Sunday, March 30, 2008

MassResistance Named as Hate Group

From Ethan Jacobs at Bay Windows:

Brian Camenker, Amy Contrada, and the rest of the anti-gay activists at Mass Resistance have finally received some long-overdue recognition. In the most recent issue of its Intelligence Report the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that tracks hate groups across the country, added Mass Resistance to its list of anti-gay hate groups. Camenker and co. join the illustrious ranks of Fred Phelps’s Westboro Baptist Church and Lou Sheldon’s Traditional Values Coalition.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Southern Poverty Law Center, here is a briefing on the organization:

The Southern Poverty Law Center was founded in 1971 as a small civil rights law firm. Today, SPLC is internationally known for its tolerance education programs, its legal victories against white supremacists and its tracking of hate groups.

Located in Montgomery, Alabama – the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement – the Southern Poverty Law Center was founded by Morris Dees and Joe Levin, two local lawyers who shared a commitment to racial equality. Its first president was civil rights activist Julian Bond.

Throughout its history, SPLC has worked to make the nation's Constitutional ideals a reality. The SPLC legal department fights all forms of discrimination and works to protect society's most vulnerable members, handling innovative cases that few lawyers are willing to take. Over three decades, it has achieved significant legal victories, including landmark Supreme Court decisions and crushing jury verdicts against hate groups.

In 1981, the Southern Poverty Law Center began investigating hate activity in response to a resurgence of groups like the Ku Klux Klan. Today the SPLC Intelligence Project monitors hate groups and tracks extremist activity throughout the U.S. It provides comprehensive updates to law enforcement, the media and the public through its quarterly magazine, Intelligence Report. Staff members regularly conduct training sessions for police, schools, and civil rights and community groups, and they often serve as experts at hearings and conferences.

To combat the causes of hate, SPLC in 1991 established Teaching Tolerance, an educational program to help K-12 teachers foster respect and understanding in the classroom. Teaching Tolerance is now one of the nation's leading providers of anti-bias resources – both in print and online. Its award-winning magazine is distributed free twice a year to more than 500,000 educators, and its innovative multimedia kits are provided at no charge to thousands of schools and community groups.

The Civil Rights Memorial, which celebrates the memory of those who died during the Civil Rights Movement, is located next to the Southern Poverty Law Center's offices. Designed by Vietnam Veterans Memorial creator Maya Lin, the striking black granite memorial draws thousands of visitors every year. The Memorial plaza is a contemplative area – a place to honor those killed during the struggle, to appreciate how far the country has come in its quest for equality, and to consider how far it has to go. A new Civil Rights Memorial Center, designed to enhance this experience, opened in October 2005.

The Southern Poverty Law Center is a nonprofit organization supported by the contributions of thousands of caring individuals. Our Annual Report and other financial information are available online. To help our fight for justice and tolerance, please read How You Can Help.

For more information on this group visit their website.

Allow me to be among the first to say that since it is now official, we should start holding those who support MassEquality accountable for contributing to hate. Hate leads to violence, and violence is always wrong. We should all be vocal about where we stand on this group and those who would support them, either by name, action, or monetarily.


Fannie said...

Thanks for this heads-up, John.

Fannie said...

Oh, and just for fun, I wandered over to the MassResistance blog and saw that they turned around and said something like "MassResistance blog declares communist Southern Poverty Law Center a hate group."


In other words, "I know you are but what am I?"

John Hosty-Grinnell said...

It's like dealing with children. I am going to compile a KTN style list of those who have contributed to this group so we know who to hold accountable. That will be posted in the next few days...

Paul Jamieson said...

The Church of Morris Dees

Foreign Affairs Editorial Editorial
Source: Harper's Magazine
Published: November 2000 Author: Ken Silverstein
Posted on 12/18/2000 10:51:37 PST by Antiwar Republican

The Church of Morris Dees
By Ken Silverstein
Harper's Magazine, November 2000
How the Southern Poverty Law Center profits from intolerance

Ah, tolerance. Who could be against something so virtuous? And who could object to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Montgomery, Alabama-based group that recently sent out this heartwarming yet mildly terrifying appeal to raise money for its "Teaching Tolerance" program, which prepares educational kits for schoolteachers? Cofounded in 1971 by civil rights lawyer cum direct-marketing millionaire Morris Dees, a leading critic of "hate groups" and a man so beatific that he was the subject of a made-for-TV movie, the SPLC spent much of its early years defending prisoners who faced the death penalty and suing to desegregate all-white institutions like Alabama's highway patrol. That was then. Today, the SPLC spends most of its time--and money--on a relentless fund-raising campaign, peddling memberships in the church of tolerance with all the zeal of a circuit rider passing the collection plate. "He's the Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker of the civil rights movement," renowned anti- death-penalty lawyer Millard Farmer says of Dees, his former associate, "though I don!t mean to malign Jim and Tammy Faye." The Center earned $44 million last year alone--$27 million from fund-raising and $17 million from stocks and other investments--but spent only $13 million on civil rights program , making it one of the most profitable charities in the country.

The Ku Klux Klan, the SPLC's most lucrative nemesis, has shrunk from 4 million members in the 1920s to an estimated 2,000 today, as many as 10 percent of whom are thought to be FBI informants. But news of a declining Klan does not make for inclining donations to Morris Dees and Co., which is why the SPLC honors nearly every nationally covered "hate crime" with direct-mail alarums full of nightmarish invocations of "armed Klan paramilitary forces" and "violent neo-Nazi extremists," and why Dees does legal battle almost exclusively with mediagenic villains-like Idaho's arch-Aryan Richard Butler-eager to show off their swastikas for the news cameras. In 1987, Dees won a $7 million judgment against the United Klans of America on behalf of Beulah Mae Donald, whose son was lynched by two Klansmen. The UKA's total assets amounted to a warehouse whose sale netted Mrs. Donald $51,875. According to a groundbreaking series of newspaper stories in the Montgomery Advertiser, the SPLC, meanwhile, made $9 million from fund-raising solicitations featuring the case, including one containing a photo of Michael Donald's corpse. Horrifying as such incidents are, hate groups commit almost no violence. More than 95 percent of all "hate crimes," including most of the incidents SPLC letters cite (bombings, church burnings, school shootings), are perpetrated by "lone wolves." Even Timothy McVeigh, subject of one of the most extensive investigations in the FBI's history-and one of the most extensive direct-mail campaigns in the SPLC's-was never credibly linked to any militia organization.

No faith healing or infomercial would be complete without a moving testimonial. The student from whose tears this white schoolteacher learned her lesson is identified only as a child of color. "Which race," we are assured, "does not matter." Nor apparently does the specific nature of "the racist acts directed at him," nor the race of his schoolyard tormentors. All that matters, in fact, is the race of the teacher and those expiating tears. "I wept with him, feeling for once, the depth of his hurt," she confides. "His tears washed away the film that had distorted my white perspective of the world." Scales fallen from her eyes, what action does this schoolteacher propose? What Gandhi-like disobedience will she undertake in order to "reach real peace in the world"? She doesn't say but instead speaks vaguely of acting out against "the pain." In the age of Oprah and Clinton, empathy--or the confession thereof--is an end in itself.

Any good salesman knows that a products "value" is a highly mutable quality with little relation to actual worth, and Morris Dees-who made millions hawking, by direct mail, such humble commodities as birthday cakes, cookbooks (including Favorite Recipes of American Home Economics Teachers), tractor seat cushions, rat poison, and, in exchange for a mailing list containing 700,000 names, presidential candidate George McGovern-is nothing if not a good salesman. So good in fact that in 1998 the Direct Marketing Association inducted him into its Hall of Fame. "I learned everything I know about hustling from the Baptist Church," Dees has said. "Spending Sundays on those hard benches listening to the preacher pitch salvation-why, it was like getting a Ph.D. in selling." Here, Dr. Dees (the letter's nominal author) masterfully transforms, with a mere flourish of hyperbole, an education kit available "at cost" for $30 on the SPLC website into "a $325 value."
This is one of the only places in this letter where specific races are mentioned. Elsewhere, Dees and his copywriters, deploying an arsenal of passive verbs and vague abstractions, have sanitized the usually divisive issue of race of its more disturbing elements-such as angry black people-and for good reason: most SPLC donors are white. Thus, instead of concrete civil rights issues like housing discrimination and racial profiling, we get "communities seething with racial violence." Instead of racially biased federal sentencing laws, or the disparity between poor predominantly black schools and affluent white ones, or the violence against illegals along the Mexican border, the SPLC gives us "intolerance against those who are different," turning bigotry into a color-blind, equal-opportunity sin. It's reassuring to know that "Caucasians" are no more and no less guilty of this sin than African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanics. In the eyes of Morris Dees, we're all sinners, all victims, and all potential contributors.

Morris Dees doesn't need your financial support. The SPLC is already the wealthiest civil rights group in America, though this letter quite naturally omits that fact. Other solicitations have been more flagrantly misleading. One pitch, sent out in 1995-when the Center had more than $60 million in reserves-informed would-be donors that the "strain on our current operating budget is the greatest in our 25-year history." Back in 1978, when the Center had less than $10 million, Dees promised that his organization would quit fund-raising and live off interest as soon as its endowment hit $55 million. But as it approached that figure, the SPLC upped the bar to $100 million, a sum that, one 1989 newsletter promised, would allow the Center "to cease the costly and often unreliable task of fund raising. " Today, the SPLC's treasury bulges with $120 million, and it spends twice as much on fund-raising-$5.76 million last year-as it does on legal services for victims of civil rights abuses. The American Institute of Philanthropy gives the Center one of the worst ratings of any group it monitors, estimating that the SPLC could operate for 4.6 years without making another tax-exempt nickel from its investments or raising another tax-deductible cent from well-meaning "people like you."

The SPLC's "other important work justice" consists mainly in spying on private citizens who belong to "hate groups," sharing its files with law-enforcement agencies, and suing the most prominent of these groups for crimes committed independently by their members-a practice that, however seemingly justified, should give civil libertarians pause. The legal strategy employed by Dees could have put the Black Panther Party out of business or bankrupted the New England Emigrant Aid Company in retaliation for crimes committed by John Brown. What the Center's other work for justice does not include is anything that might be considered controversial by donors. According to Millard Farmer, the Center largely stopped taking death-penalty cases for fear that too visible an opposition to capital punishment would scare off potential contributors. In 1986, the Center's entire legal staff quit in protest of Dees's refusal to address issues-such as homelessness, voter registration, and affirmative action-that they considered far more pertinent to poor minorities, if far less marketable to affluent benefactors, than fighting the KKK. Another lawyer, Gloria Browne, who resigned a few years later, told reporters that the Center's programs were calculated to cash in on "black pain and white guilt." Asked in 1994 if the SPLC itself, whose leadership consists almost entirely of white men, was in need of an affirmative action policy, Dees replied that "probably the most discriminated people in America today are white men when it comes to jobs."

Contributors to Teaching Tolerance might be surprised to learn how little of the SPLC's reported educational spending actually goes to education. In response to lobbying by charities, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in 1987 began allowing nonprofits to count part of their fundraising costs as "educational" so long as their solicitations contained an informational component. On average, the SPLC classifies an estimated 47 percent of the fund-raising letters that it sends out every year as educational, including many that do little more than instruct potential donors on the many evils of "militant right-wing extremists" and the many splendid virtues of Morris Dees. According to tax documents, of the $10. 8 million in educational spending the SPLC reported in 1999, $4 million went to solicitations. Another $2.4 million paid for stamps.

In the early 1960s, Morris Dees sat on the sidelines honing his direct-marketing skills and practicing law while the civil rights movement engulfed the South. "Morris and I...shared the overriding purpose of making a pile of money," recalls Dees's business partner, a lawyer named Millard Fuller (not to be confused with Millard Farmer). "We were not particular about how we did it; we just wanted to be independently rich." They were so unparticular, in fact, that in 1961 they defended a man, guilty of beating up a journalist covering the Freedom Riders, whose legal fees were paid by the Klan. ("I felt the anger of a black person for the first time," Dees later wrote of the case. "I vowed then and there that nobody would ever again doubt where I stood.") In 1965, Fuller sold out to Dees, donated the money to charity, and later started Habitat for Humanity. Dees bought a 200-acre estate appointed with tennis courts, a pool, and stables, and, in 1971, founded the SPLC, where his compensation has risen in proportion to fund-raising revenues, from nothing in the early seventies to $273,000 last year. A National Journal survey of salaries paid to the top officers of advocacy groups shows that Dees earned more in 1998 than nearly all of the seventy-eight listed, tens of thousands more than the heads of such groups as the ACLU, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the Children's Defense Fund. The more money the SPLC receives, the less that goes to other civil rights organizations, many of which, including the NAACP, have struggled to stay out of bankruptcy. Dees's compensation alone amounts to one quarter the annual budget of the Atlanta-based Southern Center for Human Rights, which handles several dozen death-penalty cases a year. "You are a fraud and a conman," the Southern Center's director, Stephen Bright, wrote in a 1996 letter to Dees, and proceeded to list his many reasons for thinking so, which included "your failure to respond to the most desperate needs of the poor and powerless despite your millions upon millions, your fund-raising techniques, the fact that you spend so much, accomplish so little, and promote yourself so shamelessly." Soon the SPLC win move into a new six-story headquarters in downtown Montgomery, just across the street from its current headquarters, a building known locally as the Poverty Palace.


Ken Silverstein is a contributing editor of Harper's Magazine and the author of Private Warriors, an investigation of the arms trade published last August by Verso.

Paul Jamieson said...

At least we know their agenda

Here is Something more current


By Lynn Stuter

March 25, 2008

A recent article appeared in the Sierra Vista Herald newspaper of Sierra Vista, Arizona in which Glenn Spencer of American Border Patrol became the target of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). According to the SPLC, the American Border Patrol is a “hate group.”

Going on the SPLC website, clicking on “hate map” and clicking on Arizona, one discovers that, sure enough, there is American Border Patrol listed as “anti-immigrant.”

There are several different definitions for the term ‘immigrant’ but generally they all agree that an immigrant is someone who leaves his nation of birth to live in another nation permanently, someone who is not a visitor or a tourist in the guest nation but enters the nation legally, meeting the requirements of the immigration laws of that nation, with the intention of becoming a citizen of that nation, enjoying all the benefits thereof.

Going back to the SPLC website, American Border Patrol is listed as “anti-immigrant.” Anti means against; anti-immigrant, then, would mean an organization against allowing people to enter the country, legally, to become citizens.

Is this a true representation of American Border Patrol? It becomes very apparent, in a walk through of the American Border Patrol website, that American Border Patrol has no problem with those who enter this country legally with the intent of becoming citizens, are legal immigrants; that the American Border Patrol only has a problem with foreign nationals who enter the United States without the proper papers and without the proper authorization; who are, in fact, illegal aliens. Such entry into the United States is, by law, a criminal act, a criminal offense. There is a great deal of difference between a legal immigrant and an illegal immigrant or illegal alien.

But the SPLC does not list American Border Patrol as being anti-legal-immigrant, only as anti-immigrant, leaving the reader to believe, by omission, that the American Border Patrol is against legal immigration. This is not true; this is, in fact, a lie. How does SPLC respond to the obvious difference between a legal immigrant and an illegal alien? By claiming the distinction is “hogwash.” That the SPLC would claim this distinction is hogwash is telling, indeed.

Further search of the SPLC website lists incidents, per state, of supposed “hate” incidents. Interestingly, not one of the incidents listed in Arizona implicates the American Border Patrol in any way.

The SPLC claims a “commitment to racial equality.” But is that really true?

Racial equality — if it truly is racial equality — is blind, knows no race, color or creed; it does not condone the targeting of anyone. Yet not one of the incidents listed as “hate” incidents on the SPLC website for Arizona specifically listed the target of an incident as being white. Were there no such incidents in Arizona? Doubtful.

The Far West Regional Office of the National Council of La Raza, a known racist organization (La Raza, literally translated, means ‘the race’), is based in Phoenix, Arizona. Yet this known racist organization is not listed on the SPLC hate map. Neither are any of the other eight regional offices, two of which are based in California. The confrontation, on February 4, 2008, between CNN’s Lou Dobbs and Janet Murguia, president and CEO of the National Council of La Raza, aired live for all to hear (transcript read here, live segment heard here). It became readily apparent, during the segment, that Murguia believes anyone who does not agree with her pro-illegal-alien agenda should be denied their first amendment rights and their second amendment rights; repeatedly claiming, without substantiating her claims, that those opposing illegal-aliens in the U.S. are armed vigilantes who spew hate. Rather sounds like the SPLC whom Murguia referenced repeatedly as the source of much of her vitriolic claims.

Neither is The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) listed with seven regional offices, nation-wide. The co-founder of MALDEF, Mario Obledo, has stated, “California is going to be a Hispanic state and anyone who doesn't like it should leave." Now, if that isn’t racist, what is?

Also not listed on the SPLC website as a hate group is the Progressive Labor Party of California, a pro-illegal-immigrant communist group who has started at least one violent confrontation with anti-illegal-immigrant groups gathered to peacefully demonstrate and request redress of grievances with their government.

These are just three pro-illegal-immigration groups that do not appear on the SPLC “hate map”. There is undoubtedly many more anti-American/pro-illegal-invasion-of-America/pro-Aztlan-overthrow-of-America websites that do not appear on the SPLC “hate map.” Why not?

The answer to that question is found in the 2006 financial report of the SPLC:

We documented a startling 40 percent growth in the number of hate groups since 2000. Now numbering 844, these groups have exploited the immigration debate to recruit new members and have successfully spread their rancid propaganda about immigrants of color into mainstream news and into the mouths of politicians.


It becomes obvious, in all of this, that SPLC does not have the commitment to racial equality that it claims and does have an agenda in who it targets as a “hate” group. Quite obviously, the growing illegal alien population provides a new and growing population that can be tapped financially to support SPLC’s coffers. In the words of Paul Likoudis, in describing another left-wing group, those who are tapped simply become pawns in the left-wing agenda.[1] Stephen Bright, director of the Southern Center for Human Rights, wrote a letter to Morris Dees, co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, in 1996 in which he stated,

You are a fraud and a conman … your failure to respond to the most desperate needs of the poor and powerless despite your millions upon millions, your fund-raising techniques, the fact that you spend so much, accomplish so little, and promote yourself so shamelessly.[2]
Prior to co-founding the SPLC in 1971, Dees was engaged in direct-marketing schemes while practicing law. In 1998 he was inducted into the Direct Marketing Association Hall of Fame.[3] The words of Millard Fuller, former business partner of Morris Dees, bring clarity to Dees’ direct marketing skills and the SPLC’s fund raising techniques:

Morris and I...shared the overriding purpose of making a pile of money. We were not particular about how we did it; we just wanted to be independently rich.[4]
At the end of 2006, the SPLC listed contributions of $29,252,084.00; stating “No government funds are received or used for its efforts.” In other words, the SPLC depends on fund raising activities and endowments. In 1999, Dees was reported to have been paid a salary of $273,000 [5] by the SPLC.

Among the more outrageous claims of the SPLC, in its 2006 financial report, is this one, found on page 3:

In 2006, the Intelligence Project documented the rapid growth of a right-wing anti-immigration movement made up of groups that are xenophobic but mostly fall just short of the open racial hatred espoused by hate groups. In just the past two years, some 250 new nativ­ist organizations have sprung up, some of them armed and engaged in vigilante round-ups of unauthorized Latino immigrants. More and more of them have taken up the tactics of personal, in-your-face intimidation.
If this isn’t propaganda, pray tell what is it? The truth? Hardly. Beyond the obvious propaganda angle, the SPLC carefully ignores all instances that have been documented in which Americans have been harassed, intimidated and violently attacked by illegal aliens. This does not take into account the growing number of American citizens who have been murdered, raped, sodomized, assaulted and victimized by illegal aliens.

And quite obviously, that these people are in the United States in violation of existing U.S. law, are criminals, one and all by virtue of being in the U.S. in violation of existing law, bothers the SPLC not at all; nor does the bleeding dry of our social institutions — including education, welfare, medical care, and housing — bother the Southern Poverty Law Center who panders to this criminal element.

Given the SPLC’s obviously biased agenda, why would any newspaper provide them a forum? It has long been known among those truly fighting for civil rights, that SPLC does not represent their interests.

In an exchange with Ted Morris, editor of Sierra Vista Herald, a few things became abundantly clear: 1) he considers the SPLC a champion and authority on civil rights because they have successfully sued such organizations as the KKK and Richard Butler’s Aryan Nations group; 2) his knowledge of the Constitution and Bill of Rights is sadly lacking (he believes the United States is a democracy and that the Rule of Law refers to such government entities as ICE, the U.S. Border Patrol, the Sheriff whose job it is to protect him); and 3) he could not justify his allowing his newspaper to be used by the SPLC to target Glenn Spencer except to claim he was providing “balanced reporting” which cannot be equated with truth.

One of the questions I posed to Ted Morris, after his assertion that SPLC was a champion of civil rights, was why, if that were truly the case, had the SPLC not taken on one of the deepest and darkest secrets of our government’s past; that is, the CIA and Operation Paperclip which brought hundreds (if not thousands) of Nazi war criminals into this country following World War II?

True to form, Morris did not answer the question. To do so would require he admit the Southern Poverty Law Center is selective in what it pursues in its championing of civil rights. In other words, the qualifier in what SPLC pursues in the civil rights arena has a direct correlation with fund raising prospects.

There have been many, in the course of the past few years, who have championed the cause of the approximately 38,000,000 illegal aliens now believed to reside in the United States. In total, these people carefully ignore the problems these illegal aliens are bringing to our society, our economy, our standard of living, our very existence, much less the fact that every one of them is a criminal by virtue of entering our country in violation of existing U.S. law.

Glenn Spencer should know that he is in good company as far as the SPLC is concerned. Jerome Corsi is listed on their website as a “nativist” which seems to have a broad, sweeping, non-specific definition. Corsi is described as an “insult-mongerer [who] has made a career of peddling conspiracy theories in far-right publications and his own books, variously attacking 2004 presidential candidate John Kerry, undocumented immigrants, and alleged secret plans to merge Mexico, the United States and Canada into a so-called ‘North American Union.’”

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s ignorance is palpable. One might even go so far as to describe the SPLC as a left-wing communist propaganda resource.

Glenn Spencer’s response to the lies and propaganda of the Southern Poverty Law Center, championed by the Sierra Vista Herald, can be found here.

Glenn is one, like many of us, who does what he does out of love for our country; not for money, not for publicity, and not for personal accolades or aggrandizement. He knows the true meaning of the axiom, “freedom is not free; the price of freedom is vigilance.”

He is truly an American patriot who deserves our respect and support. Donations to American Border Patrol can be made here.


1, Likoudis, Paul; The Legacy of CHD; The Wanderer Press; 1994.
2, Silverstein, Ken; ‘The Church of Morris Dees’; Harper’s Magazine; November 1994.
3, Ibid.
4, Ibid.
5, Ibid.

© 2008 Lynn M. Stuter - All Rights Reserve

Marcie said...

MassResistance Watch has been covering this for the past couple of weeks. He also noticed that MR has been playing with the widipedia entries for Brian Camenker and MassResistance

John Hosty-Grinnell said...

Paul, I appreciate having your opposing opinion here on the blog so that we examine all facts for validity. Could you tell me what your involvement and support of this group amounts to?

John Hosty-Grinnell said...

Nice catch on that Marcie, thanks for sharing what I had missed!

Paul Jamieson said...

No involvement and no support for Mass Resistance

I am just showing how right wing propaganda cancels out left wing propaganda.

Although the right doesn't stoop so low as to go around calling people who have opinions "hate groups" as much as the left.

John Hosty-Grinnell said...

Thanks for your opinions Paul, let me know if you have any more.

Marcie said...

"Although the right doesn't stoop so low as to go around calling people who have opinions "hate groups" as much as the left."

That's right, they just beat them with sticks and clubs, tie them to fences, drag them in chains behind trucks, picket their funerals, deny them benefits, etc. Being called a Hate Group is so much more horrible.

Paul Jamieson said...

Oh I get it, an April Fools Joke!