You might not know them by name, but assuming you have ever seen a talking head on MSCNNBCFOXMSMBS fear-mongering about the ever-present danger of “hate” groups that (GASP!) don’t worship the government as the holiest institution on the planet, then you know their work.
I’m referring to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a “nonprofit legal advocacy organization” that is “dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society,” according to their self-congratulatory PR material. Founded in 1971 by a pair of civil rights lawyers, the SPLC prides itself on its “Hatewatch” and “Hate Map” projects, monitoring the rise of hate groups as they spread hate and hate across America.
Did I mention hate? Because that’s what the SPLC specializes in. Hate, I mean. Or monitoring hate. It’s hard to tell the difference sometimes.
Anyway, if you’re a dedicated listener to The Corbett Report, you’ll remember I did a podcast seven years ago exploding the myth of the SPLC as a crusading bunch of civil rights defenders volunteering their services across the South in their thankless pursuit of justice for the poor and downtrodden. In that episode I talked about Mark Potok (the “editor-in-chief of the SPLC’s award-winning, quarterly journal, the Intelligence Report and its investigative reports”), his relentless smearing of anyone and everyone who dares criticize the government (or, more specifically, the Democratic party), and his hatred of those vile conspiracy theorists who actively try to educate (GASP!) the people about the government’s misdeeds. I discussed the fact that the SPLC provides instructors and “training materials” to the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (presumably so they can better identify and strip the rights from aforementioned conspiracy theorists). And I even discussed the SPLC’s role in planting federal informants in “Elohim City,” the militia enclave that housed the government spook at the center of the OKC conspiracy.
But if you have listened to that episode (or if you do so now), you’ll find that the single most intriguing fact about the SPLC is their annual revenue and net asset holdings. Citing the most recent data available at that time (2010), I noted that the Center’s 2007 revenue was $44.7 million (on $20.8 million in program expenses) and their 2008 net assets totaled an unimaginable $170 million.
Yes, you read that correctly: $170 million. Not bad for a “nonprofit” legal advocacy group, hey?
But if you think that’s outrageous, just wait till you hear what that number is now. And wait till you hear what they’re doing with it.
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