Media still going to Southern Poverty Law Center for racial hate info

Earlier this month, Charles Cooke over at National Review Online learned the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) – a self-described civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry – had absolutely no interest in covering the extremists in the #Occupy movement, violent anarchists who show up at international summits around the world, or gangs of black youths caught on video stealing from small businesses, but that does not stop the media from going to them as a “reputable source of information.”

Colleen Curry over at ABC News goes back to dig up the same old information on the “exploding” growth of militias and White supremacist groups.

The number of radical hate groups and militias has exploded in recent years in reaction to the changing makeup of America, and new census figures showing the majority of babies born in 2011 were non-white could fuel those simmering tensions, experts who track hate groups warned.

“White supremacist groups have been having a meltdown since the census bureau predicted that non-Hispanic whites would lose the majority by 2050,” said Mark Potok, spokesman for the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups. “The demographic change in this country is the single most important driver in the growth of hate groups and extremist groups over the last few years.”

As a reminder, Cooke got the following from SPLC in response to questions concerning why they did not cover the extreme fringe of the #Occupy movement and other left wing groups.

“Do you have any plans to start tracking Occupy Wall Street after a hate group tried to blow up a bridge?”

“No, I don’t think so,” he said. “We blogged it right away when it happened.” I asked him why he thought this deserved only a blog post, and he explained that the SPLC only deals with “hatred of people based on class characteristics,” which a little more pushing revealed meant “immutable characteristics such as a person’s eye or skin color.” “So,” I asked, “Occupy doesn’t count because it doesn’t hate people based on their innate characteristics?” He assented, but didn’t explain adequately why SPLC is vocal on “Islamophobia,” for example — whatever Islam is, it is not an “immutable” characteristic — and why it concerns itself with matters of traditionalist Catholic theology.

[T]he SPLC only tracks those who commit violence or who seek to destroy whole systems in the name of an ideology.

“Isn’t that exactly what happened in Cleveland?” I asked. “These five men, all linked with Occupy Wall Street, attempted to blow up a bridge as an overture to the wholesale destruction of Cleveland, Ohio, and in the name of anarchism. They also looked to blow up the Republican convention.”

“They were anarchists,” he repeated.


He paused. “We’re not really set up to cover the extreme Left.

No, you choose to ignore what the extreme left does.

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. Dimsdale on May 21, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    SPLC and racism is like New Hampshire antique dealers and antiques: they both make their respective products as fast as they can sell them!
    At least the fake antiques LOOK like the real thing….

  2. ricbee on May 21, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    I’ve long ago dismissed the SPLC as a pile of guvna.

  3. Linda Mae on May 23, 2012 at 1:38 am

    I used several of their videos for my 8th grade American History class years ago.? They were wonderful.? You have to be really careful how and when you use them, but that is the case with any biased materials available.? Teachers need to examine the materials they use carefully and be honest with the kids if some materials are opinionated.? The kids did research first to become familiar with Selma, etc. and then we discussed it.? Then, after they were familiar with the history, we watched the video.? The video did not control the kid’s thoughts – the readings and discussions did.? It was like icing on a cake.? I can see, however, what trouble could be caused if the videos were shown first with NO discussion before or after.?

  4. Lynn on May 24, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    NOw that I have stopped laughing at how ” Southern Poverty Law ?Center “means a self-described civil rights organization dedicated ?to fight hate and bigotry. I’m sorry, but if you get a job
    ?And live within your means you probably don’t have to fight hate and bigotry, unless you live in the North. Anyways, if it makes them feel good that’s all that matters. One fact shouts out! The Left has No extreme left, the right is always extreme and it is always at fault for any violence caused, even if it is imaginary, like say the Tea Party. So what do we righties do, laugh heartily, you can’t win a logical argument with illogical people.


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