through SPLC's thin veneer of respectability to see the charlatans within?

At a minimum, Hirsi Ali has shown infinitely more integrity and courage than either Apple's Cook or anyone at SPLC (and its media supporters, of course).

Nonapod said...

The SPLC seems to thrive in this new era of puritanical liberalism and with the public shame-outrage culture of social media. They're just one of many powerful new inquisitors seeking sinners to target and destroy. They make and publish lists of these sinners, but they don't really have any accountability for anything themselves. It's a winning formula of hate.

Caligula said...

"Since when is the SPLC an organization on a level that the public cares about? Do they even deal with 'southern poverty"?

It's a brand name. Does Coca-Cola contain, umm, "coca-"?

Fernandinande said...

Caligula said...Does Coca-Cola contain, umm, "coca-"?

Yes.

Chris Low said...

Maybe we can convince the Southern Poverty Law Center to add itself to its list of hate groups and leave it at that. After all, if the definition of hate is to go after a group of people for its beliefs -- even if that group is as nasty as al Qaida -- then the SPLC fits the bill quite nicely with its persecution of conservatives.

William Chadwick said...

I read where "liberal" actor and goofball George Clooney was donating big bucks to the SPLC to help them fight bigotry and hate. Donating to the SPLC to fight bigotry and hate . . . sort of oxymoronic, what?

Chuck said...

This seems like as good a place as any to recite O'Sullivan's First Law; that all organizations which are not expressly conservative will, with time, become liberal.


Quaestor said...

They too may have made corrupt fools of themselves, but you cannot gainsay how much $ the PTL brought in and how rick they became.

Angel-Dyne said...

Caligula: "Apple To Donate $1 Million To Southern Poverty Law Center" ( http://dailycaller.com/2017/08/17/apple-to-donate-1-million-to-southern-poverty-law-center-in-charlottesvilles-wake/ )

If Apple is dumb enough to do this, could this be a signal not of "virtue" but that Apple has lost whatever made them so insanely profitable? How can Apple's CEO and Board not see through SPLC's thin veneer of respectability to see the charlatans within?


The CEO and board of Apple are not dumb. That the SPLC is a charlatan's hustle (and as fair a candidate for the label of "hate group" itself, as any organization out there) is irrelevant. What matters is that the SPLC advances the progressive, globalist, control-freak agenda that serves the interests of the people running Apple. MSM propagandists tirelessly promote the "respectability" of the SPLC, and I imagine that they're still fairly successful in that endeavor. So, not a "dumb" investment for Apple at all.