Friday, March 1, 2024

Conservative Groups Run WSJ Ad Bashing SPLC’s Bigotry

‘To continue to use SPLC’s politically-driven labeling will be an endorsement of SPLC’s blatant racism and bigotry…’

Center for Immigration Studies Sues Southern Poverty Law Center for 'Hate Group' Label
SPLC’s ‘Hate Map’/IMAGE: Screenshot via splcenter.org (Fair Use)

(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) A pair of Christian-based, conservative groups sought to turn the tables on the embattled Southern Poverty Law Center this week with an ad campaign that echoed the many attacks the SPLC has itself launched in the past.

The Family Research Council and the American Family Association were among the many organizations unjustly added to the SPLC’s “hate watch” list for asserting their religious values.

On Wednesday, the FRC and AFA, in collaboration with the #SPLCExposed campaign, ran an ad in the Wall Street Journal to highlight the storied civil-rights group’s sharp left turn toward hypocrisy in the wake of its own intolerable misconduct.

The SPLC’s internal scandal became public after the resignations of co-founder Morris Dees and group President Richard Cohen.

Allegations from staff members suggested that Dees had behaved inappropriately with female staff members and that others had attempted to cover up the behavior.

The complaints also criticized the racist culture at the top of the organization, dominated by white men.

The Wall Street Journal ad included six actual quotes attributed to SPLC staff members about the troublesome charges.

“The bigotry and racial discrimination described by its former employees is evidence of SPLC’s hypocrisy,” the ad said. “The SPLC has become a hate-for-cash machine that has weaponized its hate labeling of groups and individual people.”

It specifically called on six major companies—Spotify, MSNBC, CNN, YouTube, Amazon and PayPal—to stop citing and using the SPLC as an authority on hate and extremism.

“Now that employees of SPLC have pulled back the curtain on the organization’s hypocrisy, what will members of the media and big tech who aligned themselves with SPLC do?” asked FRC President Tony Perkins in a press statement accompanying the ad’s release.

“To continue to use SPLC’s politically-driven labeling will be an endorsement of SPLC’s blatant racism and bigotry,” he said.

Meanwhile, another major media company, Twitter, said it was no longer using the SPLC as one of the resources included on its Trust and Safety Council, according to The Daily Caller.

“It is long overdue that social media companies stop using the hypocritical SPLC as a reliable source to police their content and discriminate against pro-family and conservative nonviolent organizations,” said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, in response.

Liberty Counsel, another of the groups targeted by the SPLC, dedicated a page on its own website to exposing the SPLC lies. It said Facebook, Google (the parent company of YouTube) and Amazon all continued to rely on the SPLC as an authority with the power to de-platform groups that offended its radical sensibilities.

“The rest of the tech companies should follow Twitter’s lead and divorce from the SPLC,” said Staver. “It appears to have taken a major implosion within the SPLC for others to finally see what organizations like Liberty Counsel have been saying all along.”

Already, several of the groups and individuals targeted by the SPLC have sued and won cases against it—including a multi-million-dollar defamation award to Maajid Nawaz, a Muslim whom the SPLC dubbed anti-Islamic for his stance against jihadist terrorism.

A coalition of around 70 conservative groups wrote an open letter to the news media in April asking them to rethink their support for the group.

However, with a half-a-billion dollars in assets, some tied in offshore accounts in Caribbean nations, the so-called nonprofit SPLC is not likely to simply dissolve.

After the resignation of Dees, it announced that it was bringing in Tina Tchen, former chief of staff to Michelle Obama, to help it “restructure.”

Some, including Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., suspect this may entail not only a cultural re-alignment but also a financial one—shifting it from a nonprofit public-interest advocacy group into a full-fledged political-action committee that could use its immense resources in the upcoming 2020 presidential campaign.

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