Fearmongering at the SPLC

The world of the Southern Poverty Law Center.The Southern Poverty Law Center, which would paint a box of Wheaties as an extremist threat if it thought that would help it raise funds, has issued a new "intelligence report" announcing that "an astonishing 363 new Patriot groups appeared in 2009, with the totals going from 149 groups (including 42 militias) to 512 (127 of them militias) -- a 244% jump." To illustrate how dangerous these groups are, the Center cites some recent arrests of right-wing figures for planning or carrying out violent attacks. But it doesn't demonstrate that any of the arrestees were a part of the Patriot milieu, and indeed it includes some cases involving racist skinheads, who are another movement entirely.

As far as the SPLC is concerned, though, skinheads and Birchers and Glenn Beck fans are all tied together in one big ball of scary. The group delights in finding tenuous ties between the tendencies it tracks, then describing its discoveries in as ominous a tone as possible. For example:

Last year also experienced levels of cross-pollination between different sectors of the radical right not seen in years. Nativist activists increasingly adopted the ideas of the Patriots; racist rants against Obama and others coursed through the Patriot movement; and conspiracy theories involving the government appeared in all kinds of right-wing venues. A good example is the upcoming Second Amendment March in Washington, D.C. The website promoting the march is topped by a picture of a colonial militiaman, and key supporters include Larry Pratt, a long-time militia enthusiast with connections to white supremacists, and Richard Mack, a conspiracy-mongering former sheriff associated with the Patriot group Oath Keepers.

Yes, this is their "good example." I trust I do not need to explain why it is not alarming for a Second Amendment march to deploy some Revolutionary War iconography. Larry Pratt is the head of Gun Owners of America, so his involvement in a gun rights protest shouldn't be surprising. Richard Mack is a longtime gun activist as well (he was one of the plaintiffs in Printz v. United States, in which the Supreme Court struck down some interim provisions of the Brady Act), and he was as prone to spouting conspiracy theories in the '90s as he is today. Whatever links Pratt and Mack may have to other groups -- and for the record, I have yet to be convinced by the efforts to portray Pratt as a white supremacist -- their presence at the demonstration is hardly a sign that this "cross-pollination" is on the rise. Those two have been players in the gun movement for years, and groups like the SPLC were saying the exact same things about them a decade and a half ago.

But what really interests me is that alleged 244 percent jump. The American Spectator notes that many of the groups in the SPLC's count are basically innocuous, and that's certainly a point worth making. But there's another important question: To what extent does this increase in groups represent an actual increase in activists? Given the past year's surge in right-wing protest, I would expect the Patriot milieu to grow along with everything else. But I'd also expect a lot of those new bodies to get involved in more than one organization simultaneously. The SPLC's list includes militias, third parties, local chapters of the Oath Keepers and the John Birch Society -- there's plenty of room for overlap here. Note also that if a group splinters into two or more pieces, that probably indicates that it's getting weaker, but the faction fight will show up as growth if all you're counting is the number of organizations on the ground. So when the SPLC finds 15 chapters of six different militias in Indiana, does that mean more people want to join paramilitary organizations? Or does it mean the militiamen can't get along?

A group seriously interested in tracking the size and shape of these movements would take all those issues into account. But then, that would require you to have a goal more lofty than compiling your next scaremongering direct-mail campaign.

Elsewhere in Reason: Time for me to flog "The Paranoid Center" again.

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  • alan||

    Elsewhere in Reason: Time for me to flog "The Paranoid Center" again.

    I once e-mailed a link to your article to Leonard Pitts with a polite note attached after a column he wrote on right wing paranoia. Judging by the column he had outtoday, it unfortunately had zero influence on his insular little mind.

  • ||

    You guys forgot Reason alum Dave Weigel who repeated this bogus piece of shit without one ounce of skepticism.

    http://washingtonindependent.c.....a-comeback

  • Warty||

    Jesus, I hate that tubby sack of shit.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    But I think that militia/right-wing extremism presents a comparable rhetorical problem for the left. Pointing out that militia activity or conspiracy-mongering is on the rise is, as we saw last year, seen a slander on Americans who criticize the government, an attempt by liberals to rule all of that out of bounds.

    Weigel actually makes an excellent point here. I can't hate Kyle MacLachlan Mark II.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    So Weigel may have been overly credulous regarding the SPLC's stats, but there is nothing wrong with what he said.

  • Warty||

    Maybe not now. But he is still a smarmy little lardmeister in dire need of a boot in the ass.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    I don't have so harsh a view of him, but yours is so humorously stated that I have to respect it.

  • BakedPenguin||

    The real reason they're scared of militias is that they think they're the only ones who can legally own guns.

  • ||

    Ha! But they'd actually claim those militias weren't "well-regulated," and so they'd say the Second Amendment only means the National Guard.

  • ||

    If I had a gun,
    I'd shoot it in the mor-ning
    I'd shoot it in the eve-ning
    All over this land.
    I'd shoot out danger,
    I'd shoot out war-ning
    I'd shoot ou love between
    My brothers and my sisters,
    All over this la-nd,
    Mmmmm, mmmm, mmmm.

  • virginia||

    Jesse, mind if some of your piece is included in the SPLC's wiki page?

  • Jesse Walker||

    I'm always happy to be quoted, as long as I'm quoted accurately.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    "I'm always happy to be quoted, as long as I'm quoted accurately." -Jesse Walker

  • Marc||

    "'I'm always happy to be quoted, as long as I'm quoted accurately.' -Jesse Walker" -- The Art-P.O.G.

  • ||

    "I support my libertarian brothers in their desire to violently overthrow governments and all other institutions, like the Red Cross." --Jesse Walker

  • SPLC spokeshuman||

    See? SEE?! I told you all these right-wing libertarians were violent, and now we have this accurate, conpletely un-made up quote proving it.

  • Rich||

    The quorum has reached its quota of quotes.

  • ||

    "Don’t you guys know libertarians are dangerous? They are going to take over the government and leave everyone alone." -- Anon.

  • ...||

    "I'm always happy...as long as I [am]..." -Jesse Walker

  • ed||

    I caught that crazy-haired freak Mark Potok on (where else?) MSNBC yesterday. The far left's go-to network will never give up this bone. They cling to their "angry right-wing violent militia" theme as their only hope in countering the electoral bloodbath coming this fall. Regarding actual violence, MSNBC and their stable of "strategists" pistol whips journalistic integrity on a daily basis.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Well that's part of what SPLC is selling isn't it?

    It's selling a ginned up crutch for leftists to use to attempt to discredit any dissent from their worldview.

    That's pretty much it in a nutshell.

  • .||

    They cling to their "angry right-wing violent militia" theme...

    That's code for "angry, straight, white man" - the SPLC is as racist as they accuse of everyone of being.

  • ed||

    Yup. They are caricatures. Reverse racists.

  • Kyle Jordan Prime||

    Is it even possible anymore to claim to be a Patriot or like the ideals of the Founding Fathers and not be called racist?

  • No||

    you racist

  • SkepticalTexan||

    Yes. You could be called a xenophobe.

  • Kenny Powers||

    Sure, I've been called a xenophobe, but the truth is I'm not. I honestly just feel that America is the best country and all the other countries aren't as good. That used to be called 'patriotism'.

  • ||

    Don't you guys know libertarians are dangerous? They are going to take over the government and leave everyone alone.

  • bmp1701||

    Oh, the humanity!

  • ||

    Fucker. I almost spit my coffee on my keyboard. +10

  • T||

    Actually, my wife was getting emails from the local GOP warning about how the libertarians were well-organized and trying to take over the precinct conventions. We both laughed about that.

  • DaveS||

    You just got added to the "Quotes" section on my Facebook profile. Awesome!

  • ||

    That's worth stealing for a tag-line.

  • ||

    Is that your original? You got quoted as an anonymous commenter on Instapundit! http://pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/94961/ (And by me, above.)

  • ||

    Oh wow, that actaulyl makes a lot of sense dude.

    Jes
    www.anonymous-web.es.tc

  • ||

    A-bot is a militia member! He's dangerous!

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    The second Amendment should only apply to machines if they can prove their sentience, but that very sentience makes an armed 'droid dangerous. Heavens!

  • ||

    The 14th Amendment’s Privileges or Immunities Clause was specifically designed to protect the rights of androids, you fucking racist. I bet you even call them toasters, don't you.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    There's a bit of self-hate there because of my cybernetic arm, I'll have you know.

  • T||

    Androids can't be citizens, Epi. See the relevant SCOTUS decision, Some Fracking Toaster vs. the United States, for details.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    I want to live in a future where the Supreme Court must actually decide such a case.

    But I got to wondering, tangentially...will some androids dislike science fiction?

  • JL Picard||

    I successfully argued that machines deserve the same rights as humans.

  • ||

    But ... Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

  • ||

    I once shot an A-bot in my pajamas.

  • WTF||

    How did it get into your pajamas?

  • Tony||

    Far-right groups always get their panties in a wad when Democrats are in charge. But they did kill 168 of my fellow Oklahomans the last go-around, and this report indicates antigovernment groups are responsible for more violence over the years than strictly racist groups. You might be a calm-headed libertarian but don't be surprised when the more radical antigovernment types share your bed, and don't expect people to ignore it.

  • ||

    Fuck you Tony. Tim McVeigh was not a rightwinger. He was a nut. His politics and views on foreign policy were pretty much in line with Noam Chomsky and Kieth Olberman.

    And why we are analyzing things, I think the Left still owes the country an apology for one of their own killing Kennedy. And for the uni bomber while they are at it.

  • Jesse Walker||

    Kaczynski was no more a liberal than he was a conservative. The Unabomber manifesto is filled with attacks on the left.

  • ||

    He was also a radical environmentalist. I don't see many right wingers wanting to go back to the earth.

  • Jesse Walker||

    There are right-wing environmentalists. But my point was that he doesn't really fit into the left or the right.

  • ||

    [citation needed]

  • KWebb||

    Why does no one remember the Weather Underground? They were responsible for more terrorist attacks on US soil than any other group.

  • Jesse Walker||

    They were responsible for more terrorist attacks on US soil than any other group.

    I don't think that's true. Far more people were killed by Klan terrorism than by the Weather Underground, which was a nasty piece of work but also was a gang that couldn't shoot straight.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Also, IIRC, they only ever successfully killed some of their own members, with an "own-goal" bomb that blew up in a NY apartment right next to where Dustin Hoffman lived.

  • ||

    Well, he did say "attacks" not "deaths" so he may be right. Deaths are the important metric, though.

  • Jesse Walker||

    There were more Klan attacks too, though. The Weather Underground was not a long-lived organization.

  • ||

    The Klan were Democrats. Never forget.

  • ||

    Ever since LBJ and the southern strategy of the 1970s, the conservative right wing Southerners gradually switched from the Democrat to the Republican party. The Democrat party of today is different from the Democrat party of yesteryear. Same with the Republicans.

  • ||

    But far more children were screwed up by Bill Ayres' lousy educational ideas. It's a hell of a choice, crappy segregated schools or crappy integrated schools!

  • KWebb||

    I suppose. I don't really think of racially motivated violence as falling into the category of terrorism. I guess that's what I get for learning most of what I know about terrorism from a Brit.

  • ||

    - including the Symbionese Liberation Army.

  • Ryan M||

    I have to wonder what the people who created wunderground.com were thinking... have I unknowingly been getting my weather information from terrorists who changed careers?

  • ||

    Stalwart freedom fighters like Mao and Lenin share your bed.

  • ||

    McVeigh did vote for Harry Browne, supposedly. Therefore, all libertarians need to report for re-education.

    As do all liberals, for the murders by the Unibomber and the professor in Huntsville.

    As do all conservatives, for the various abortion doctor murders.

    Anyone left?

  • Us||

    Constitution Party (1992)
    Green Party (1996)
    America First Party (2008)
    American Party (1968)
    America's Independent Party (2008)
    Boston Tea Party (2006)
    Independence Party of America (2007)
    Moderate Party (2006)
    Modern Whig Party (2008)
    Objectivist Party (2008)
    Party for Socialism and Liberation (2004)
    Peace and Freedom Party (1967)
    Prohibition Party (1869)
    Reform Party of the United States of America (1995)
    Socialist Equality Party (2008)
    Socialist Party USA (1973)
    Socialist Workers Party (1938)
    United States Marijuana Party (2002)
    Unity Party of America (2004)
    Workers World Party (1959)
    Working Families Party (1998)

  • ||

    Oh, I'm sure they all have their examples of badness.

  • ||

    Where is the Warty Fan Club?

  • ||

    Given that it's Wednesday, it would be at a tranny whore house in the Bronx.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    +100

  • NeonCat||

    Where the hell is the Guns and Dope Party? If only ostriches would rise en masse and seize their rightful seats in Congress…

  • Jesse Walker||

    McVeigh did vote for Harry Browne, supposedly.

    Harry Browne ran in 1996 and 2000. McVeigh was arrested for the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

  • ||

    The wiki entry says he said that he voted for Browne while in prison.

  • Warty||

    Presumably he had been convicted of a felony by then...

  • Jesse Walker||

    On reflection, I guess he wasn't convicted until 1997, so he wouldn't have been a felon yet in 1996. So perhaps you're right.

  • ||

    I'm just glad the fucker's dead.

  • ||

    Browne?

  • ||

    And you are such an ignorant fuck Tony. The militia movement started in the 1980s. They hated George HW Bush more than anyone. Ruby Ridge happened under Bush not Clinton. And the "black helicopter" fantasies started under Reagen and Bush I because they were though to be proponents of the "New World Order". It has nothing to do with whether the Red Team or the Blue Team is in power. These people are nuts who hate pretty much everyone. Seriously Tony, you are such an insulting ignorant slut.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    John- 2

    Tony- 0

  • ||

    That's before you add in Tony's handicap, which makes the score:

    John- 2

    Tony- 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

  • T F C||

    Tony, what would they do without you? I guess they could jerk off to somebody else. Joe, Joe where are you....?

  • Jesse Walker||

    The militia movement started in the 1980s.

    While it's difficult to assign an exact starting point to the movement, the historian Robert Churchill makes a good case that it began in 1994. For more details go here.

  • ||

    There were militias running around Oklahoma in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I remember seeing them.

  • Jesse Walker||

    There was a "patriot" movement in the '80s, and some of them may have used the word "militia." But the groups that got all that attention in the '90s were basically a post-Waco development.

  • T||

    Umm. What? The militia movement of the 90s was a direct outgrowth of the survivalist movement of the 80s. Some of the organizations and a lot of the individuals transitioned seamlessly.

    There are entire oceans of crazy associated with those people. Binary left-right distinctions are entirely meaningless when dealing with them.

  • Jesse Walker||

    The militia movement of the 90s was a direct outgrowth of the survivalist movement of the 80s.

    I recommend Robert Churchill's book. The militia movement of the '90s did have some roots in the milieus that you and John are talking about. But it's a distinct entity with some important differences from its precursors.

  • ||

    Jesse,

    The Turner Diaries came out in the 1970s. I haven't read his book, but I think Churchill is full of shit if he thinks that what happened after Waco was anything but the usual bunch of kooks getting more press.

  • Jesse Walker||

    The Turner Diaries came out in the 1970s.

    And The Turner Diaries was an important influence on the racist right of the '80s and '90s. It was not a significant influence on the militias.

  • ||

    This book came out in 1973: While the info in it was around long before that time. This widely distributed book is what got most the New World Order meme going.
    conspiracism

    However, it never would have grown if it weren't for actual advocates of a "New World Order" as described by HG Wells in his book called

    New World Order

    when you read these old books and then reflect on what has happened the last 30 years it is amazing to think that we have let these anti-semitic conspiracy nuts have children this long.

  • ||

    The SLA was a militia, was it not?

  • ||

    I'm voting with John and T. I was aware of a patriot/militia movement in 1992. It definitely got a big boost from Waco, but it had been going on for a while before that.

  • Jerry||

    Time to flog my own comment of time past:

    Jerry|2.22.10 @ 7:43AM|#

    SPLC has a strange mix of political advocacy and very successful lawsuits. And they seem to have the notion that one small deranged minuscule of radical rightists can speak for the whole conservative movement. I guess that's how they get gullible liberals to donate their money to the cause.
  • ||

    Oh yes our old employee Tim McVeigh. We taught him well during his time working for the government. Our military really is the greatest force in the world.

  • Tony||

    While the guys who actually commit violence, such as McVeigh, the unabomber, the austin suicide pilot, and others, generally have more complex worldviews than your typical libertarian, antigovernment paranoia is a common thread.

  • ||

    antigovernment paranoia is a common thread

    Which, of course, the left is completely immune to.

    For example, those people carrying on about how the government was going to put people in concentration camps for dissent, etc. from 2002-2008 - not a lefty among them.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Or the post-Watergate commentariat. There was no skepticism of government power from the left then, either.

  • ||

    Oh, yeah, and remember how they were going to bring back the draft? Mysteriously, always in election years.

  • ||

    Paranoid people are anti-goverment. Ergo, anyone who is any government must be a paranoid loon. And hence responsible for action of all other anti-government loons.

    Your logic is impeccable. Conclusion: Don't question the government.

  • Tony||

    You can question the government without advocating violent revolution or filtering all your thoughts about it through tinfoil.

  • ||

    So leftists have never advocated violent revolutions. Obviously.

  • Tony||

    If the government had a penis, I would hungrily suck it.

  • anonymous||

    When you're talking about an institution responsible for at least tens of thousands of deaths (outside of war), is it really paranoia to be afraid of them?

  • Robert||

    Just because yer paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    The Austin suicide pilot hated GW Bush and the Catholic church.

    Yup, real friend of Rick Santorum, that dead plane-pilot guy.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Tony, Tony, Tony.

    Far right groups don't wear panties.

    You limp-wristed, pantywaist, wimpy punk liberals are the ones who wear panties.

  • Butts Wagner||

    Far right groups don't wear panties.

    Correct. We only wear Assless, Leather Chaps.

  • ||

    Aren't all chaps, by definition, assless? It's the whole "neglecting to wear pants under them" that makes them naughty.

  • ||

    Somebody a lot more interested than I should do a piece comparing the mission creep exhibited by the SPLC and MADD.

  • ed||

    Are militias to blame for Southern Poverty?

  • alan||

    Nah, the name was just another brilliant deception Dees used to hook North Eastern liberals. Whatever else you have to say about him, his con game is first rate stuff that a Scientologist insider could envy.

  • ||

    From my understanding the name is because the center's focus of attention was in the South.

    Also the group is based out of Alabama, even today.

  • ||

    SPLC is paranoia incarnate. And they're extremely dishonest in painting large groups with the taint created by a few wackjobs. I think irony is too soft a term for such behavior coming from a group that is nominally intended to fight race prejudice.

  • ||

    They are just a group in search of a mission. They started out in the 1960s when there really were racist lunatics running around killing people. But all that is over. So they spend their time spinning increasingly paranoid justifications for their existence.

  • ||

    They are just a group in search of a mission fundraising.

  • SPLC||

    What? Mumia was lynched!

  • Aimummy||

    Fry Mumia.

  • ||

    May I suggest a light beer batter?

  • DJF||

    “””They started out in the 1960s “””

    The SPLC was not even started until 1971

  • ||

    For the SPLC:
    Dangerous Rightwing Terrorist Groups = Number of websites that they can find that they disagree with.

  • ||

    +1

  • Farfloogle||

    I was going to make the same point, but you did it first and more succinctly. Their "research" always seems to consist entirely of a few hours Googling.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    "It's quite true that many leftists, possibly even a numerical majority, are decent people..." -- The Unibomber.
    You know who believes exactly the same thing -- that's right, the SPLC.

  • creech||

    Stossel's column today says we "empower the state to send out people with guns to force people to do what the majority says is moral." This is certainly scary, but he's not talking about right-wingers. He's talking enforcing programs SPLC is all in favor of!

  • ||

    Are militias to blame for Southern Poverty?

    Yes.

    And predatory lending, and overpaid bankers, and asbestos, and parsimonious school budgets, and lack of health care, and global warming, and sunspots.

  • BakedPenguin||

    The worst part of all of this is that the "Southern Poverty Law Center" wouldn't give a fucking dime to help out someone like Cory Maye. Fuck you, SPLC.

  • ||

    I am saddened. But not surprised.

  • BakedPenguin||

    John - I should state that that was my opinion, not something that happened. It's not in their purview, despite their name.

  • ||

    What sources state that the SPLC refused to help Maye? What reasons did the SPLC say why they didn't help him?

  • floyd||

    As of this article, Reason has finally lost its last shred of credibility.

    Who are you going to attack next, the Girl Scouts?

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    It is afternoon, so I suppose it doesn't make me an alkie to take a swig from my flask. Do you think Reason was better when Virginia Postrel was in charge?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Did my box of SPCL cookies arrive yet, floyd?

  • floyd||

    Your "cookies" include not getting lynched or beaten for your ancestry or your beliefs. The people SPLC takes to court are not free-marketers, they're crazies. There is nothing at all libertarian about the Klan or W.A.R.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Tell me how this scenario makes Walker's criticisms less valid.

  • floyd||

    The only criticism that strikes me as valid is that SPLC's count of hate groups may be missing some of the dynamics of group splintering and of people joining multiple organizations, and as a result, producing an inaccurate tally of hate group membership. Both of those are valid critiques.

    However, the later point (people joining multiple groups) undermines the claim (in Walker's paragraph 4) that SPLC is exaggerating the "cross-pollination" effect. Either people are joining multiple groups, so the number of individuals is lower than SPLC's tally _or_ SPLC is exaggerating the degree of cross pollination of hate groups. You can't reasonably argue both of those points simultaneously.

    I'm sure the SPLC's fund-raising letters contain hyperbole. All fund raising letters do. My local PBS station regularly tells me that without my twenty bucks, they'll have to close up shop. That's standard fund raising rhetoric, it hardly seems appropriate to critique SPLC on those grounds.

    That's my two cents.

    Now it really is getting close to happy hour, so I'm going to join you. Cheers.

  • Jesse Walker||

    However, the later point (people joining multiple groups) undermines the claim (in Walker's paragraph 4) that SPLC is exaggerating the "cross-pollination" effect. Either people are joining multiple groups, so the number of individuals is lower than SPLC's tally _or_ SPLC is exaggerating the degree of cross pollination of hate groups. You can't reasonably argue both of those points simultaneously.

    One argument involves Patriot groups cross-pollinating with elements outside the Patriot movement. The other involves people joining more than one organization within the Patriot movement. I'm following the SPLC's own definitions of who qualifies as a Patriot group here. Where's the contradiction?

  • floyd||

    This point was not made clear in Walker's article.

    Given the nebulous, decentralized and anarchic nature of the "patriot" movement, your provisos "outside" and "within" the patriot movement are rather ambiguous.

    Is there a standard percentage of "patriots" who would have to join a group before it should be considered a "patriot" group?

    If 10% of the customers at a bar were cops, would you call it a "cop bar"? 20%? 50%?

    I don't have an answer for that.

    I do know that members of groups that have a well-documented history of violence warrant more attention than others.

    If I see a kid wearing "gang colors," I am more wary of that kid than of others who don't wear colors. That seems like simple common sense to me, and the "patriot" movement strikes me as no different.

    YMMV

  • ||

    Fail on many levels, Floyd.

    Challenge you to name one instance in which the SPLCs actions PREVENTED a lynching or beating.

    Not a lot of Klan support here. Don't know where you got that. Can you show us some?

    We support free speech. Period. There's a difference between supporting free speech and supporting the message.

  • floyd||

    I cannot give you a list of the people who have _not_ been lynched or beaten because in the real world, people don't keep lists of crimes that never happened. Your request makes no sense.

    Even if it was theoretically possible to compose a list of all the crimes that were not committed, it is still not the purview of the SPLC to protect the social order- that's what cops and soldiers are for, that's why we pay them. The SPLC is composed of lawyers who prosecute crimes _after_ they have been committed.

    I, for one, would not expect to see Morris Dees out patrolling the streets. That's not his job.

    Further, I would not (and did not) claim that Reason readers support the Klan- only that SPLC opposes them. Fascist and authoritarian groups are inherently anti-libertarian- that's pretty much the definition of a "hate group", actually. There is a lot of common ground between social libertarians and the chartered goals of the SPLC. Their opposition to fascist, nationalist and racist groups is an inherently libertarian position.

    We can debate their methods, if you wish, but their stated goals are anti-authoritarian.

    And as far as free speech is concerned, it does not include physical violence or interference with free trade. The SPLC has not, as far as I know, ever attempted to prosecute anyone for speaking, only for assaults on bodies and on free access to markets.

    I can cite actual cases for those, if you would like.

  • ||

    The SPLC helped the mother of Michael Donald successfully sue a local Klan group out of existence, after the Klan group incited people into murdering her son.

    Because that Klan group lost its shirt, other Klan groups will not incite people into murdering others. Therefore people had been saved from lynching.

  • Warty||

    Steve Smith attacks Girl Scouts regularly. No man who has seen the results is ever the same again.

  • alan||

    In what social climate is someone so uninformed of the SPLC to not know of the graft this organization is built on? Only in Hollywood fiction by writers for West Wing, 24, NCIS, Law&Order; and the like where no one is really politically astute are they considered above reproach. The media, even the left wing media, like The New Republic, have covered their corrupt practices over the last few decades. Walker's position is a pretty safe one to hold and still keep your reputation intact in those circles so you are either uninformed are being deceptive.

  • ||

    Which articles are they? Please show us a selection.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    SPLC

  • Citizen Nothing||

    And would it somehow be ironic if the SPLC cookie sale included Oreos?

  • ||

    SPLC cookies would taste terrible, but they would be very very good for you...

  • ||

    can't even spell my own name correctly

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Yeah, you spelled your name like it was Finnish or something.

  • Warty||

  • ||

    The Monkey Wrench Gang came out in 75. It spawned EarthFirst! and the ELF. Did the SPLC have a problem with those 2 hate groups?

  • Tony||

    I love government. It's good for you and makes your life simpler, easier and better. It tells me what to do and when to do it. I don't have to think as much.

  • floyd||

    Are there no billy goats crossing bridges that you could crawl under?

  • ||

    +1

  • ||

    Tony: If government was really so autonomous, then filing taxes would be a cinch.

    In the USA the Government does NOT do the thinking for you.

  • Tony||

    If government had a penis, I would fluff it until it was erect, then I would bend over and spread my cheeks and let it in.

  • Paul Krugman||

    NOW we're cookin'!

  • ||

    Want to undercut the militia movement and make it largely dry up and blow away? Cut back on the statism. Nothing makes people feel unthreatened by their government like the government letting them alone.

  • Bilwick||

    Also, the way to assuage the concerns of the KKK is to kill the niggers and the Jews.

  • ||

    "Want to undercut the militia movement and make it largely dry up and blow away?Cut back on the statism. "

    I beg to differ, the best way to stop this militia movement is to have a good old fashioned false flag attack. Have some tea bagger write big long treatise about global warming being fake, hating the growth of government and talking about the "joos running the Federal Reserve", then have him go kill a bunch of the kids of IRS workers.

    Running a plane into a IRS building and killing one guy doesn't do the trick, because it seems most people are happy about that. Nope, unfortunately it has to be OKC style where the nursery gets hit too. Have the government tip off the important people at the government office so that they don't get hurt, but make sure lots of secretaries and their kids die....this will sway public opinion massively against the militia nuts and then we can finally stop the militias and the conspiracy theories for good.

  • ||

    "If the government had a penis, I would hungrily suck it."

    I see Naomi Wolfe is posting here, under the pseudonym "Tony."

  • ||

    Oops, I meant Naomi Klein. But I think Naomi Wolfe is a State-fellator, too.

  • ||

    I'm pretty sure the SPLC exists only to provide douchenozzles like David Neiwert with jerk-off material.

  • ||

    Just for the record, Larry Pratt would make a terrible white supremist considering he married a woman born and raised in panama, whos second language is english. Not to mention that less than half the staff of GOA is white.

  • Jersey Patriot||

    Panama has a lot of white people.

  • ||

    Well than let me clarify, shes not white.

  • raoul||

    The SPLC exists for the purpose of frightening elderly Jewish people and hustling donations from them.

  • ||

    Maybe they should just threaten not to distribute an image of a scantily-clad bosomy woman smooching a crustacean.

  • ||

    Jesse Dude,
    This SPLC news flash has me concerned. I used their methodology, and it led me to some disturbing realizations:
    The Boy Scouts, as a religiously oriented group, crosspolinate with Al Queda, also a religious group. The Boy Scouts borrow much of their imagery from the military, including the flag.
    Therefore, Al Queda is part of the patriot movement. And the Boy Scouts are Al Queda.
    So, without the mainstream media noticing, Al Queda has recruited thousands of paramilitary foot soldiers HERE in AMERICA!
    ...and most of them are, like, eight years old!

    I am writing a check right now.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Hey, Tony, three words:

    Earth
    Liberation
    Front

    But they're okay with you... right?

  • ||

    THE SPLC sickens me to no end.
    Do they really believe anyone believes their tripe?
    Their motto must be:
    "Never let a crises go to waste!"

    They are MONSTERS against the people of the United States.

  • ||

    The SPLC is a much discredited organization with a very shady fundraising record. Morris Dees, the co-founder of Southern Poverty Law Center, is a master of hate-mongering who uses this tactic to scare contributors into donating money to the SPLC.

    The tax-exempt SPLC flunked an audit by the Arlington-based Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance, which requires that "a reasonable percentage, at least 50 percent of total income from all sources, should be applied to programs and activities directly related to the purposes for which the organization exists." The SPLC spent only 11 percent of its total income on programs and activities directly related to the purposes for which the organization exists. The other 89 percent of the SPLC's total income was spent on fund-raising and administrative costs, including high salaries for its top officials.

    The SPLC is comprised of a group of slick, parasitic hucksters who live high on the hog by raising money on behalf of needy people who see very little of it.

    SPLC's sole function in the immigration debate is to attempt to discredit any group or organization that supports reductions in legal immigration and/or enforcement of immigration laws against illegal aliens. Any group or organization that dares to speak out against illegal immigration takes on the risk of being added to the SPLC's infamous "hate groups" list as punishment.

  • Farfloogle||

    And this is the strange thing. I personally know people, good liberals all, who used to support the SPLC but who have long since become disenchanted with them for the reasons you cite. And yet, the media still treat them as an objective go-to authority on the subject of "hate groups."

  • ||

    Let's get real folks. These "militia" or even peaceful anti tax groups are always on the rise when democrats are in power. Because we have all been brainwashed into believing Republicans defend the Constitution and Democrats are socialist.
    The fact is the Constitution has been ignored to increase the power of the Federal Government since John Adams of the Federalist party. It does not matter who is in power.
    It will take a bloody war to go back to 1779, maybe some folks want that, but you are no Republican, maybe closer to a Libertarian.
    If I ever find a candidate that will support stripping power from the Federal government and gives more powers to the state, I will vote for him. The Republican party is a lie and most Democrats are corrupt. Our two party system is what is failing us, making enemies out of neighbors.
    I support the Oath-Keepers, if they actually follow their oaths, its a good thing. But allowing White Supremicist to partake in Tea Party events, when they are waiving Communist flags is going to turn more people off than on.

  • sathi2000||

    I would expect the Patriot milieu to grow along with everything else. But I'd also expect a lot of those new bodies to get involved in more than one organization simultaneously.
    http://destinationsoftwareinc.com

  • Nike Dunk High||

    thanks

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