Cornell Law Professor Takes SPLC HateWatch to Task
Jerry Kammer, Pulitzer-Prize winning jounalist and senior fellow at the Washington, DC -based Center for Immigration Studies sent a recent blog by William A Jacobson, Associate Professor of Clinical Practice at Cornell Law School, "SPLC's hatewatch gives cover to hate".
Here are excerpts from Jacobson post at his blog Legal Insurrection:
As long-time readers surely know, I have examined the pernicious methodology of the Southern Poverty Law Center in moving from fighting Klan and neo-Nazi groups to fighting for the Democratic Party agenda against conservatives and the Tea Party.
In seeking to justify its hefty salaries, budget and fundraising, SPLC made a very dangerous leap to treating political opponents as “hate groups” and speech it didn’t like as “hate speech.”
My first post about SPLC was when Mark Potok, head of SPLC’s Hatewatch project, smeared a prominent black female law professor at Vanderbilt as an “apologist for white supremacists,” based upon a complete misreading of her review of a movie involving racially inflammatory rhetoric. It was a vicious attack, taken apart by James Taranto in The Wall Street Journal.
Since then I examined the SPLC’s tendency to exaggerate hate group statistics for fundraising purposes, including inventing hate groups in my home State of Rhode Island:
•The Klan In Rhode Island? SPLC Exaggerates Again
•Confirmed – SPLC Exaggerated About Klan In Rhode Island
When it came to the Tea Party, I wrote that SPLC Completed Its Descent Into Madness when it called a speech by Sarah Palin at the National Tea Party Convention in February 2010 one of the landmark events in the “Patriot Movement” (which SPLC defined as Tim McVeigh-type anti-government violent groups):
Whatever SPLC once was, it now is a bastion of political hackery which, by equating legitimate political opposition with criminal violence, is doing substantial damage to our national fabric.
It is time for people of conscience to speak out against SPLC’s tactics.
SPLC continued its agenda against the Tea Party and conservatives when it persisted in claiming that Jared Loughner was “right wing” long after it was clear that was not the case.
SPLC also moved on to the issue of marriage, and named several groups — including the Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage — as hate groups, SPLC Demonizes Supporters of Traditional Marriage:
Time and again SPLC, through its Hatewatch division, seeks to shut down debate by applying the “hate group” or similar epithets to political opponents, and those political opponents almost always are conservative.
Being labeled a “hate group” by SPLC can be devastating, because most of the country is unaware of how politicized SPLC has become….
SPLC is at it again, with a list of 18, “anti-gay”groups, 13 of whom also will make SPLC’s upcoming ”hate group” list….
Most of these groups are unknown to me, although a couple are well-known Christian groups, such as American Family Association and Family Research Council (both of these entities will be on SPLC’s upcoming Hate Group list). I don’t defend or not defend these groups because I don’t know much about them, but based upon SPLC’s past performance, the burden should be on SPLC to make the case for including a group on a hate list.
[. . .]
SPLC gave cover to those who use the “hate speech’ and “hate group” labels to shut down political and religious speech, and now it has spiralled out of control
Posted on 08/17/2012 11:03 PM by Jerry Gordon