Southern Poverty Law Center

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The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is an anti-white "civil rights" organization set up in Montgomery, Alabama in 1971.

Southern Poverty Law Center.jpg

2019 scandal

In 2019, founder Morris Dees was fired. Following the dismissal, a letter signed by two dozen SPLC employees was sent to management, expressing concern that "allegations of mistreatment, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and racism threaten the moral authority of this organization and our integrity along with it. One former employee wrote that the "unchecked power of lavishly compensated white men at the top" of the SPLC contributed to a culture which made black and female employees the targets of harassment. A week later, President Richard Cohen and legal director Rhonda Brownstein announced their resignations amid the internal upheaval.[1]

Comparison to similar organizations

Unlike the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the SPLC is not an openly Jewish organization. The SPLC may therefore be able to appeal to individuals and groups who find the more open pro-Jewish lobbying by the ADL disquieting. However, the activities of the SPLC generally serve Jewish interests and Jews are prominent among the staff and those giving money to the organization.

Financial issues

Funding and connection to Madoff swindle

SPLC fundraising practices and large salaries to its leaders have been criticized. "In 2003, Virginia’s Fairfax Journal called attention to the fact that the tax-exempt SPLC, a participating member of the federal government’s yearly workplace fundraising drive known as the Combined Federal Campaign, had failed an audit by the Arlington-based Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. The audit stipulated that at least 50 percent of an organization’s total income should be set aside to fund its programs. Instead, 89 percent of the Center’s budget went toward fundraising and administrative costs. Adding up the numbers, the Journal observed that anyone wishing to make a $100 donation to the SPLC would find that only $11 went to the Center’s expressed mission of advancing civil rights. “Not much bang for the buck there,” the paper stated."[2]

The Picower Foundation was in 2012 stated to be by far the largest donor in recent years.[3] "The Picower Foundation, set up by Jeffry Picower, is reliably reported to have been the biggest beneficiary of the Madoff scam". More generally, SPLC funding has been stated to be "anchored by wealthy Jewish contributors on the East and West coasts."[4][5]

Money-making scheme

The group has been criticized as a moneymaking scheme. Some criticisms have focused on its fundraising methods. For example, a 1996 USA Today article claimed that the Southern Poverty Law Center is "the nation's richest civil rights organization", with $68 million in assets at the time (in the fiscal year ending in 2003, its assets totaled $156 million). A 2003 article in the Fairfax Journal stated that 89% of income was spent on fundraising and administration. A 2000 article stated that the SPLC spent twice as much on fundraising as it does on legal services for victims of civil rights abuses. The SPLC’s hometown paper, the Montgomery Advertiser, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for its 1994 nine-day examination of misdoings by the SPLC. In 2009, the SPLC was named as one of the ten worst charities.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15]

The SPLC has also been accused of fearmongering and inaccuracy in order to receive large donations.[16]

An article titled "The Conscience Industry" in the Nation in 1998 stated that "Morris Dees has raised an endowment of close to $100 million, with which he’s done little, by frightening elderly liberals that the heirs of Adolf Hitler are about to march down Main Street, lynching blacks and putting Jews into ovens. The fundraising of Dees and the richly rewarded efforts of terror mongers like Leonard Zeskind offer a dreadfully distorted view of American political realities."[9]

In 2015, the SPLC reported spending only $61,000 on legal services, despite receiving $50 million in contributions, having $328 million in assets, and spending $20 million on high salaries. The organization also has large sums and multiple bank accounts in unregulated offshore tax shelters, which have been criticized as highly unusual and unethical for a non-profit organization.[17]

"Hate Groups"

See Mark Potok.

A continuing source of controversy is the labeling of disliked organizations as "hate groups". The SPLC describes its definition of "hate group" as: "All hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics. Listing here does not imply that a group advocates or engages in violence or other criminal activity".

"Hate groups" include groups described as White nationalist, Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Confederate, Skinhead, White Power music, Radical traditional Catholicism, Holocaust denial, Christian Identity, Anti-LGBT (homophobia), Black separatist, White separatist, Anti-Muslim, and Anti-immigrant.

The SPLC also lists large numbers of "Anti-government patriot" and "Nativist extremist" groups. Although these are not listed as "hate groups", the labels and descriptions are negative and implies the presence of a large number of threatening groups (and the need to give very large donations to the SPLC).

Not labelled as hate groups by the SPLC:

  • Groups supporting Jewish supremacism.
  • Groups supporting implementing sharia, despite this including, for example, support for discrimination and/or violence against non-Muslims, women, and homosexuals.
  • Communist organizations promoting class hatred, violent Communist revolutions, the dictatorship of the proletariat, and praising Communist mass murderers.
  • Social anarchist organizations that use violence and other crimes against opponents.
  • Non-White, pro-terrorist or terrorist organizations that promote or commit violence.
  • Anti-White hip hop groups.

The SPLC list of "hate groups" has been criticized for that many of the supposed "hate groups" are vanishingly small or do not exist, and could be inventions of the SPLC or informants.[18]

A 2012 criticism stated that by simply merging separate groups with identical names "the list of 1,007 becomes a list of 358".[19]

In 2017, the SPLC was accused of faking an "Islamophobia" crisis, by tricks such as suddenly adding 45 chapters of the organization Act for America, instead of as previously counting these as one group. "Furthermore Act for America boasts not 45, but 1,000 chapters across the country. Why list just 45 of them? Look at it from the SPLC’s perspective. Next year, it can add 200 chapters and claim that anti-Muslim hate groups once again tripled. And then it can do the same thing again the year after that. That way the Southern Poverty Law Center can keep manufacturing an imaginary Islamophobia crisis. Also added to the list is Altra Firearms: a gun store that ran an ad declaring that it wouldn’t sell firearms to Clinton supporters or Muslims. [...] The list has added Bosch Fawstin: an artist who was the target of the first ISIS terror attack in America during the assault on the Draw Mohammed cartoon contest. The SPLC announced that it was adding the Eisner nominated artist to its list of hate groups after he survived the attack. [...] 6 of the SPLC’s "hate groups" are actually individuals."[20]

Some real organizations described by the SPLC as hate groups object strenuously to this characterization of them. Anti-immigrant VDARE, for example, insisted that the SPLC's actions were doing more harm to anti-racism than to genuine racism.

Another example is the Federation for American Immigration Reform. "With no serious analysis, the SPLC in late 2007 unilaterally labeled FAIR a “hate group.” That poisonous designation became the centerpiece of a “Stop the Hate” campaign launched by the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), also known as La Raza, to call on Congress and the media to exclude FAIR from the national debate on immigration. [...] The evidence presented here demonstrates that the SPLC became a propaganda arm of the NCLR. The SPLC’s decision to smear FAIR was the work of a kangaroo court, one convened to reach a pre-determined verdict by inventing or distorting evidence. The “Stop the Hate” campaign would more accurately be labeled as a campaign to “Stop the Debate.” [...] Rather than engage in a debate, La Raza and its allies have waged a campaign to have the other side shunned by the press, civil society, and elected officials. It is an effort to destroy the reputations of its targets. It also seeks to intimidate and coerce others into silence. It undermines basic principles of civil society and democratic discussion."[21]

The SPLC has also been criticized for labeling the Center for Immigration Studies as a “hate group” for trivial stated causes. The real cause is argued to be that the SPLC simply dislikes criticisms of the mass immigration.[22]

In a 2011 issue, the SPLC published a number of articles on the Men's movement as misogynistic, which caused outrage and a large backlash.

The Family Research Council (FRC) was in 2012 violently attacked by a shooter, who stated that he targeted the FRC because of the SPLC classification (due to the conservative Christian FRC being critical of homosexuality).[23][24][25]

The SPLC has claimed that "radical traditionalist Catholic" "hate groups" "may make up the largest single group of serious anti-Semites in America". Many of these traditional Catholic groups may simply be critical of some aspects of the Second Vatican Council. Critics have argued that the SPLC is broadening the definition of "hate groups" and adding new categories such as "radical traditionalist Catholic" and "anti-immigration" hate groups in order to justify its continued existence and continued large donations, as groups such as the Ku Klux Klan have dwindled.[26]

A 2014 study argued the SPLC did not to use objective criteria in determining which organizations should be labeled a "hate group". The study argued that the SPLC dubiously listed the Family Research Council as a "hate group", while ignoring anti-Christian and liberal groups that used similar rhetoric, which demonstrated that the list was more about mobilizing liberals than providing an objective source for "hate groups". All the groups labelled "hate groups" were either political or religious conservatives, except "black separatists", which was argued to be because the SPLC was a liberal group. The SPLC has escaped critical analysis of its work in academia because of a liberal bias among academicians, the study additionally stated. The "SPLC has become a useful organization for progressives to legitimate their battle against conservatives. Since conservative Christians are categorized as opponents there is little, if any, incentive for SPLC to recognize hateful expressions against Christians, because doing so actually works against the social vested interest of the group".[27]


The SPLC has a strange list of alleged individual "Extremists" with unclear inclusion criteria, not including well-known "right-wing" convicted criminals, but including, for example, IQ researchers, eugenics proponents, and Holocaust revisionists. One inclusion criteria could be to have written politically incorrect texts or to have supported the dissemination of such texts, but as of 2018 the list does not include, for example, Ben Klassen.

Reports alleging associations between killings and Stormfront or the Alt-Right

See Hate crime: SPLC allegations.

Civil lawsuits

The SPLC is known for civil lawsuits against disliked organizations and their leaders for alleged incitement, citing alleged crimes committed by members or even non-members, and demanding large monetary compensations, in effect trying to shut down the organizations. As actual incitement to "imminent lawless action" would fall under criminal law, the SPLC in its civil lawsuits alleges other and more unclear kinds of incitement. Dubious witnesses testifying against others in exchange for immunity or reduced sentences are often cited as evidence. The SPLC arguably exploits the general stigma against these organizations in order to win dubious lawsuits and shut down the organizations. The lawsuits are often widely publicized by the politically correct media and presumably are beneficial for SPLC fundraising, in addition to money gained from the lawsuits itself. Some examples include:

In 2018, about 60 organizations claimed to be “hate groups” or otherwise attacked by the SPLC were considering legal action against the SPLC. A $3 million settlement and apology the SPLC gave to Maajid Nawaz and his Quilliam Foundation contributed to this. Lawsuits had already been initiated against other organizations for adopting the SPLC's “hate group” claims.[28]

Antifa associations

The Council of Conservative Citizens wrote in 2013 on antifa associations that "SPLC admits that the ARA, a group they have been actively promoting on their website, engages in serious mob violence. However, they romanticize the violence and never explicitly condemn it. The SPLC praises the gang as a “constructive force,” and downplays the gang’s violence."[29]

See also the article on the Tinley Park attack.

Private intelligence gathering, infiltration, and reliance on by government agencies

The SPLC has, like the Anti-Defamation League, been accused of being a private intelligence gathering agency. It may do activities as a private organization that public law enforcement agencies are barred by law from doing (such as keeping dossiers on people solely because of their political or religious views).[30]

The SPLC has also been accused of using infiltrators, provocateurs, and outright fabrication of hate speech in order discredit disliked groups and individuals.[31]

Government agencies relies on the SPLC. In 2012, the SPLC stated "Law enforcement agencies come to us every day with questions about particular groups".[32][33] This may be due to the above mentioned limitations for law enforcement agencies and may be seen as problematic by circumventing the law as well as being problematic by relying on a biased source for information.

The SPLC has been involved in training law enforcement officers.[34]

See also Project Megiddo.

Other is a website and an associated magazine run by the SPLC that promotes multiculturalism, homosexuality, and liberal activism. It is targeted at teachers, parents, and children.

The SPLC has been stated to be part of campaign to subvert the environmental movement, which had previously warned against the environmental problems of mass immigration.[35]

In 2007, the SPLC published an article attacking Metapedia, titled "White Nationalism Aryan Encyclopedia Takes Off".[1]

In 2014, the SPLC was criticized for ignoring a "tsunami of violence" in Montgomery, Alabama, where the SPLC headquarter is located. This may be because the not politically correct "profile of the typical “violent extremist” is a young black male with gang affiliations who is immersed in a hip hop subculture that devalues human life".[36]

In 2017, circumstantial evidence was argued to show that the SPLC could be buying over half of their web traffic from Google.[37]

Increasing radicalization

In 2020, possibly in association with the Great Awokening, the SPLC distanced itself from previous categorizations of a few organizations as "Black nationalist" and "Black separatist" and some mild criticisms of anti-white racism, the SPLC thus becoming more openly anti-white.[38]


  • Are we any better off than we were 50 years ago? Absolutely. [...] White dominance is on the decline as the demographic white majority heads for oblivion over the course of the next 30 years. – Jew Mark Potok, SPLC, 2013.[39]

External links


Article archives


  1. Wikipedia, 19:33, 14 April 2020‎ version
  2. Southern Poverty Law Center: Activities, Agendas and Worldview. Discover the Networks. Retrieved on 27 April 2013.
  3. {Southern Poverty Law Center: Wellspring of Manufactured Hate
  4. Will The Southern Poverty Law (And Investing) Center Return Its Madoff Money?
  5. Will SPLC Accept More Tainted Picower/Madoff Funding?
  6. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) Expands
  7. "Attacking a Home-Town Icon" Jim Tharpe, Nieman Watchdog 1995.
  8. Morse, Dan (February 14, 1994), "A complex man: Opportunist or crusader?", Montgomery Advertiser
  9. 9.0 9.1 Cockburn, Alexander (November 9, 1998), "The Conscience Industry", The Nation
  10. "1995 Finalists: Explanatory Journalism". Pulitzer Prize. 1995. Retrieved 2007-09-18. 
  11. Andrea Stone, "Morris Dees: At the Center of the Racial Storm," USA Today, August 3, 1996, A-7
  12. Silverstein, Ken (March 22, 2010). "Hate, Immigration, and the Southern Poverty Law Center". Harper's Magazine. Retrieved June 12, 2011. 
  13. Silverstein, Ken (November 1, 2000), "The Church of Morris Dees: How the Southern Poverty Law Center profits from intolerance", Harper's Magazine, p. 54
  14. Silverstein, Ken (March 2, 2007), "This Week in Babylon: Southern Poverty: richer than Tonga", Harper's Magazine
  15. SPLC named on worst ten charities list.
  16. Jesse Walker (March 3, 2010). "Fearmongering at the SPLC". Reason.
  17. Southern Poverty Law Center Transfers Millions in Cash to Offshore Entities
  18. "An Expert on Fringe Political Movements Reflects on the SPLC’s Political Agenda - An Exclusive Interview with Author and Researcher Laird Wilcox,"Volume 20, Number 3 (Spring 2010)
  19. Berger, J.M. (March 12, 2013). "The Hate List: Is America really being overrun by right-wing militants?". Foreign Policy.
  20. How the Southern Poverty Law Center Faked an Islamophobia Crisis
  21. Jerry Kammer. Immigration and the SPLC. March 2010. Center for Immigration Studies.
  22. How labeling my organization a hate group shuts down public debate
  23. FRC shooter: I targeted them because SPLC list said they were ‘anti-gay’. Retrieved on 27 April 2013.
  24. Southern Poverty Law Center website triggered FRC shooting. Washington Examiner. Retrieved on 27 April 2013.
  25. Domestic Terrorist Says He Targeted FRC After Finding It on Southern Poverty Law Center Website. CNS News. Retrieved on 27 April 2013.
  27. Southern Poverty Law Center Biased in Labeling Family Research Council a 'Hate Group,' Academic Study Argues.
  28. 'About 60 Organizations' Are Considering a Lawsuit Against the SPLC Following $3M Nawaz Settlement
  29. SPLC defends violent Marxist gang members
  30. Wilcox, Laird. The Watchdogs. Olathe, Kansas: Editorial Research Service, 1999.
  31. SPLC Escalates—Uses Agent Provocateur Against Southern Nationalists.
  32. Kornblut, Anne E. (13 August 1999). «FBI limited in battling hate groups». The Boston Globe. 30 August 2012. «The FBI also works in tandem with such nonprofit agencies as the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups. "Law enforcement agencies come to us every day with questions about particular groups," said Mark Potok, a spokesman for the center, based in Montgomery, Ala.»
  33. SPLC Claims Ongoing FBI Relationship.
  34. The Threat to Freedom: The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Department of Homeland Security. Right Side News.
  35. The Sierra Club’s Profitable Descent into Leftism
  36. The SPLC and Violence. April 17, 2014. Occidental Dissent.
  37. SPLC, ADL, and NAACP have been buying traffic from Google
  38. The Southern Poverty Law Center Vanishes Its Insufficiently Woke Past
  39. 50 years later, hate violence still plagues the nation