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Teaching Tolerance – Diversity, Equity and Justice

When we teachers get a so-called problem child in class, its crucial to ask ourselves, What is causing this behavior to manifest? What is occurring in this childs life that we cant see?

December 12, 2017

Elizabeth Kleinrock

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Teaching Tolerance – Diversity, Equity and Justice

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The Southern Poverty Law Center, Not Family Research Council …

On August 15, 2012, I was on my way into downtown D.C. to record my daily radio program at the Family Research Council (FRC) when I got a call not to come. I was in D.C. for a conference and had been using the studios at FRC to broadcast my show back in SC, until Floyd Lee Corkins II walked-in shot a security guard that morning. Corkins admitted that his design was to kill as many people as possible, and to place Chic-Fil-A sandwiches on their bodies because of the organizations stance in favor of natural marriage. Corkins was motivated to do so by FRCs being included on a list of hate organizations released by the uber-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

Fast forward to October, 2017, and see that the SPLC has learned nothing from the near mass-murder their antics inspired in 2012. SPLC has renewed their labeling of the FRC as a hate group, because of their pro-life and pro-family stances, and have openly called for their public denunciation. I shudder to think how this renewed dog whistle to radical leftists might inspire the next Corkins to kill pro-family conservatives. The FRCs annual Values Voters Summit took place this weekend in Washington, and President Trump gave the keynote address on Friday evening.

The Presidents participation in the event has sent the Left into hysterics. The headline at Newsweek says it all Donald Trump to Speak at Hate Groups Annual Event, a First For A President. To read that headline, one would be forgiven for thinking that the President was planning to speak to a neo-Nazi convention, not a pro-family rally. That the Left now considers social conservatives bigots, and brands supporters of traditional marriage haters, is alarming. Is it any wonder that Democrats are losing up-and-down the ballot in spite of the Republican Partys internal strife?

The only hate group involved in this blow-up is the Southern Poverty Law Center, which routinely attacks Christians, conservative Jewish organizations, anti-terrorist organizations, and pro-family groups. According to the SPLCs own tax returns, the organization possesses enormous wealth, has offshore bank accounts in the Cayman Islands, and holds ownership stakes in several foreign corporations. In short, the SPLC is a slush-fund for liberal billionaires who want to trash family values conservatives.

Speaking to the Family Research Council doesnt constitute a speech to a hate group. Giving a speech to the SPLC may, however, count.

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November 24, 2017   Posted in: Southern Poverty Law Center  Comments Closed

Southern Poverty Law Center Gets Creative to Label ‘Hate …

In 2010, the Southern Poverty Law Center designated the Family Research Council a hate group because of its orthodox position on homosexuality, and its occasionally incendiary defenses of that position.

In 2012, Floyd Corkins showed up at the Family Research Council headquarters with a gun.

I dont mean to imply that these two things were connected. I’m telling you that they were connected. We know because the shooter told the FBI where he got the idea.

Conservatives have used this to try to discredit the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of hate groups. But the sad truth is that if you criticize someone, theres always some small chance that an unstable person will read your criticism and decide its subject needs killing. The shooting is still not the fault of the writer, but the fault of the shooter.

(Just in case it helps, I interrupt this column to point out that you should not shoot anyone I write about, or anyone I dont write about, or anyone.)

Also, you dont need to manufacture ersatz accountability in order to discredit the Southern Poverty Law Center’s hate group tally. You just need to tell people whats on the list.

Some of the groups named are what anyone would think of as a hate group, like, you know, the Ku Klux Klan. But other entries are a festival of guilt-by-association innuendo about people with at best a tangential relationship to the target institution, and whose statements fall well short of blanket group-calumny or calls for violence. Or the center offers bizarrely shifting rationales that suggest that the staff started with the target they wanted to deem hateful, and worked backward to the analysis.

I spent a day diving down the rabbit hole of one of the listings on the hate group, for the Ruth Institute, a small nonprofit that thinks the sexual revolution was a giant mistake. The Ruth Institute does seem to have a couple of marginally attached figures who have at some point theorized an unsupported connection between homosexuality and pedophilia. But however wrongheaded and insulting this may be, by itself, it hardly merits branding the whole organization a hate group. And a lot of the other evidence for this designation is simply well, fully deserving of those contemptuous quotation marks.

Let’s look at how the center justified dubbing the Ruth Institute a hate group:

If misspeaking in a radio interview, quoting the Vatican and promoting articles like these on your nonprofits blog are what now earn a spot alongside the Klan on a list of hate groups, then it may be time for the Southern Poverty Law Center to close up shop, because their work is largely done.

Unfortunately the center’s hate group designation remains extremely influential. Recently, a payment servicer cut off the Ruth Institute because of that “hate group” label. This piqued my interest, because I knew Morses work on liberty and the family from long before the gay marriage debate dawned on the political horizon. Id always found it interesting and thought provoking, and I was surprised to see her lumped in with Holocaust deniers and white supremacists. My astonishment seems to have been well-founded.

Hate group is, of course, not a scientific term with a precise definition. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s entries do highlight a lot of language about various groups that may not strike me as the equivalent of Klan rhetoric, but does make me uncomfortable. And who am I to say that discomfort is a better characterization than hate speech? In criticizing them, am I not committing the same sin of which I accuse the SPLC, trying to leverage my platform to curtail speech I dont like through unofficial censure?

Well, yes, indeed, the SPLC has a perfect right to decide what they mean by hate group.

Unfortunately, it also has an incentive to apply this term broadly. When people see that the SPLC lists over 900 hate groups — 900! — this seems like good reason to panic. And maybe write a check to the SPLC.

Even fairly large institutions that theoretically have ample resources to investigate the SPLCs list often rely on it, to their detriment. CNN published the list under the headline Here Are All the Hate Groups Active in Your Area, then had to alter the story upon realizing that this was effectively joining the SPLC in branding local churches and conservative nonprofits as hate groups. Guidestar, which rates nonprofits, added the SPLC designations to its listings, then had to make an embarrassing volte-face when conservatives called them out. Given the increasing tendency of powerful tech companies to flex their muscle against hate groups, we may see more and more institutions unwittingly turned into critics or censors, not just of Nazi propaganda, but also of fairly mainstream ideas.

Thats not just a problem for the groups that will be burdened when the hate group label is slapped on them; its also a problem for the rest of us. The broader the definition, the more Americans will be swept up under that label, and the less sustainable it will be. If media and other institutions use the label, they will discredit themselves with conservative readers and donors. Worse still, those readers and donors will be unable to reliably discern the actual hate groups that still exist.

For exist they do. They are tiny relative to the population, they are marginal, and they have little power. As political scientist Justin Murphy says, overt racism likely appears larger than it is, especially to progressives, precisely because it has never been less common in American history, making the few die-hards stand out in sharp relief. The same is probably true of other hateful isms. But even a handful of hate group members is too many, and it would be useful to have data on their numbers. Instead, were getting data that tells us little about the problem of hate groups, and a whole lot about the SPLCs agenda and fundraising.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

To contact the author of this story: Megan McArdle at mmcardle3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Philip Gray at philipgray@bloomberg.net

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Charity Navigator – Rating for Southern Poverty Law Center

Human and Civil Rights : Advocacy and Education

three stars

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400 Washington Avenue Montgomery,AL36104 tel: (888) 414-7752 Web Site EIN: 63-0598743

Board Leadership Alan B. Howard Chair

CEO Richard CohenPresident

Learn more about how we calculate the overall score and rating.

All data for Financial Performance Metrics calculations was provided by Southern Poverty Law Center on recent 990s filed with the IRS.

The data displayed on this tab is provided by the IRS in the form of Publication 78 and the Business Master File (BMF).

The data displayed in this profile is provided by the IRS for free in the form of Publication 78 and the Business Master File (BMF).

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Hatewatch Headlines 8/23/2017 – Southern Poverty Law Center

New York Times: The showdown over how to define fringe views in America.

CBS News: Hate rising: White supremacy is on the increase in the U.S.

Think Progress: White supremacists are running for office as Republicans; will the party respond?

Washington Post: Trump backers alarming reliance on conspiracy theory websites, in one chart.

Talking Points Memo: Relegated to fringe platforms, white nationalists are stuck in their own echo chambers.

Raw Story: Islamophobe Pamela Geller throws a fit after PayPal boots her in whitesupremacist purge.

Huffington Post: George and Amal Clooney donate $1 million grant to SPLC in effort to combat hate.

Cleveland Plain Dealer (OH): White man with pipe bomb arrested hours before Akron vigil for Charlottesville victims.

AlterNet: Seven key white supremacists and their links to Russias Vladimir Putin and to Trump.

Centre Daily Times (College Station, PA): Richard Spencer not welcome at Penn State, college president says.

Miami New Times (FL): White supremacist exploits Charlottesville tragedy to mount Florida Senate run.

Media Matters: Right Side Broadcasting parts ways with Nicholas Fuentes, who participated in Virginia rally.

Boston Herald: Gun-toting militia leader from New York is among the arrestees in Boston protest.

Record-Courier (Kent, OH): Leader of Ohio Minutemen Militia denies any link to white supremacists, neo-Nazis.

Rare Houston (TX): Were proud, not racist, proclaims leader of San Antonio Confederate militia.

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Hatewatch Headlines 8/23/2017 – Southern Poverty Law Center

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Hung Jury, Acquittals in Second Bundy Trial – Southern Poverty Law Center

On Tuesday a jury in Las Vegas acquitted two defendants, Steven Stewart and Ricky Lovelien, of all 10 charges they faced. The panel couldnt unanimously agree on charges facing Scott Drexler and Eric Parker, resulting in mistrials for those two men.

The jurys verdict after four days of deliberation has to be a jolting blow to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Federal prosecutors planned to bring three separate trials against 21 defendants, including Cliven Bundy and his sons, for their varying roles in the 2014 standoff. It ended without bloodshed when federal agents, faced with the gun barrels of Bundys militia supporters, abandoned their attempts to round up his cattle for non-payment of federal grazing fees.

The current timetable set by the court when it divided 21 defendants into three trial groupings calls for Bundy and his sons, Ammon and Ryan, to stand trial in about 30 days in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas. But that trial date could be postponed as prosecutors reassess their trial strategy.

Stewart, Lovelien, Drexler and Parker each faced multiple felony charges including conspiracy, illegal possession of weapons and assaulting and threatening federal officers during the 2014 standoff near the Bundy ranch. Convictions would have resulted in lengthy prison sentences.

Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro declared a mistrial after the jury said it couldnt reach unanimous agreement on four charges against Parker assault on a federal officer, threatening a federal officer and two firearms counts and charges of assaulting a federal officer and a firearms count that Drexler faced. Prosecutors have not said if they will retry Parker and Drexler a third time.

The verdict came after a 20-day re-trial of the same four men who were tried in April by another jury that also couldnt reached a unanimous verdict on guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

In the first trial earlier this year, a jury did convict two other co-defendants Gregory Burleson of Phoenix and Todd C. Engel of Boundary County, Idaho for their roles in the standoff. The two, identified by prosecutors as follower-gunmen, were found guilty of obstruction of justice and interstate travel to aid extortion. Burleson was sentenced to 68 years in prison in July. Engel awaits sentencing.

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George, Amal Clooney donate $1M to Southern Poverty Law Center to combat hate groups – USA TODAY

The violent white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month have inspired The Clooney Foundation for Justice to give $1 million to the Southern Poverty Law Center. USA TODAY

George and Amal Clooney on Feb. 24, 2017 at the Cesar Film Awards in Paris.(Photo: Francois Mori, AP)

If money talks, George and Amal Clooney made it shout Tuesday, by donating $1 million to the Southern Poverty Law Center to help fight hate groups in the wake of tragedy and violence in Charlottesville, Va.

The SPLC, a leading civil-rights group that monitors hate groups and campaigns against bigotry,is partnering with the Clooney Foundation for Justice to increase its ability to combat hate groups in the USA by highlighting the dangers of white-supremacist ideology.

The SPLC said further details on what the money will be used for will be available later.

“Amal and I wanted to add our voice (and financial assistance) to the ongoing fight for equality,” Clooney said in a statement to USA TODAY. “There are no two sides to bigotry and hate.

The latter comment was an allusion to President Trump’s much-criticized assertions last week that neo-Nazis and white supremacists and anti-fascist counter-protesters who confronted them in Charlottesville were equally culpable for the violence that led to three deaths on the weekend of Aug. 11-12. Trump said there are “fine people” on “both sides.”

“We are proud to support the Southern Poverty Law Center in its efforts to prevent violent extremism in the United States,” the Clooneys said in their prepared statement. “What happened in Charlottesville, and what is happening in communities across our country, demands our collective engagement to stand up to hate.”

White-nationalist groups marched with torches through University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville on Aug. 11, 2017. When met by counter protesters, tempers turned into violence.(Photo: Mykal McEldowney, IndyStar – USA TODAY NETWORK)

Since Charlottesville, the center also has received major donations from Apple and from JPMorgan Chase, whose leaders Tim Cookat Apple and Jamie Dimonat JPMorgan Chase both spoke out on the need for America’s leading business and cultural institutions to take stands against bigotry and hate.

George Clooney was a supporter of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential campaign and is well-known as a leading Hollywood liberal. His wife, Amal Alamuddin,is a Lebanese-born British lawyer known for her human-rights legal work around the world.

The Clooneys founded and serve as presidents of the Clooney Foundation for Justice, established in 2016″to advance justice in courtrooms, classrooms and communities” around the world.

President Trump at Trump Tower in New York speaking to the media on Aug. 15, 2017, about protests in Charlottesville, Va. the previous weekend.(Photo: JIM WATSON, AFP/Getty Images)

SPLC presidentRichard Cohen said hate-group monitors were “shocked by the size, ugliness and ferocity” of the white supremacist gathering in Charlottesville.

It was a reflection of just how much Trumps incendiary campaign and presidency has energized the radical right,” Cohen said. “We are deeply grateful to the Clooney Foundation for standing with us at this critical moment in our countrys fight against hate.

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Hatewatch Headlines 8/22/2017 – Southern Poverty Law Center

New York Times Magazine: How hate groups forced online platforms to reveal their true nature.

GQ: Dylann Roof: The making of a very American terrorist.

Politico: How a man who shot video of the Charlottesville rampage became embroiled in conspiracy theories.

Washington Post: The shadow of a Nazi assassinated in 1967 hangs over Charlottesville.

USA Today: White supremacists plan monument protest, summit in Tennessee.

Houston Chronicle: Houston man charged with trying to plant bomb at base of Confederate monument.

Media Matters: Media shouldnt sugarcoat Trumps calls for violence and hate.

Current Affairs: How to write about Nazis and how not to.

Columbia Journalism Review: The white-supremacist threat deserves its own beat in newsrooms.

New Statesman: We need to talk about the online radicalization of young white women, too.

AlterNet: White communities need to ferret out the domestic terrorists in their midst.

ABC News: White nationalist leaders on their beliefs: We look up to men like Adolf Hitler.

Think Progress: Historians of Christian nationalism are alarmed by its appearance in American pulpits.

Quartz: Linguistic analysis of three billion Reddit comments shows the alt-right is getting stronger.

CNN: Trump nominee Sam Clovis says logical LGBT protections could lead to legalization of pedophilia.

KCUR-FM (Kansas City, MO): Missouri militia counters social-justice rally on Kansas Citys Country Club Plaza.

AL.com: Groups organize for, against Auburn High teachers Pride flag in his classroom.

KPIX-TV (San Francisco): Armed Oath Keepers militia group expected to attend San Francisco far-right rally.

Raw Story: Alt-right cancels California book burning of degenerate literature after organizer says he fears liberals.

Huffington Post: Law firm boots patent attorney who owns neo-Nazi record label on the side.

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Hatewatch Headlines 8/22/2017 – Southern Poverty Law Center

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American Freedom Alliance Event Blames Immigrants for California’s "Destruction" – Southern Poverty Law Center

The August 20 conference began with AFA president Dr. Karen Siegemund and the 150 or so attendees gleefully celebrating the fact that the Southern Poverty Law Center listed her group as an anti-Muslim hate group, in part due to the vile Muslim-bashing that took place at last years gig. While this years event attracted more mainstream figures, including politicians and at least two people running for Governor of California in 2018, the speakers predictably attacked transgender people, the Black Lives Matter movement and Californias immigrant population.

Siegemund thanked the crowd for coming out in support of a hate group and defended AFAs anti-Muslim views stating that AFA is an organization that speaks out against those who muzzle women, that throw homosexuals off of towers, and all sorts of violence that they do against each other and to us. Also in the crowd was anti-Muslim activist Nonie Darwish who stated at last years conference that, lying and slander is an obligation in Islam, and In Islam, seizing wealth from others is a value.

The first panel, focusing on Californias public school system, featured Peter Wood, head of the national association of scholars. Wood talked about falsehoods promoted by the left, including the Black Lives Matter movement, which he described as, a false narrative about the United States being organized around the idea of oppressing blacks and nothing else.

Another speaker on the panel, Lance Izumi, of the Pacific Research Institute named the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) in his speech, which was met with a chorus of boos from the crowd. Izumi took issue with the San Diego school board for working with CAIR on an anti-bullying measure as well as increased education about Islam in the public school system.

This prompted audience members to bring up Truth in Textbooks, an operation run by Roy White, a former leader of the San Antonio chapter of ACT for America, the largest anti-Muslim group in the country. White attended and spoke at last years AFA conference where he descried his Truth in Textbooks project in detail, as an effort to effectively purge textbooks that he and others deem too favorable to Islam. These efforts are underway in Texas and California and were resoundingly endorsed by this years panelists.

The next panel focused on the environment, where the notorious right-wing conspiracy theory of Agenda 21 was discussed at length. Agenda 21 is a nonbinding sustainability plan developed by the United Nations and signed by 178 countries including the United States in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit. It lays out steps countries should take to help increase sustainability. Right-wing organizations and politicians have lambasted the plan as a move toward the takeover of the United States by the tyrannical United Nations.

One right-wing organization that has pushed this conspiracy theory for decades is the John Birch Society (JBS) and sure enough, the JBSs Southern California coordinator, Joe Panzarello, was at the conference passing out literature warning that California is on the verge of becoming a socialist state, due to the Democrats. Mike Munzing, an Aliso Viejo City Councilman, used his time on the environment panel to rail against the horrors of Agenda 21, stating, Thats the mother ship, thats the big overall globalist mother ship of the UN, and thats what I was fighting.

Michael D. Antonovich, a longtime member of the LA County Board of Supervisors, took to the stage next where he attacked Democrats, and called the Ku Klux Klan the, military arm of the Democratic Party, a line that also received a warm round of applause from the crowd.

The American Family Association’s From Gold To Dust: The Destruction of California agenda.

After lunch a panel on immigration commenced, featuring some of the most recognizable anti-immigrant activists in California. The first speaker was Tim Donnelly, a former California Assemblyman, Breitbart contributor and founder of what became the largest chapter the Minutemen, the rabidly anti-immigrant vigilante group active in the 2000s. Donnelly first joked about having a bumper sticker on his car that reads, My assault weapon is not illegal, its just undocumented, this coming from a man who was cited in 2012 for having a loaded handgun in his carry-on luggage at Ontario International Airport in California.

A clearly upset Donnelly claimed that anyone opposed to immigration was considered white nationalist. Donnelly compared the tactics of the left to those of Adolf Hitler before lamenting what he described as massive voter fraud in the state of California. Another panelist, Raul Rodriguez, of the nativist extremist group We the People Rising, also attacked Democrats, calling them rats who destroy things.

The major theme of the immigration panel however was celebrating the fact that President Trump and the panelists shared similar views. Christopher Harris, a senior Border Patrol agent and director of legislative and political affairs for the National Border Patrol Councils Local 1613, talked about the Councils decision to endorse Trump in 2016, stating: The rhetoric and stances from this President were fantastic, before adding: Nobody has ever looked into us before. Nobody has considered us as subject matter experts. And that man looked at us and looked at our union, and not all unions are bad, looked at our union and he said I am going to consider you guys as subject matter experts on securing the border and Im going to come to you and ask about what should be done.

The Border Patrol works directly with some of the most established anti-immigrant groups in the country, leaking information directly to them as documented by the immigrant rights group Center for New Community in a 2015 report.

Robin Hvidston, head of We the People Rising and former national rally coordinator for Jim Gilchrists Minutemen Project, also praised Trump in her speech. Hvidston said that, One of the greatest weapons is the election of Donald Trump, and later said it was very empowering to have Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a longtime ally of the anti-immigrant movement on the side of We the People. Hvidston stated:

Now as far as the sanctuary city movement, we are so excited because we have our President and Attorney General Jess Sessions, can I get a yay! With us on this issue. Its very emboldening. We got to cities that are not in our camp, most sanctuary cities, but you know what when we go to the podium and speak during public comments and we say that our President and our Attorney General are with us, its very empowering.

They keynote speaker for the event was Victor Davis Hanson, a Hoover Institute fellow and author of Mexifornia, a book that romanticizes the California of old, when whites held a large majority of the states population. Davis Hanson talked about how in parts of California, you can go 10 miles in another direction and it looks like youre in a different country. Hanson also attacked Californias Democrats, saying:

We dont want assimilation so were going to give you as much amnesty, sanctuary states, sanctuary cities, well do whatever we can so you can remain tribal in your outlook. Your tribal racial and ethnic identity is essential, not irrelevant to your character.

Hanson also expounded upon the reconquista conspiracy theory promoted by anti-immigrant activists. It stems from the “Plan Espiritual de Aztlan,” document produced by MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan) in the 1960s calling for Chicanos to reclaim land. It is not endorsed by any mainstream groups, but for nativists serves as the genesis of a conspiracy theory claiming that Latinos want to take back American land for themselves.

Davis Hanson ended by saying, The state is regressing into a Third-World country. He also attacked undocumented immigrants essentially claiming they are incapable of being law-abiding residents, stating, When I came to the States, the first thing I did was break the law, so why would I follow the rules out of necessity now?

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Teaching Tolerance – Diversity, Equity and Justice

When we teachers get a so-called problem child in class, its crucial to ask ourselves, What is causing this behavior to manifest? What is occurring in this childs life that we cant see? December 12, 2017 Elizabeth Kleinrock

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The Southern Poverty Law Center, Not Family Research Council …

On August 15, 2012, I was on my way into downtown D.C. to record my daily radio program at the Family Research Council (FRC) when I got a call not to come. I was in D.C. for a conference and had been using the studios at FRC to broadcast my show back in SC, until Floyd Lee Corkins II walked-in shot a security guard that morning. Corkins admitted that his design was to kill as many people as possible, and to place Chic-Fil-A sandwiches on their bodies because of the organizations stance in favor of natural marriage. Corkins was motivated to do so by FRCs being included on a list of hate organizations released by the uber-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Fast forward to October, 2017, and see that the SPLC has learned nothing from the near mass-murder their antics inspired in 2012. SPLC has renewed their labeling of the FRC as a hate group, because of their pro-life and pro-family stances, and have openly called for their public denunciation. I shudder to think how this renewed dog whistle to radical leftists might inspire the next Corkins to kill pro-family conservatives. The FRCs annual Values Voters Summit took place this weekend in Washington, and President Trump gave the keynote address on Friday evening. The Presidents participation in the event has sent the Left into hysterics. The headline at Newsweek says it all Donald Trump to Speak at Hate Groups Annual Event, a First For A President. To read that headline, one would be forgiven for thinking that the President was planning to speak to a neo-Nazi convention, not a pro-family rally. That the Left now considers social conservatives bigots, and brands supporters of traditional marriage haters, is alarming. Is it any wonder that Democrats are losing up-and-down the ballot in spite of the Republican Partys internal strife? The only hate group involved in this blow-up is the Southern Poverty Law Center, which routinely attacks Christians, conservative Jewish organizations, anti-terrorist organizations, and pro-family groups. According to the SPLCs own tax returns, the organization possesses enormous wealth, has offshore bank accounts in the Cayman Islands, and holds ownership stakes in several foreign corporations. In short, the SPLC is a slush-fund for liberal billionaires who want to trash family values conservatives. Speaking to the Family Research Council doesnt constitute a speech to a hate group. Giving a speech to the SPLC may, however, count. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

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November 24, 2017   Posted in: Southern Poverty Law Center  Comments Closed

Southern Poverty Law Center Gets Creative to Label ‘Hate …

In 2010, the Southern Poverty Law Center designated the Family Research Council a hate group because of its orthodox position on homosexuality, and its occasionally incendiary defenses of that position. In 2012, Floyd Corkins showed up at the Family Research Council headquarters with a gun. I dont mean to imply that these two things were connected. I’m telling you that they were connected. We know because the shooter told the FBI where he got the idea. Conservatives have used this to try to discredit the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of hate groups. But the sad truth is that if you criticize someone, theres always some small chance that an unstable person will read your criticism and decide its subject needs killing. The shooting is still not the fault of the writer, but the fault of the shooter. (Just in case it helps, I interrupt this column to point out that you should not shoot anyone I write about, or anyone I dont write about, or anyone.) Also, you dont need to manufacture ersatz accountability in order to discredit the Southern Poverty Law Center’s hate group tally. You just need to tell people whats on the list. Some of the groups named are what anyone would think of as a hate group, like, you know, the Ku Klux Klan. But other entries are a festival of guilt-by-association innuendo about people with at best a tangential relationship to the target institution, and whose statements fall well short of blanket group-calumny or calls for violence. Or the center offers bizarrely shifting rationales that suggest that the staff started with the target they wanted to deem hateful, and worked backward to the analysis. I spent a day diving down the rabbit hole of one of the listings on the hate group, for the Ruth Institute, a small nonprofit that thinks the sexual revolution was a giant mistake. The Ruth Institute does seem to have a couple of marginally attached figures who have at some point theorized an unsupported connection between homosexuality and pedophilia. But however wrongheaded and insulting this may be, by itself, it hardly merits branding the whole organization a hate group. And a lot of the other evidence for this designation is simply well, fully deserving of those contemptuous quotation marks. Let’s look at how the center justified dubbing the Ruth Institute a hate group: If misspeaking in a radio interview, quoting the Vatican and promoting articles like these on your nonprofits blog are what now earn a spot alongside the Klan on a list of hate groups, then it may be time for the Southern Poverty Law Center to close up shop, because their work is largely done. Unfortunately the center’s hate group designation remains extremely influential. Recently, a payment servicer cut off the Ruth Institute because of that “hate group” label. This piqued my interest, because I knew Morses work on liberty and the family from long before the gay marriage debate dawned on the political horizon. Id always found it interesting and thought provoking, and I was surprised to see her lumped in with Holocaust deniers and white supremacists. My astonishment seems to have been well-founded. Hate group is, of course, not a scientific term with a precise definition. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s entries do highlight a lot of language about various groups that may not strike me as the equivalent of Klan rhetoric, but does make me uncomfortable. And who am I to say that discomfort is a better characterization than hate speech? In criticizing them, am I not committing the same sin of which I accuse the SPLC, trying to leverage my platform to curtail speech I dont like through unofficial censure? Well, yes, indeed, the SPLC has a perfect right to decide what they mean by hate group. Unfortunately, it also has an incentive to apply this term broadly. When people see that the SPLC lists over 900 hate groups — 900! — this seems like good reason to panic. And maybe write a check to the SPLC. Even fairly large institutions that theoretically have ample resources to investigate the SPLCs list often rely on it, to their detriment. CNN published the list under the headline Here Are All the Hate Groups Active in Your Area, then had to alter the story upon realizing that this was effectively joining the SPLC in branding local churches and conservative nonprofits as hate groups. Guidestar, which rates nonprofits, added the SPLC designations to its listings, then had to make an embarrassing volte-face when conservatives called them out. Given the increasing tendency of powerful tech companies to flex their muscle against hate groups, we may see more and more institutions unwittingly turned into critics or censors, not just of Nazi propaganda, but also of fairly mainstream ideas. Thats not just a problem for the groups that will be burdened when the hate group label is slapped on them; its also a problem for the rest of us. The broader the definition, the more Americans will be swept up under that label, and the less sustainable it will be. If media and other institutions use the label, they will discredit themselves with conservative readers and donors. Worse still, those readers and donors will be unable to reliably discern the actual hate groups that still exist. For exist they do. They are tiny relative to the population, they are marginal, and they have little power. As political scientist Justin Murphy says, overt racism likely appears larger than it is, especially to progressives, precisely because it has never been less common in American history, making the few die-hards stand out in sharp relief. The same is probably true of other hateful isms. But even a handful of hate group members is too many, and it would be useful to have data on their numbers. Instead, were getting data that tells us little about the problem of hate groups, and a whole lot about the SPLCs agenda and fundraising. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners. To contact the author of this story: Megan McArdle at mmcardle3@bloomberg.net To contact the editor responsible for this story: Philip Gray at philipgray@bloomberg.net

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Human and Civil Rights : Advocacy and Education three stars 85.50 400 Washington Avenue Montgomery,AL36104 tel: (888) 414-7752 Web Site EIN: 63-0598743 Board Leadership Alan B. Howard Chair CEO Richard CohenPresident Learn more about how we calculate the overall score and rating. All data for Financial Performance Metrics calculations was provided by Southern Poverty Law Center on recent 990s filed with the IRS. The data displayed on this tab is provided by the IRS in the form of Publication 78 and the Business Master File (BMF). The data displayed in this profile is provided by the IRS for free in the form of Publication 78 and the Business Master File (BMF).

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Hatewatch Headlines 8/23/2017 – Southern Poverty Law Center

New York Times: The showdown over how to define fringe views in America. CBS News: Hate rising: White supremacy is on the increase in the U.S. Think Progress: White supremacists are running for office as Republicans; will the party respond? Washington Post: Trump backers alarming reliance on conspiracy theory websites, in one chart. Talking Points Memo: Relegated to fringe platforms, white nationalists are stuck in their own echo chambers. Raw Story: Islamophobe Pamela Geller throws a fit after PayPal boots her in whitesupremacist purge. Huffington Post: George and Amal Clooney donate $1 million grant to SPLC in effort to combat hate. Cleveland Plain Dealer (OH): White man with pipe bomb arrested hours before Akron vigil for Charlottesville victims. AlterNet: Seven key white supremacists and their links to Russias Vladimir Putin and to Trump. Centre Daily Times (College Station, PA): Richard Spencer not welcome at Penn State, college president says. Miami New Times (FL): White supremacist exploits Charlottesville tragedy to mount Florida Senate run. Media Matters: Right Side Broadcasting parts ways with Nicholas Fuentes, who participated in Virginia rally. Boston Herald: Gun-toting militia leader from New York is among the arrestees in Boston protest. Record-Courier (Kent, OH): Leader of Ohio Minutemen Militia denies any link to white supremacists, neo-Nazis. Rare Houston (TX): Were proud, not racist, proclaims leader of San Antonio Confederate militia.

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August 23, 2017   Posted in: Southern Poverty Law Center  Comments Closed

Hung Jury, Acquittals in Second Bundy Trial – Southern Poverty Law Center

On Tuesday a jury in Las Vegas acquitted two defendants, Steven Stewart and Ricky Lovelien, of all 10 charges they faced. The panel couldnt unanimously agree on charges facing Scott Drexler and Eric Parker, resulting in mistrials for those two men. The jurys verdict after four days of deliberation has to be a jolting blow to the U.S. Department of Justice. Federal prosecutors planned to bring three separate trials against 21 defendants, including Cliven Bundy and his sons, for their varying roles in the 2014 standoff. It ended without bloodshed when federal agents, faced with the gun barrels of Bundys militia supporters, abandoned their attempts to round up his cattle for non-payment of federal grazing fees. The current timetable set by the court when it divided 21 defendants into three trial groupings calls for Bundy and his sons, Ammon and Ryan, to stand trial in about 30 days in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas. But that trial date could be postponed as prosecutors reassess their trial strategy. Stewart, Lovelien, Drexler and Parker each faced multiple felony charges including conspiracy, illegal possession of weapons and assaulting and threatening federal officers during the 2014 standoff near the Bundy ranch. Convictions would have resulted in lengthy prison sentences. Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro declared a mistrial after the jury said it couldnt reach unanimous agreement on four charges against Parker assault on a federal officer, threatening a federal officer and two firearms counts and charges of assaulting a federal officer and a firearms count that Drexler faced. Prosecutors have not said if they will retry Parker and Drexler a third time. The verdict came after a 20-day re-trial of the same four men who were tried in April by another jury that also couldnt reached a unanimous verdict on guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In the first trial earlier this year, a jury did convict two other co-defendants Gregory Burleson of Phoenix and Todd C. Engel of Boundary County, Idaho for their roles in the standoff. The two, identified by prosecutors as follower-gunmen, were found guilty of obstruction of justice and interstate travel to aid extortion. Burleson was sentenced to 68 years in prison in July. Engel awaits sentencing.

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George, Amal Clooney donate $1M to Southern Poverty Law Center to combat hate groups – USA TODAY

The violent white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month have inspired The Clooney Foundation for Justice to give $1 million to the Southern Poverty Law Center. USA TODAY George and Amal Clooney on Feb. 24, 2017 at the Cesar Film Awards in Paris.(Photo: Francois Mori, AP) If money talks, George and Amal Clooney made it shout Tuesday, by donating $1 million to the Southern Poverty Law Center to help fight hate groups in the wake of tragedy and violence in Charlottesville, Va. The SPLC, a leading civil-rights group that monitors hate groups and campaigns against bigotry,is partnering with the Clooney Foundation for Justice to increase its ability to combat hate groups in the USA by highlighting the dangers of white-supremacist ideology. The SPLC said further details on what the money will be used for will be available later. “Amal and I wanted to add our voice (and financial assistance) to the ongoing fight for equality,” Clooney said in a statement to USA TODAY. “There are no two sides to bigotry and hate. The latter comment was an allusion to President Trump’s much-criticized assertions last week that neo-Nazis and white supremacists and anti-fascist counter-protesters who confronted them in Charlottesville were equally culpable for the violence that led to three deaths on the weekend of Aug. 11-12. Trump said there are “fine people” on “both sides.” “We are proud to support the Southern Poverty Law Center in its efforts to prevent violent extremism in the United States,” the Clooneys said in their prepared statement. “What happened in Charlottesville, and what is happening in communities across our country, demands our collective engagement to stand up to hate.” White-nationalist groups marched with torches through University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville on Aug. 11, 2017. When met by counter protesters, tempers turned into violence.(Photo: Mykal McEldowney, IndyStar – USA TODAY NETWORK) Since Charlottesville, the center also has received major donations from Apple and from JPMorgan Chase, whose leaders Tim Cookat Apple and Jamie Dimonat JPMorgan Chase both spoke out on the need for America’s leading business and cultural institutions to take stands against bigotry and hate. George Clooney was a supporter of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential campaign and is well-known as a leading Hollywood liberal. His wife, Amal Alamuddin,is a Lebanese-born British lawyer known for her human-rights legal work around the world. The Clooneys founded and serve as presidents of the Clooney Foundation for Justice, established in 2016″to advance justice in courtrooms, classrooms and communities” around the world. President Trump at Trump Tower in New York speaking to the media on Aug. 15, 2017, about protests in Charlottesville, Va. the previous weekend.(Photo: JIM WATSON, AFP/Getty Images) SPLC presidentRichard Cohen said hate-group monitors were “shocked by the size, ugliness and ferocity” of the white supremacist gathering in Charlottesville. It was a reflection of just how much Trumps incendiary campaign and presidency has energized the radical right,” Cohen said. “We are deeply grateful to the Clooney Foundation for standing with us at this critical moment in our countrys fight against hate. Read or Share this story: https://usat.ly/2xpCIcb

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Hatewatch Headlines 8/22/2017 – Southern Poverty Law Center

New York Times Magazine: How hate groups forced online platforms to reveal their true nature. GQ: Dylann Roof: The making of a very American terrorist. Politico: How a man who shot video of the Charlottesville rampage became embroiled in conspiracy theories. Washington Post: The shadow of a Nazi assassinated in 1967 hangs over Charlottesville. USA Today: White supremacists plan monument protest, summit in Tennessee. Houston Chronicle: Houston man charged with trying to plant bomb at base of Confederate monument. Media Matters: Media shouldnt sugarcoat Trumps calls for violence and hate. Current Affairs: How to write about Nazis and how not to. Columbia Journalism Review: The white-supremacist threat deserves its own beat in newsrooms. New Statesman: We need to talk about the online radicalization of young white women, too. AlterNet: White communities need to ferret out the domestic terrorists in their midst. ABC News: White nationalist leaders on their beliefs: We look up to men like Adolf Hitler. Think Progress: Historians of Christian nationalism are alarmed by its appearance in American pulpits. Quartz: Linguistic analysis of three billion Reddit comments shows the alt-right is getting stronger. CNN: Trump nominee Sam Clovis says logical LGBT protections could lead to legalization of pedophilia. KCUR-FM (Kansas City, MO): Missouri militia counters social-justice rally on Kansas Citys Country Club Plaza. AL.com: Groups organize for, against Auburn High teachers Pride flag in his classroom. KPIX-TV (San Francisco): Armed Oath Keepers militia group expected to attend San Francisco far-right rally. Raw Story: Alt-right cancels California book burning of degenerate literature after organizer says he fears liberals. Huffington Post: Law firm boots patent attorney who owns neo-Nazi record label on the side.

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American Freedom Alliance Event Blames Immigrants for California’s "Destruction" – Southern Poverty Law Center

The August 20 conference began with AFA president Dr. Karen Siegemund and the 150 or so attendees gleefully celebrating the fact that the Southern Poverty Law Center listed her group as an anti-Muslim hate group, in part due to the vile Muslim-bashing that took place at last years gig. While this years event attracted more mainstream figures, including politicians and at least two people running for Governor of California in 2018, the speakers predictably attacked transgender people, the Black Lives Matter movement and Californias immigrant population. Siegemund thanked the crowd for coming out in support of a hate group and defended AFAs anti-Muslim views stating that AFA is an organization that speaks out against those who muzzle women, that throw homosexuals off of towers, and all sorts of violence that they do against each other and to us. Also in the crowd was anti-Muslim activist Nonie Darwish who stated at last years conference that, lying and slander is an obligation in Islam, and In Islam, seizing wealth from others is a value. The first panel, focusing on Californias public school system, featured Peter Wood, head of the national association of scholars. Wood talked about falsehoods promoted by the left, including the Black Lives Matter movement, which he described as, a false narrative about the United States being organized around the idea of oppressing blacks and nothing else. Another speaker on the panel, Lance Izumi, of the Pacific Research Institute named the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) in his speech, which was met with a chorus of boos from the crowd. Izumi took issue with the San Diego school board for working with CAIR on an anti-bullying measure as well as increased education about Islam in the public school system. This prompted audience members to bring up Truth in Textbooks, an operation run by Roy White, a former leader of the San Antonio chapter of ACT for America, the largest anti-Muslim group in the country. White attended and spoke at last years AFA conference where he descried his Truth in Textbooks project in detail, as an effort to effectively purge textbooks that he and others deem too favorable to Islam. These efforts are underway in Texas and California and were resoundingly endorsed by this years panelists. The next panel focused on the environment, where the notorious right-wing conspiracy theory of Agenda 21 was discussed at length. Agenda 21 is a nonbinding sustainability plan developed by the United Nations and signed by 178 countries including the United States in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit. It lays out steps countries should take to help increase sustainability. Right-wing organizations and politicians have lambasted the plan as a move toward the takeover of the United States by the tyrannical United Nations. One right-wing organization that has pushed this conspiracy theory for decades is the John Birch Society (JBS) and sure enough, the JBSs Southern California coordinator, Joe Panzarello, was at the conference passing out literature warning that California is on the verge of becoming a socialist state, due to the Democrats. Mike Munzing, an Aliso Viejo City Councilman, used his time on the environment panel to rail against the horrors of Agenda 21, stating, Thats the mother ship, thats the big overall globalist mother ship of the UN, and thats what I was fighting. Michael D. Antonovich, a longtime member of the LA County Board of Supervisors, took to the stage next where he attacked Democrats, and called the Ku Klux Klan the, military arm of the Democratic Party, a line that also received a warm round of applause from the crowd. The American Family Association’s From Gold To Dust: The Destruction of California agenda. After lunch a panel on immigration commenced, featuring some of the most recognizable anti-immigrant activists in California. The first speaker was Tim Donnelly, a former California Assemblyman, Breitbart contributor and founder of what became the largest chapter the Minutemen, the rabidly anti-immigrant vigilante group active in the 2000s. Donnelly first joked about having a bumper sticker on his car that reads, My assault weapon is not illegal, its just undocumented, this coming from a man who was cited in 2012 for having a loaded handgun in his carry-on luggage at Ontario International Airport in California. A clearly upset Donnelly claimed that anyone opposed to immigration was considered white nationalist. Donnelly compared the tactics of the left to those of Adolf Hitler before lamenting what he described as massive voter fraud in the state of California. Another panelist, Raul Rodriguez, of the nativist extremist group We the People Rising, also attacked Democrats, calling them rats who destroy things. The major theme of the immigration panel however was celebrating the fact that President Trump and the panelists shared similar views. Christopher Harris, a senior Border Patrol agent and director of legislative and political affairs for the National Border Patrol Councils Local 1613, talked about the Councils decision to endorse Trump in 2016, stating: The rhetoric and stances from this President were fantastic, before adding: Nobody has ever looked into us before. Nobody has considered us as subject matter experts. And that man looked at us and looked at our union, and not all unions are bad, looked at our union and he said I am going to consider you guys as subject matter experts on securing the border and Im going to come to you and ask about what should be done. The Border Patrol works directly with some of the most established anti-immigrant groups in the country, leaking information directly to them as documented by the immigrant rights group Center for New Community in a 2015 report. Robin Hvidston, head of We the People Rising and former national rally coordinator for Jim Gilchrists Minutemen Project, also praised Trump in her speech. Hvidston said that, One of the greatest weapons is the election of Donald Trump, and later said it was very empowering to have Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a longtime ally of the anti-immigrant movement on the side of We the People. Hvidston stated: Now as far as the sanctuary city movement, we are so excited because we have our President and Attorney General Jess Sessions, can I get a yay! With us on this issue. Its very emboldening. We got to cities that are not in our camp, most sanctuary cities, but you know what when we go to the podium and speak during public comments and we say that our President and our Attorney General are with us, its very empowering. They keynote speaker for the event was Victor Davis Hanson, a Hoover Institute fellow and author of Mexifornia, a book that romanticizes the California of old, when whites held a large majority of the states population. Davis Hanson talked about how in parts of California, you can go 10 miles in another direction and it looks like youre in a different country. Hanson also attacked Californias Democrats, saying: We dont want assimilation so were going to give you as much amnesty, sanctuary states, sanctuary cities, well do whatever we can so you can remain tribal in your outlook. Your tribal racial and ethnic identity is essential, not irrelevant to your character. Hanson also expounded upon the reconquista conspiracy theory promoted by anti-immigrant activists. It stems from the “Plan Espiritual de Aztlan,” document produced by MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan) in the 1960s calling for Chicanos to reclaim land. It is not endorsed by any mainstream groups, but for nativists serves as the genesis of a conspiracy theory claiming that Latinos want to take back American land for themselves. Davis Hanson ended by saying, The state is regressing into a Third-World country. He also attacked undocumented immigrants essentially claiming they are incapable of being law-abiding residents, stating, When I came to the States, the first thing I did was break the law, so why would I follow the rules out of necessity now?

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