southern poverty law center

Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC, Mark Potok, Morris Dees, Heidi Beirich)

Left-wing group co-founded by Morris Dees. In the past has sued the Klan and taken other legitimate actions towards civil rights. However, since the near-demise of the KKK, they've lately spent some time spreading scare stories about a rise in "hate", naming "hate groups", and strongly supporting illegal immigration; those keep the donations rolling in.

Past or current member of the Border Human Rights Working Group headed by the Mexican government-linked Peter Schey. Frequently cited by the mainstream media as a credible source. Their Mark Potok misled about hate crime statistics, with his claims since repeated countless times by the MSM.

See also "The church of Morris Dees" from Harpers Magazine (link, link), the quotes from Jim Tharpe of the Montgomery Advertiser here, a "watch" site here, "Southern Poverty Law Center Pushes Twisted Definition of 'Hate'" (link), this, Mark Potok, and Heidi Beirich.

Last modified May 6, 2012
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FBI delinks SPLC, Anti-Defamation League; ADL not at all happy - 03/26/14

On their hate crimes page [1], the FBI previously [2] linked to two supposed anti-hate groups, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti Defamation League as "Resources". Some time recently, the FBI silently removed those two organizations from the set of links in that Resources section.

Evangelical Immigration Table supports bad personal and public policy (Sojourners, Focus on the Family, Richard Land) - 06/12/12

A group of evangelical leaders have formed the "Evangelical Immigration Table" ( to support, among other things, legalizing millions of illegal aliens. A list of those involved is here. Their policies are an example of false compassion: some might think their ideas would make things better, but they'd wind up making things worse for most people. They want a "bipartisan solution" that:

Is SPLC legal director Mary Bauer credible? (Alabama, immigration) - 06/01/12

To help you answer the titular question, take a look at the following quote from Mary Bauer of the Southern Poverty Law Center (link):

Wade Henderson, UAW, SPLC join to harm Alabama over immigration law (LCCHR, Cindy Estrada, Mary Bauer) - 06/01/12

Yesterday, two self-styled civil rights groups and a union held a conference call to announce actions they'll be taking against Alabama's new immigration law (HB 56). Their actions will include "escalating pressure on top companies operating in Alabama" and taking actions "through international tribunals" [1].

Brave New Foundation, Rachel Maddow think you're gullible (FAIR, immigration, SB1070) - 04/25/12

The video below shows Rachel Maddow and Robert Greenwald's Brave New Films thinking you're a gullible sucker in at least two ways.

ACLU, SEIU, SPLC, NILC, MALDEF, PRLDEF sue South Carolina over new immigration law - 10/12/11

Just as they have in other states, a coalition of far-left, illegal immigration-supporting groups have sued South Carolina over that state's new Arizona-style immigration law. The groups involved in this case are:

Mexico, 15 other countries file brief against Alabama immigration law; Mexico/DOJ/ACLU/SPLC/churches all on same side - 08/05/11

The Mexican government and 15 other countries [1] have filed a brief supporting those suing Alabama to block that state's new immigration law.

SPLC, ACLU, NILC sue Alabama over new immigration law (HB56) - 07/09/11

Just as they have in other states, a coalition of far-left groups have sued Alabama over that state's new Arizona-style immigration law.

Mexico, other countries file briefs in ACLU /SPLC suit over Georgia immigration law - 06/16/11

The Mexican government and 10 other countries [1] have filed amicus briefs in a lawsuit that seeks to block Georgia's new immigration law. As previously discussed, three of the far-left groups involved in the suit are directly linked to the Mexican government, making that country's direct involvement just the icing on the cake.

Ask SPLC to denounce racism involving ACLU's Georgia immigration suit (Workers United, SEIU) - 06/04/11

The Southern Poverty Law Center is one of the groups suing Georgia over that state's new immigration law; see the link for the details. A leader of one of the SPLC's compatriots in the suit has made a racist (and ageist) statement about the suit. Let's try to get the SPLC to denounce his comments, despite the fact that he's on their side.

Mexico-linked groups, ACLU, NILC, SPLC, SEIU sue Georgia over Arizona-style immigration law (+ADL, Mexico join) - 06/03/11

A group of far-left, pro-illegal immigration groups are suing Georgia over that state's new Arizona-style immigration law. And, at least three of the groups have direct links to the Mexican government.

Supreme Court upholds 2007 Arizona immigration enforcement law; eVerify; losing: US Chamber, DOJ, Berman, NCLR, ADL, SPLC, AILA, SEIU, LULAC - 05/26/11

In a major victory for states that want to reduce illegal immigration, the US Supreme Court has upheld Arizona's 2007 "Legal Arizona Workers Act" employer enforcement law that requires the use of eVerify and that allows Arizona to pull the business licenses of companies that knowingly hire illegal aliens. Note that the 2007 law and the decision have no relation to Arizona's more recent immigration law. A Los Angeles Times article is here, and links to legal documents are here. Sonia Sotomayor voted in dissent; see her name's link. Those who opposed Arizona's law in court and who lost today...

DHS uses Giffords shooting to push loose borders political agenda (Jared Lee Loughner, American Renaissance) - 01/09/11

[IMPORTANT UPDATE: AmRen has been cleared, and Fox's memo wasn't even from the DHS. See the updates below.] The Department of Homeland Security and various media sources are using the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords by Jared Lee Loughner as an opportunity to try to smear opponents of illegal immigration, focusing on the higher-level white racial separatist group American Renaissance (DHS memo at [1], report at [2]). Not only do they get that group's ideas wrong, but they mislead about what was in Loughner's videos and what appears to have been on his MySpace page. From the memo at [1]: no...

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, several others shot; Palin, Tea Party candidate - 01/08/11

UPDATES BELOW Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and several others were shot earlier today and there are conflicting reports on whether she and others were killed. Per this: The gunman, who may have come from inside the Safeway, walked up and shot Gifford in the head first, "point blank". According to [an eyewitness, Steven Rayle], who is a former ER doctor, Gifford was able to move her hands after being shot... After shooting Gifford, the gunman opened fire indiscriminately for a few seconds, firing 20-30 rounds and hitting a number of people, including a kid no older than 10 years old... The gunman...

Southern Enrichment Law Center: pics of Morris Dees' house - 08/07/10

On April 1, 2010, the Montgomery Advertiser offered a "Houses of the Rich and Famous"-style article about the manse of Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

SPLC promoted Bill Ayers, didn't reveal terrorist past - 07/15/10

In 1998, "Teaching Tolerance" - a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center - offered a laudatory interview with Bill Ayers, the former Weather Underground terrorist.

Linda Sanchez bases smear of laws like Arizona's on non-credible SPLC, Andrea Nill - 06/03/10

Rep. Linda Sanchez recently spoke out against laws like the new Arizona immigration law, saying (report here, audio here): "There's a concerted effort behind promoting these kinds of laws on a state-by-state basis by people who have ties to white supremacy groups.. It's been documented. It's not mainstream politics." Obviously, in her mind effective immigration enforcement isn't "mainstream", despite the fact that the great majority of Americans (i.e., the mainstream) support it. But, it gets worse: ...Sanchez told the newspaper after her speech that she based her accusation on online stories...

Meet the 'Patriots': SPLC lies and misleads (Bachmann, Al Garza, Joseph Farah, Taitz...) - 04/18/10

If you trust the Southern Poverty Law Center to tell you the truth - and to be interested in getting the truth in the first place - please see the following as well as the other posts at the last link. The latest example of how you can't trust them comes from "Meet the 'Patriots'" (,0) which lies about at least two of the people on the list. They also show little interest in real journalism. (Note: there's also another possible lie by them here, and there are probably other lies on the list about people I'm not familiar with). 1. The...

Andrea Nill promotes false Obama claim in smear of Lou Dobbs - 03/03/10

In May, 2008, Barack Obama smeared Lou Dobbs and Rush Limbaugh, falsely claiming that hate crimes against Hispanics had "doubled" the year before. In fact, they only went up 7.8%. Not only that, but they've decreased as a percentage of the Hispanic population between 1995 and 2006. Given that, you might not expect Andrea Nill of ThinkProgress to write the following, unless you were familiar with that site and her work. In that case, you - like me - would realize just how truth-challenged both she and the others associated with that site are. Referring to a new report from the Southern Poverty...

LULAC, Mark Potok of SPLC, NCLR, America's Voice, MMFA cheer & smear over Dobbs leaving - 11/12/09

There's a round-up of reaction from far-left groups to Lou Dobbs' announcement that he's leaving CNN here.

Howard Kurtz is still not a reliable source (Lou Dobbs) - 11/12/09

Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post offers "Anchor Lou Dobbs resigns from CNN" (link). Let me show some ways that he's still not a reliable source: Lou Dobbs, the most opinionated and divisive anchor at a cable network that bills itself as a straight-news oasis, resigned from CNN on Wednesday night... Some of the other CNN personalities - such as Rick Sanchez, Soledad OBrien, and Anderson Cooper - seem to be quite opinionated, and the first two do so publicly. If Kurtz can't see that, perhaps he's a bit like someone who lives next to the train tracks: after a while they get used to the noise...

Justice Department investigating Suffolk County (NY) Police (treatment of Latinos; follows SPLC report) - 10/08/09

Just over a month ago, the Southern Poverty Law Center released a report alleging anti-Latino policing in Suffolk County (Long Island, New York). Now the Department of Justice has launched an investigation (link): Justice Department investigators “will seek to determine whether there are systemic violations of the Constitution or federal law” by the police, said Alejandro Miyar, a spokesman for the department. The agency notified Suffolk police authorities of the investigation on Sept. 30. The police commissioner, Richard Dormer, said in a telephone interview that he welcomed the federal...

Liza Mundy /WaPo lies about Obama certificate (+SPLC joins in) - 10/06/09

Liza Mundy of the Washington Post offers "Burden of Proof on Obama's Origins" (link), a three-screen, mostly smear piece on Orly Taitz of the "Birthers" movement. Leaving aside Taitz' various claims, Mundy has a problem with the truth. (Note that she's also the author of a presumably sympathetic biography of Michelle Obama; she whines about the lack of cooperation from the Obama camp at Mundy quotes Taitz as saying of Obama's records "Nobody has seen proper documents. Period." and follows that with this: Another breathtaking statement, or rather misstatement. After...

Drop Dobbs: illegal activity-supporting racial power groups and far-left want Lou Dobbs off CNN - 09/17/09

A coalition of illegal immigration-supporting far-left and/or racial power groups has launched a campaign called "Drop Dobbs" to get advertisers to pull their ads from CNN's Lou Dobbs show (, "...The effort aims to let companies know that their continued financial support of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight makes them complicit in the hate speech and wild conspiracy theories that he promotes..." Campaigns like this - following on the heels of the somewhat successful similar campaign against Glenn Beck - stand a greater chance of success given the fact...

SPLC smears Steve Levy in quest to support illegal activity (Suffolk County, Long Island; CAP) - 09/02/09

The Southern Poverty Law Center has a new report entitled "Climate of Fear/Latino Immigrants in Suffolk County, N.Y." about that county on Long Island, New York ( County executive Steve Levy has attempted to reduce illegal immigration in his county, such as by taking actions against residences where dozens of illegal aliens live; see this from 2005 and also this (involving then-Mexican consul Arturo Sarukhan) and this. In the current case, the SPLC is trying to conflate Levy's efforts with violent attacks in that county, both reported and simply alleged....

Sources for DHS rightwing extremism report: ADL, SPLC, NYT, LAT, Dave Weigel... - 08/12/09

* A large number of links to the Southern Poverty Law Center, including [1]. That SPLC link is misleading for the reasons outlined here and here. That misleading claim made it into DHS's report.

Kentucky state hate crimes report smears Constitution Party (uses SPLC as source) - 06/22/09

From this: A report posted on the Kentucky Justice & Public Safety Cabinet website mentions the Kentucky chapter of the Constitution Party. The 2006 report, entitled “Hate Crime and Hate Incidents in the Commonwealth,” characterizes the paleoconservative political party as a patriot group and associates it with the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist organizations... ...The Kentucky report lists the Constitution Party in a table along with Take Back Kentucky, Ranch Rescue, and the Kentucky State Militia. “Patriot groups define themselves as opposed to the ‘New World Order’ or...

Leadership Conference on Civil Rights supports illegal immigration, misleads about hate crimes (SPLC, MALDEF, ADL, NCLR, NHMC...) - 06/19/09

The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights has released a new report called "Confronting the New Faces of Hate: Hate Crimes in America 2009" [1]. It's the latest salvo in the attempt by several far-left groups to support massive illegal immigration and to silence their critics. They name-check several of those groups, but their exact involvement in the report isn't clear; the mentions might just be boilerplate. For just one example of how the LCCR is attempting to mislead, see the attached picture. The ominous-looking graph on the top (from the LCCR) shows anti-Hispanic hate crimes from 2003...

Casey Sanchez/SPLC, Frank Sharry, Andrea Nill/CAP smear FAIR over non-existent connection (Dave Bennion) - 06/17/09

From a FAIR press release (link): The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has launched its most irresponsible attack to date against the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). The SPLC claims that Shawna Forde, the alleged killer of a little girl and her father during an Arizona home invasion, had ties to FAIR. Although no association exists -- or ever has -- between Ms. Forde and FAIR, the SPLC and organizations advocating mass amnesty and open borders have used this tragedy to fuel their on-going smear campaign against FAIR and other immigration policy organizations in order to...

Obama, ADL, SPLC, Phil Gordon, Catherine Herridge, Shep Smith, Joan Walsh, Chris Matthews, others try to exploit shooting at Holocaust Museum - 06/11/09

Here are just some of those trying to use yesterday's shooting at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC to score political points: * Barack Obama says: "This outrageous act reminds us that we must remain vigilant against anti-Semitism and prejudice in all its forms". That sounds good, until one remembers things like Rev. Jeremiah Wright, "bitter cling", his campaign's constant attempts to race-bait, his smears of Lou Dobbs and Rush Limbaugh, and how he'd deal with "hate" (see #14). * Josh Gerstein of the Politico in "Attacks validate DHS report, some say" (link). He quotes the Southern...

America's Voice offers very lightweight hit piece on Jeff Sessions - 05/07/09

Sam Stein of the Huffington Post directs [1] our attention to a new hit piece from Frank Sharry's America's Voice that claims that Sen. Jeff Sessions has "just one degree of separation from anti-immigrant hate groups, white nationalism" [2]. As a hit piece, this is like a marshmallow wrapped in a Snuggie. For instance, they accuse him of playing the "terrorist card" in regards to the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, including quoting a floor speech he made. Yet, they don't provide any sort of counter-argument other than implying that Senators shouldn't point out that the CIR bill...

George Soros funding ACLU, SPLC immigration projects - 04/29/09

The list of the 2009 Soros Justice Fellows has been released, and a list is at [1]. The two involving are: Sam Brooke; lawyer; Southern Poverty Law Center; Montgomery, AL Brooke will engage in advocacy and public education to curb arbitrary detentions and abuses at Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities in the southeastern United States. Amalia Greenberg Delgado; lawyer; American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California; San Francisco, CA Greenberg Delgado will develop a public education program to counter myths about immigrants and crime, and advocate for improved law-enforcement...

SPLC: DHS rightwing extremist report mentions them and "tracks" theirs "fairly closely" (Harry Smith; +two errors) - 04/16/09

As you haven't heard from almost anyone else, the recent Department of Homeland Security report warning about rightwing extremists mentions - without naming it - a misleading report from the Southern Poverty Law Center. I say "almost" because of this: Mark Potok, director of the [SPLC's] intelligence project, said... he was generally pleased with the report... "Basically, the report tracks fairly closely with what we have been saying for some time now. They mention us a couple of times, though not by name," he said. Anyone who wants to do something effective about the report should stress...

Bennie Thompson "dumbfounded" by DHS rightwing extremist report - 04/16/09

Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson - chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee - has written a letter to Janet Napolitano of the Department of Homeland Security complaining about their recently-released report warning about rightwing "extremists". Per this, in the letter he says that he's "dumbfounded" by the report, also saying: "This report appears to raise significant issues involving the privacy and civil liberties of many Americans -- including war veterans... As I am certain you agree, freedom of association and freedom of speech are guaranteed to all Americans -- whether a person'...

SPLC names "hate group" based on something they didn't promote - 04/10/09

The Southern Poverty Law Center publishes a list of "hate groups" which includes both true hate groups as well as those who simply disagree with the SPLC's support for illegal immigration and the like. That would be insignificant if it weren't for the fact that the mainstream media as well as even government agencies take them seriously.

Dennis Roddy /Pittsburgh PG, SPLC, LGF, HotAir, Kos use tragedy to smear opponents - 04/05/09

Dennis Roddy of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette offers "Suspect in officers' shooting was into conspiracy theories" (link) about the recent shooting of three police officers in Pittsburgh by an obviously deranged 22-year-old. He takes advantage of that tragedy to smear his or his paper's opponents: Mr. Poplawski's view of guns and personal freedom took a turn toward the fringes of American politics. With Mr. Perkovic, he appeared to share a belief that the government was controlled from unseen forces, that troops were being shipped home from the Mideast to police the citizenry here, and that Jews...

SPLC, ADL used as sources for Missouri militia report? - 03/27/09

A couple weeks ago this news broke (link): Alex Jones has received a secret report distributed by the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) entitled "The Modern Militia Movement' and dated February 20, 2009... The MIAC report specifically describes supporters of presidential candidates Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, and Bob Barr as "militia" influenced terrorists and instructs the Missouri police to be on the lookout for supporters displaying bumper stickers and other paraphernalia associated with the Constitutional, Campaign for Liberty, and Libertarian parties... Now it appears that at...

SPLC live web chat: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 03/13/09

On March 18 at 2pm Eastern, the Southern Poverty Law Center will be conducting a live online webchat. You have to sign up beforehand here: Those participating include their president Richard Cohen and Mark Potok.

Clarissa Martinez/NCLR's offensive, misleading pro-illegal immigration editorial - 02/07/09

Clarissa Martinez of the National Council of La Raza (her bio at the first link) offers an offensive editorial called "Think Latinos are ambivalent about immigration?" (link). It's a response to an earlier editorial from Ira Mehlman (link), and it starts with this: At the height of his hubris, Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)-- an anti-immigrant organization designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center -- decided that he is better qualified than Latino civil rights leaders to speak to Latino views. What's next, David Duke writing...

Carrie Johnson /WaPo smears opponents of Obama, immigration (rise in "hate", SPLC) - 01/11/09

Carrie Johnson of the Washington Post offers "Bad Economy May Fuel Hate Groups, Experts Warn/Experts Warn That Downturn Could Drive Discontent, Help Extremists Recruit" (link), which is basically the same article as that offered by Jesse Washington of the AP and others back in November, albeit updated for the current economic conditions. She starts out with the possibility that Obama's win, immigration, and the slumping economy could lead to rising membership in "hate" groups. Aside from the "experts" quoted, she provides no evidence in support of her assertion, and at the end she provides...