‘Hate Group’ Smears are Exploding. They’re the Left’s Favorite Brand of ‘Dirty Bomb’

By John Zmirak Published on July 9, 2017

You might well have missed it. But a number of conservative or Christian groups got smeared, then after protests unsmeared, by Guidestar.

Prudent donors approached by a charity will consult Guidestar. It tells you which groups spend half their budget on salaries. Which ones overpay their executives or otherwise squander what would-be philanthropists give them. But last month Guidestar put out ominous language about a list of conservative groups. That endangered their financial viability. After all, what corporation wants to be on the record as donating to a “hate group”? Which politician would have the nerve to cooperate with it? Guidestar admitted that it hadn’t done any research to back up those claims. It had borrowed its “hate group” language from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Furnishing the Poverty Palace

The SPLC grew out of what was once a useful organization. It closely watched the doings of the then-powerful Ku Klux Klan and other white racist groups. As the Klan shriveled and mostly died, the SPLC wasn’t ready to declare victory. Instead it widened its scope. Soon it began targeting more and more diverse organizations — including many with absolutely no connection to issues of race. Or actual, you know, hate.

Indeed, the SPLC has become just another left-wing pressure group. It has no more claim to credibility than the Democratic National Committee. As Stella Morabito wrote at The Federalist, “Two years ago, the FBI deleted the SPLC from its website’s list of legitimate resources on hate crimes.” That was while Barack Obama was president, folks.

The SPLC raises lavish funds through alarmist rhetoric from (one suspects) aging retirees. People with memories of the Holocaust and anti-black violence in the South. To keep the money coming in, it must keep stoking fears. It must argue that racial hate groups are growing in power and influence. What if such groups aren’t really growing but shrinking? Then it’s time to broaden the definition of “hate.” That will pry open folks’ checkbooks. This seems to work pretty well. The nickname for SPLC’s gleaming headquarters in Montgomery, Alabama, is “The Poverty Palace.”

The SPLC raises lavish funds from (one suspects) aging retirees with memories of the Holocaust and anti-black violence in the South through alarmist rhetoric. To keep the money coming in, it must keep stoking fears.

Morabito concludes that “the SPLC uses its list of designated hate groups … to manipulate the lives of others, smear reputations, control personal relationships, and reap the spoils.” The terrorist who attacked the Family Research Council in 2012 got its name from the SPLC website’s list of “hate groups.” The Bernie Sanders volunteer who shot Rev. Steve Scalise followed and praised the SPLC on social media.

Smearing the Innocent for Fun and Profit

Here are some of the groups and people against whom the SPLC has unjustly issued warnings:

SPLC lumps those groups and people in together with a short list of deserving organizations such as …

Karl Zinsmeister of the Philanthropy Roundtable rounds out the list of the SPLC’s victims:

Others branded with a scarlet E by the SPLC and many media enablers include former Cincinnati mayor and Ohio ­Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, think-tank president Frank Gaffney, Cliff Kincaid of the press watchdog Accuracy in Media, former Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin, ­WorldNetDaily journalist Joseph Farah, Rafael Cruz, a Cuban immigrant and father of a U.S. Senator, legal gadfly Larry Klayman, and immigration restrictionist Dan Stein. Philanthropist Ron Unz, bestselling author Dinesh D’Souza, regular Congressional testifier Mark Krikorian, former Senator and Governor George Allen, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former Congressman Tom Tancredo, former Congressman and Presidential candidate Ron Paul, and scores of other public-spirited Americans active in national debates. …

Hatred is ugly and repugnant. So fake charges of hate-mongering are among the most despicable forms of slander. They aim at destroying someone professionally, socially, even personally. Slandering someone as a racist these days is nearly as bad as falsely calling him a rapist. Ask Duke’s lacrosse team: Some leftists do that, too. 

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  • Charles Burge

    Thanks for bringing this to wider attention. It’s long past time that we call these people out for their irresponsible fear-mongering. I recently heard them referenced on NPR’s Morning Edition program without any caveats, which is sure to give listeners the impression that they are still a legitimate group.

  • Paul

    Sometimes it works to fight fire with fire. Hillary clearly hated 1/2 of America with her basket of deplorables, but I don’t recall anyone seriously tagging her with the hate speech moniker. Likewise Christophobia needs to be called out at every opportunity. Shove it back in their faces.

  • Patmos

    So a once legitimate organization degenerates into leftist hogwash? SPLC, say hello to The NY Times!

  • tz1

    The SPLC isn’t the problem.
    If a Jewish organization says Israel should be a Jewish ethno-nationalist homeland and push the palestinians and arabs out, nothing happens. Or they are praised.
    If someone here says white European Christendom was the root of America and that is what aliens should assimilate to, they are called racists.
    Or simple free speech.
    Has anyone actually read or listened to what Richard Spencer has ACTUALLY SAID? First, you can disagree with it, but I can’t find any actual hate or malice in it. If disagreement means hate, this post is self-contradictory. If not, if you don’t like Spencer, or his NPI or whatever, just don’t support it.
    Your problem seems to be that the SPLC has broadened its definition, but you fail to even ask the question as to who appointed them as arbiter of speech?

    Years ago the ACLU filed suit and the KKK marched in (jewish) Skokie, Illinois because of the 1st amendment.

    Now, even here, punches will be pulled for politically incorrect speech although Catholics are usually the victims of censorship.

    So aren’t Pat Buchanan and the late Joe Sobran anti-semites? Buckley purged them! No one defended them.

    • Charles Burge

      If a Jewish organization says Israel should be a Jewish ethno-nationalist homeland and push the palestinians and arabs out, nothing happens. Or they are praised.

      Really?? In which universe? All I’ve ever seen is Jews and Israelis get called bigots and warmongers for doing nothing more than defending themselves against grossly asymmetric Palestinian aggression.

  • Guidestar gave the Clinton Foundation a ‘Platinum’ rating. Do a search for the Anjali Sareen article in The National Memo, entitled Clinton Foundation Awarded Top Rating By Charity Watchdog Group.

    • Kevin Carr

      Impress that on the Haitians,I’m sure they would be pleased.

  • Wayne Cook

    John, nothing replaces history in gauging the health of a charity…we depend too much on websites to do the job of our own research…

    Good article, brother.

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