Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Southern Hypocrisy Poverty Center

Our Oklahoma lurker sent this story from Tulsa’s KOTV:

Hate Groups Identified In Oklahoma

The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified 19 hate groups active in 2008 in Oklahoma.

According to the SPLC’s Intelligence Report released Thursday, 926 hate groups have been identified in the U.S.

The report says the number of hate groups continued to rise in 2008 and has grown by 54 percent since 2000.

SPLC cites immigration fears, a failing economy and Barak Obama’s successful campaign for President.

As anyone who has looked into the shenanigans of the Southern Poverty Law Center knows, they are one of the best-funded hate groups out there.

Back in the day when you had to depend on the MSM for any information, I was a big supporter of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Having grown up down here, I knew how rough it could be for blacks entering the dungeons of what passed for “equal justice” in the deep south.

But as many others did I grew up eventually. I began to read some history, and I looked into the groups I'd promoted and supported. Some of what I learned was ugly, but probably nothing I discovered surpassed the venality, mendacity, and sheer ill-will of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
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Here’s a rundown on the founder:

Morris Seligman Dees is the founder and chief trial lawyer of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Dees was born into a Shorter, Alabama farming family in 1936. As an undergraduate at the University of Alabama, he founded a direct mail order sales company, Fuller & Dees Marketing Group, which prospered into one of the largest publishing firms in the South. In 1960 he graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law and continued to run his business until the late Sixties, when “a night of soul searching at a snowed-in Cincinnati airport” led him to sell his company to the Times Mirror, the parent company of the Los Angeles Times. Dees professed an eagerness to “speak out for [his] black friends who were still ‘disenfranchised’ even after the Voting Rights Act of 1965.” “I had made up my mind,” he would write in his 1991 autobiography A Season for Justice, “I would sell the company as soon as possible and specialize in civil rights law.”

In 1971 Dees used the funds from the Times Mirror sale to establish the Montgomery-based SPLC with Julian Bond and attorney Joseph Levin.

In 1972 Dees served as the chief fundraiser for George McGovern’s presidential campaign, for which he raised some $20 million.

In 1975 Dees was arrested and removed from court for attempting to suborn perjury (by means of a bribe) on behalf of the defendant in a North Carolina murder trial. Though the felony charge against Dees was subsequently dropped, the presiding judge refused to re-admit him to the case; that refusal was upheld on appeal.


Dees is known to be the architect of one of SPLC’s most effective-and most controversial-tactics: exaggerating the prevalence and capabilities of racist and extremist rightwing groups [my emphasis - D] operating in the United States in order to frighten supporters into donating money to SPLC.

…Several studies conducted in the 1990s indicated that the Dees and other top SPLC figures earned significantly higher salaries than the leaders of most non-profit organizations.

Because SPLC perennially disburses twice as much on fundraising as it does on legal services (while skimming off substantial amounts of revenue for its own endowment), Dees’ income has provoked accusations of fraud. Stephen Bright, a director of the Southern Center for Human Rights, a leftwing Atlanta-based group that opposes the death penalty, put it bluntly in a 1996 letter to Dees, in which he denounced the latter as a “a fraud and a conman,” and upbraided Dees because “you spend so much, accomplish so little, and promote yourself shamelessly.”

Similarly, leftwing journalist Alexander Cockburn accused Dees of raising funds “by frightening elderly liberals that the heirs of Adolf Hitler are about to march down Main Street.”

See? Even the Left thinks he’s a sham.

The accusations against Dees have also come from some of the people closest to him. As Dees’ onetime business partner Millard Fuller once said: “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.”

In 1986, SPLC’s entire legal staff quit in an act of defiance against Dees for his pursuit of lucrative, high-profile cases against the KKK, in preference to working to secure civil liberties for the poor. Speaking to reporters, SPLC attorney Gloria Browne candidly admitted that the Center’s programs were devised to cash in on “black pain and white guilt.”

Asked about his knack for generating revenue, Dees once boasted, “I learned everything I know about hustling from the Baptist Church. Spending Sundays on those hard benches listening to the preacher pitch salvation -- why, it was like getting a Ph.D. in selling.”

As of 2000, SPLC’s assets exceeded $120 million; that same year, the organization spent twice as much on fundraising efforts as on legal services for victims of civil rights abuses. Accordingly, the American Institute of Philanthropy, a charity watchdog group, gave SPLC one of the worst ratings of all of the organizations it monitored.

“They’re drowning in their own affluence,” former SPLC legal fellow Pamela Summers told The Montgomery Advertiser. “What they are doing in the legal department is not done for the best interest of everybody [but] is done as though the sole, overriding goal is to make money.” “I think people associate the SPLC with going to court,” added Summers. “And that’s why they get the money. And they don’t go to court.”

At an April 1996 news conference in Washington, Dees announced that there had been a recent spate of black church burnings in the South which “certainly” had been carried out “by racists.”…It was ultimately learned, however, that Dees’ claim was unfounded.

Dees was again in the spotlight in the fall of 2000, when he narrated an HBO documentary, titled, about extremism in America. But critics noted that while Dees and SPLC regularly condemned rightwing extremist and nationalist groups, they consistently failed to apply similar scrutiny to leftwing hate groups.

In recent years, Dees has worked to provide legal representation for illegal aliens. In 2005, for example, he represented two El Salvadorans in a lawsuit against the vigilante group Ranch Rescue, which was charged with using force to keep these illegals from sneaking across the Mexican border. Dees and SPLC won the case and achieved, as settlement, the transfer of the group’s 70-acre property and headquarters to the plaintiffs. “Certainly it’s poetic justice that these undocumented workers [now] own this land,” Dees said.

There is more information on Dees at the link cited above.

It is disquieting to know that a TV station would put forth this story without bothering to do the research on the Morris Dees’ Personal Enrichment Center. But they didn't. Just a quick and dirty stab at Oklahoma, and a link to the Oklahoma hate sites, just in case the readers are interested.

There is a larger hate group map showing all the states. Oklahoma only has 19 hate groups, while Virginia has 26. Somehow, though, the Jamaat-ul-Fuqra compounds never make it into the listings. Now why would that be? And according to the SPLC records, New Mexico has only one group, as do North Dakota and Maine. What’s the matter with those people? Buncha slackers, that’s what.

It would be interesting to see the correlation between the incidence of “hate groups” as defined by Dees and Co. and the breakdown of red states and blue states (not to mention the purple ones).

The greed and lack of integrity of grievance mongers like Dees have done incalculable harm to race relations in this country. People like Dees have conspired to scare people in order to extract money from them. He is a parasite and a hate monger.

Unfortunately for our country, there are many people out there just like him. And there are far too many news outlets like KOTV who put up these press releases they get from places like SPLC just to fill up space.

Hey, you guys in Tulsa: straighten them out, would you?