From The Nation back in 2009:
King of the Hate Business
With haters on the wane, what will the hate-seekers do?
By Alexander Cockburn (1941-2012), APRIL 29, 2009
… What is the archsalesman of hatemongering, Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center, going to do now? Ever since 1971, US Postal Service mailbags have bulged with his fundraising letters, scaring dollars out of the pockets of trembling liberals aghast at his lurid depictions of a hate-sodden America in dire need of legal confrontation by the SPLC. Nine years ago Ken Silverstein wrote a devastating commentary on Dees and the SPLC in Harper’s, dissecting a typical swatch of Dees’s solicitations. At the time, Ken pointed out, the SPLC was “the wealthiest civil rights group in America,” with $120 million in assets.
As of October 2008 the net assets of the SPLC were $170,240,129.
$319,300,000 in 2016 and who knows how much a year of Trump has added?
The merchant of hate, Mr. Dees, was paid an annual $273,132 as chief trial counsel, and the SPLC’s president and CEO, Richard Cohen, $290,133. Total revenue in 2007 was $44,727,257, and program expenses $20,804,536. In other words, the Southern Poverty Law Center was raising much more than it was spending on its proclaimed mission. Fundraising and administrative expenses accounted for $9 million, leaving more than $14 million to be put in the center’s vast asset portfolio.
But where are the haters? That hardy old standby, the Ku Klux Klan, despite the SPLC’s predictable howls about an uptick in its chapters, is a moth-eaten and depleted troupe, with at least 10 percent of its members on the government payroll as informants for the FBI. As Noel Ignatiev once remarked in his book Race Traitor, there isn’t a public school in any county in the USA that doesn’t represent a menace to blacks a thousand times more potent than that offered by the KKK, just as there probably aren’t many such schools that haven’t been propositioned by Dees to buy one of the SPLC’s “teaching tolerance” programs. What school is going to go on record as rejecting Dees-sponsored tolerance? Rub the kids’ noses in tolerance until they get Dad’s AK out of the closet and go on a rampage. Dees and his hate-seekers scour the landscape for hate like the arms manufacturers inventing new threats, and for the same reason: it’s their staple.
A recent article in Newsweek cites the SPLC’s latest “Year in Hate” report: “in 2008 the number of hate groups rose to 926, up 4 percent from 2007, and 54 percent since 2000.” The SPLC doesn’t measure group membership, meaning that it probably missed me. Change that total to 927. I’m a hate group, meaning in Dees-speak, one with “beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people,” starting with Dick Cheney.
I love to dream of Cheney being waterboarded, subjected to loops of Schoenberg played at top volume, locked up naked in a meat locker. But the nation’s haters are mostly like me, with their enjoyment of a (increasingly circumscribed) constitutionally guaranteed right to hate that is solitary, disorganized and prone to sickening relapses into love, or at least the sort of amiable tolerance for all mankind experienced when looking at photos of Carla Bruni and Princess Letizia of Spain kissing.
Cockburn came from a clan of leftist journalists, including his dad Claud, a favorite of FDR. His niece is the actress Olivia Wilde who picked the Irish playwright’s name because her own, while pronounced Co-burn, is not spelled appropriately for stardom.
The Cockburn’s conservative cousins include Evelyn Waugh and his many writing relatives.
They are all descended from Lord Cockburn, a literary Scottish judge of the early 19th Century.
Any chance that Morris Dees will get MeTooed?