For the last ten years, this so-called master of exposés on hate, The Southern Poverty Law Center, resorted to labeling every conservative group imaginable as a “hate group”. This group and their history of smears against conservatives got a lot of power and traction because the liberal mainstream media would reference the SPLC in their stinging attacks. It was shoddy journalism, but newspapers never suffered any backlash for referencing the SPLC.
Since then, they have turned into an unparalleled fundraising operation, with more money than the NAACP. Corporate firms have donated millions to this institution, which has prided itself on outing and shouting down extremist groups around the country.
The Southern Poverty Law Center attributes hate and extremism to so many groups, that one shooter assailant stormed the Family Research Council headquarters to get rid of all the “hate-mongers.” Why? Because according to the SPLC, the FRC was a hate group!
These smears have devastating consequences. Calling people “haters” is all about shutting down dissent, nothing more. The “shutting down” aspect, has become more violent, or in other cases, has cost people their jobs, their reputation.
And now they are getting a taste of their own medicine,
Over the last eight months, since I began working as Organization Director for MassResistance, the international pro-family group that makes the difference, we adopted a different tactic when dealing with the press and taking on the “hate group” smear of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
First, our President Brian Camenker wrote an extended article slamming their laughable bias and flights of logic. Check out the entire article here.
In subsequent encounters with the press, we established clear-cut guidelines with reporters. We informed them that, yes, the SPLC had labeled us a “hate group”, but then delineated how preposterous this smear was:
- The President of MassResistance is an Orthodox Jew.
- Some of our most effective activists are minorities of different backgrounds.
- One of their main writers expressly admitted that they only want to destroy conservative groups, nothing more. That alone undercuts their credibility.
- The SPLC was successfully sued by reformist Muslim Maajid Nawaz.
- Four other groups and individuals have filed lawsuits against the SPLC for defamation
- Last of all, we pointed out that homosexual conduct and transgenderism are not immutable attributes. Even by their standards, the SPLC had no right to label us as haters.
We demanded that reporters avoid any reference to the SPLC. If they insisted on the reference, Brian, Arthur, or another member of our team would slam the reporter at length, calling them out for their rank lack of professionalism—a label which even liberal reporters hate. If that didn’t work, we resolved never to speak with them again.
Our efforts were quite successful. One article which had listed us as a hate group per the SPLC. Within twelve hours after I filed a complaint with the reporter and the editor, they retracted the SPLC attribution. A number of editors admitted that initially they had no final say in a report, but upon printing, no mention of the SPLC appeared.
Then the smears hit the fan!
On March 14, 2019, the co-founder of the SPLC, Morris Dees, was fired. One of the most liberal “news” organizations in the country, reported from their press release.
Here’s a more complete report on the misconduct of Morris Dees:
A letter signed by about two dozen employees sent to SPLC management before Dees’ firing reported accusations of “mistreatment, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and racism” and said they threaten the group’s moral authority and integrity.
A hostile workplace environment, abuse and disrespect toward women and minorities: that sounds like a hate group! Then the SPLC President, Richard Cohen, announced his resignation, too! Then their legal director, Rhonda Brownstein, resigned, effective immediately. Ouch!
The SPLC became a victim of its own success. They are now reaping what they have sown, gaining a bad reputation for the hateful, abusive conduct of their own leaders, all while ironically accusing many other individuals and groups of hatred and extremism.
What Does This Success Mean? What Does This Prove About MassResistance?
Since the nasty exposure and downfall of the SPLC before the public, MassResistance activists have notched up an impressive number of successes. In California, our activists stopped bad bills from getting re-filed. In Colorado and Minnesota, our activists have made citizen lobby efforts to confront lawmakers on very pressing issues. In Houston, Texas our MassResistance chapter exposed a child predator among the drag queens who were reading to children at the Freed-Montrose Library—a report that went national and then international!
Not only has the reporting from the left-wing, pro-gay press been fair and balanced, not one time have they referred to MassResistance as a “hate group” or included any attribution from the Southern Poverty Law Center. With the growing fallout from the civil rights organization that went corporate and then corrupt, more pro-family groups and conservative activist groups have been spared the false smears of “hate group” or “extremist group” from the SPLC.
While most pro-family groups have gone out of their way to impress the media and please elected officials; while most of the pro-family establishment spends more time avoiding controversy and embracing compromise; while pro-family groups decided to avoid direct confrontation with the Left for fearing of being labeled bigots and homophobes and to avoid the “hate group” label from the SPLC, MassResistance fearlessly stood for truth, calling out the inherent lies of the LGBT Movement as well as the destructive nature of homosexuality and transgenderism in and of themselves.
Instead of trying to make nice to avoid bad labels, instead of saying nothing when local and national newspapers smeared us, we fought back and demanded that the press stop labeling our numerous, diverse, family-loving activists as haters. These tactics work. Punching back at the Left and holding them to their standards works every time—and it’s time for more pro-family groups—and all conservative activists—to do the same.
Arthur Christopher Schaper is a blogger, writer, and commentator on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance. Follow his blogs at The State of the Union and As He Is, So Are We Ministries.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.