The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) seems to be enjoying a small resurgence of attention from the mainstream media since the January 6th Capitol protests.
Various scandals, both financial and moral, have largely discredited the SPLC across the political spectrum. Most of its most competent and high profile members like Richard Cohen, Heidi Beirich and Rhonda Brownstein have left the organization, while their “hate group” designations are largely dismissed as meaningless outside of very small circles of Antifa activists and tech censors.
Recently, it updated its infamous “Hate Map” for 2020. The map claims that there are 838 active “hate groups” operating in the United States as we speak.
Despite all the mockery the SPLC has endured throughout the years, its clear that they are impervious to criticism, even from liberal groups, about their blatant lack of interest in facts and low professional standards.
The “Hate Groups” That Don’t Exist
Setting aside the debate over what constitutes a “hate group,” the vast majority of organizations listed state-by-state are either religious congregations, online publications and e-shops, or in hundreds of cases, non-existent and dishonestly catalogued.
For example, the SPLC claims the National Reformation Party is an active “white nationalist” group currently operating in seven states. The only sign that they even exist is a single website, which on the very front of its page clearly states “Race is a social construct having no biological basis” — an opinion that at minimum precludes them from being classed as “white nationalist.”
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. A skinhead crew called the Vinlander’s Social Club (VSC) and its supporter faction, Firm 22, are listed on the 2020 map as having 11 chapters altogether. A simple search on Wikipedia reveals that VSC was officially disbanded in 2007, with its founder publicly condemning “racism.”
Then there’s White Aryan Resistance, which has for decades been composed of a website that hosted Tom Metzger’s radio program. Metzger is deceased.
How about the American Identity Movement (AIM), which they say is currently engaging in “hate” in 10 states. The organization was officially shut down months ago and there is no sign it ever had much of a presence to begin with.
The Base (5), AtomWaffen Division (6), Micetrap Records (1), Soldiers of Odin (6), Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights (6), and countless others are defunct, in some cases for years.
The most ridiculous entry on the list is the National Socialist German Workers Party. Just when we thought that the NSDAP was defeated in 1945, the SPLC reminds us that they in fact have a surviving chapter in Lincoln, Nebraska. Another page on the SPLC’s website claims the NSDAP’s Nebraska Gauleiter is Gary Lauck, who in truth runs a historical book store that sells translated writings by Third Reich authors. Lauck’s online shop itself is listed as a separate “hate group” in the state, just one county over.
The vast majority of non-religious groups on the map that do exist are book publishing houses like Arktos and Antelope Hill Books, personal blogs and podcasts belonging to individuals, or newspapers and news sites. The seemingly large, multi-state presence of the National Socialist Movement (NSM) and various Klan outfits should be taken with a massive grain of salt.
SPLC’s Lists Entire Religions as Hate Groups
The decision to include traditional interpretations of Catholicism, Protestantism, and folk religion is another trick used to pump numbers up.
According to the SPLC, traditionalist Catholics — nine entries overall (mostly just websites and publications) — are a hate group. If we take this logic at face value, every single Catholic who ever lived before the Second Vatican Council in 1962 was a member of a hate organization. Protestants who hold beliefs that dissent from modern “woke” factions are also included on the list.
A glaring double standard is evident in the decision to include adherents of British Israelism (Christian Identity) and Black Israelites on the list. These two groups believe they are the chosen people of the Old Testament, and live by a literal interpretation of its values. If blacks and whites are guilty of hate for preaching this doctrine, why aren’t adherents of Judaism also listed for hate?
Finally, the category of “Neo-Volkisch” is entered 32 times. The word appears to be a loaded, made up phrase to refer to those who pray to the old Gods or practice Asatru. The main culprit is the Asatru Folk Assembly, a 501(c)(3) religious organization that does not engage in political activity.
While other branded groups like the Nation of Islam engage in harsh discourse about white people, it isn’t any more extreme than what Charles Blow regularly writes in New York Times editorials or what SPLC’s more extreme employees believe. NOI’s main offense appears to be its stance on traditional family values and willingness to critique the supposed black-Jewish relationship.
The SPLC’s map is a low-effort piece of disinformation that is transparently and deliberately dishonest.
In spite of all the criticism they have received over their hate list, they are doubling down on a scam intended to provide ammo for leftist propaganda, as well as to extract donations from wealthy consumers of their fake news.