SPLC's Stance on What Constitutes a Hate Organization?
In the 1980s, the Southern Poverty Law Center — an organization born of the civil rights movement — began tracking extremist organizations they deemed “hate groups” in the United States.
At the time, most were white supremacist organizations finding renewed footing after a resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan.
They called it Klanwatch, then eventually the Intelligence Project.
In the nearly 40 years since, hundreds of groups that ascribe to varying brands of inflammatory ideology — Neo-Nazism, anti-gay, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, Holocaust denial, black separatist — have been lumped into the list. There is even a “general hate” category.
The law center’s definition of hate groups — “those that vilify entire groups of people based on immutable characteristics such as race or ethnicity” — mirrors the one used by the federal government when prosecuting hate crimes.
And while the news media routinely cites SPLC hate group designations as if they were definitive, some categorizations have in fact been controversial.
The law center is left-leaning, a nugget conservatives and even moderates have used to deem some SPLC distinctions illegitimate — especially when it labeled the Family Research Council, a conservative organization, a hate group for its stance on homosexuality.
But the center’s most recent critique came this summer from some conservatives after ambush shootings killed eight police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, days after Black Lives Matter protests erupted across the country following the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile at the hands of law enforcement.
Thousands signed Change.org petitions, the center received direct requests andconservative commentators joined the chorus of critics demanding a hate group designation for Black Lives Matter, claiming its rhetoric was inflammatory.
The SPLC refused.
This month, the organization announced the latest additions to its Hate Map tracker.
Black Lives Matter is not on the list.
White Lives Matter is.
Merle asks what is the makeup of the SPLC board is these days? Mostly Republicans or Democrats or Independents? White or people of color? Gender? Age? Like the redistricting map in Illinois turned down by a panel of 7. 4 Democrats voted no insensibly and to their advantage and 3 Republicans voted yes sensibly.
But politics is all a game you must understand. Perhaps life is also. An indication why so many leave this earth so early?