In the “Hate and Extremism” section of the SPLC website, the group lists 1,274 “Patriot Groups.” This category includes nonviolent conservative organizations like the Oath Keepers, the Constitution Party, Tea Party Patriots, the Tenth Amendment Center, and Joseph Farah’s WorldNetDaily.
In addition to fomenting hatred for groups with which it disagrees, the SPLC is the author of dangerous provocations. For example, in 1996 SPLC hyped a story that black churches were being torched at alarming rates in the South by white racists. As Michael Fumento wrote in the American Spectator at the time, this was soon proven to be false.
SPLC wildly exaggerates the number of groups genuinely associated with hate and violence as well. Laird Wilcox, an independent, non-conservative researcher found that of 800-plus “hate groups” over half them were either non-existent, existed in name only, or were inactive.
Wilcox has his own “extremist” lists. One is called “The Watchdogs … organizations who ‘monitor’ and combat the activities of their ideological opponents,” including many “organizations and individuals who have nothing to do with racism.” SPLC tops the list.
SPLC’s co-founder, Morris Dees, has been harshly criticized by former SPLC employees, a former business partner, and many liberal critics. They see him as little more than a rank opportunist and the SPLC’s chief purpose as raising money for SPLC coffers.
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