April 8, 2013

Charlotte Allen's expose of the SPLC

Charlotte Allen writes in The Weekly Standard:
King of Fearmongers 
Morris Dees and the Southern Poverty Law Center, scaring donors since 1971

... Irony turns out to be what the SPLC is all about. Thanks to the generosity of four decades’ worth of donors, many of whom—as SPLC president Richard Cohen himself noted in a telephone interview with me—are aging Northern-state “1960s liberals” who continue to associate “Southern” and “poverty” with lynchings, white-hooded Klansmen, and sitting at the back of the bus, and thanks also to what can only be described as the sheer genius at direct-mail marketing of Dees, the SPLC’s 76-year-old lawyer-founder, who was already a multimillionaire by the late 1960s from the direct-mail sales of everything from doormats to cookbooks, the SPLC is probably the richest poverty organization in the history of the world. From its very beginning the SPLC, thanks to Dees’s talent for crafting multi-page alarmist fundraising letters, has not only continuously operated in the black, but has steadily accumulated a mountain of surpluses augmented by a shrewdly managed investment portfolio. Today the SPLC’s net assets total more than $256 million (that figure appears on the SPLC’s 2011 tax return, the latest posted on the organization’s website). ... 
So impressed was the Direct Marketing Association in 1998 with Dees’s superb fundraising talents that it inducted him into its Hall of Fame, where he shares honors with Benjamin Franklin, first postmaster general, and catalogue retailer L. L. Bean. ... The new SPLC building, a postmodernist parallelepiped faced in steel and black glass, has been variously described by its critics as a “small-scale Death Star” and a “highrise trailer.”  
The SPLC turned the original Poverty Palace into a museum that complements another of its Montgomery monuments, the Civil Rights Memorial, where an imposing granite circle designed by Maya Lin, architect of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, records the names of such iconic martyrs to the civil rights cause as Medgar Evers and Martin Luther King Jr., neither of whom was ever a client of the SPLC. In 2010 the Montgomery Advertiser published a 60-photo online slideshow of Morris Dees’s lavishly appointed neo-Mediterranean home, whose eclectic architectural and interior-decor influences seemingly included the Alhambra, David Hockney’s swimming-pool paintings, the Etsy home page, and a 1970s shag-rug revival. In one slide Dees’s fourth wife, artist and weaver Susan Starr, modeled a floor-length evening coat that she had stitched out of transparent vinyl sheeting and fake fur. 

There's much more here.
Still, there may soon come a day when the SPLC’s donation-generating machine, powered by Dees’s mastery of the use of “hate” to coax dollars from the highly educated and the highly gullible, finally breaks down. That is why, according to Cohen, the SPLC has no intention of soon spending down much of that $256 million in stockpiled assets that has earned the center an “F” rating from CharityWatch. “We’ve tried to raise a substantial endowment, because our fundraising is on a downward trend,” Cohen told me. “Those 1960s liberals—they’re getting older, and the post office is dying. We’re likely to be out of the fundraising business within 10 years.” What the SPLC wants to do is to ensure that “hate” is forever. 

Eh, I figure the SPLC has a long fundraising future in front of it. Just to run an idea up the flagpole and see if anybody salutes, how much of that $256 million would it cost, say, to donate blankets to homeless people near liberal arts colleges? And how much more would it cost if the blankets were, you know, white snuggies with maybe sleeves for convenience and a hood built in to keep the homeless folks' heads warm? Think of the ROI! There's a market out there and somebody is going to meet the demand for the glue that holds the Democratic Party together. Why not the reigning champs of KKKraziness?

44 comments:

Bobby said...

Wow high rise double wide is exactly right; it's just awful. I didn't think I could hate the SPLC even more, but after reading about its founder, I do. Makes perfect sense. Thanks again, Steve.

Hunsdon said...

Hate! Most people only see the downside, but our Morris, he sees opportunity!

Chicago said...

It being "the richest poverty organization" in the world says quite a bit. There's a lot of money in poverty. Should the hate angle fade out as a moneymaker then there's always other causes they can switch over to. There's a huge number of organizations out there that fundraise for every conceivable cause and disease, all competing for donor dollars. The staff of most of them that have some success seem to pay themselves pretty well. After all, one can't expect those that do good works to work for free.
They've had a pretty good ride and have lived high on the hog all these years. They'll pass something on to their heirs. Sure beats working some regular job and always worrying about the mortgage.

Paul Mendez said...

Here's my idea:

Some lawyer should recruit a bunch of small, black-run non-profits that are actually Southern and actually fight poverty. Then, the lawyer should quietly approach $PLC and request large donations for all his clients, or they'll go public with how greedy $PLC is. The lawyer, of course, should get a large finder's fee for his trouble.

If this works, expect copycat shakedowns.

Lionel said...

Thats an interesting point that SPLC fundraising is hurt by the post office dying. Its not just that the post office will be cut back but we value mail so much less. When I get the mail, I look for whatever I'm expecting that is important - health insurance claims and a few bills that I haven't been able to set up to come to me on-line like my daughter's rent. Then I throw everything else out unopened. Theres still a lot of it, more all the time.

Anonymous said...

Just the kind of story that journalistic expose shows like CBS's 60 minutes love to cover. Whoops....on second thought, not.

Luke Lea said...

Nice to see this appearing in the Weekly Standard. I've always admired Irving Krystol's son for his forthright honesty.

peterike said...

Basically, the SPLC is one small group of Jews (it's Morris Seligman Dees, by the way) conning money out of a much larger group of Jews by convincing them there are still Nazis hiding in every shadow.

Jews are so good at conning money that they can even con each other.

rightsaidfred said...

The Hate peddled by the SPLC seems pretty enduring. I can't imagine that well running dry, and why worry about the decline of the Post Office when such an emotional message can be mainlined directly into the brains of newly minted college liberals via the internet?

I suspect the dynamic here is that a vibrant, diverse society runs out of money and the pale ethnic group that funds these things. Feedback indeed.

Anonymous said...

"SPLC president Richard Cohen himself noted in a telephone interview with me—are aging Northern-state “1960s liberals” who continue to associate “Southern” and “poverty” with lynchings, white-hooded Klansmen, and sitting at the back of the bus..."

Will Geekly Standard admit that most conservative thinktanks and much of the GOP itself have become nothing but organizations funded by Northeastern Jews who would have us believe that Jews in Israel are on the verge of being wiped out by Palesti-Nazis and nuked by Iran(a nation that still doesn't have a single nuke). Didn't Geekly Standard back in 2002 and 2003 lay out hysterical case that Hussein was working on nukes and had tremendous stockpiles of WMD that might be used against America? Talk about scare-mongering and pushing buttons.
And doesn't the neocon controlled GOP and 'conservative' thinktanks tell us that the new true-and-blue conservatism must embrace open borders and 'gay marriage' since only 'racists' and 'homophobes' would oppose such things?

Geekly Standard should look in the mirror.

Anonymous said...

The World belongs to the smart people, not intelligent but smart.

Anonymous said...

Just how many indulgences did that 256M buy?

Anonymous said...

I have childhood memories of my family occasionally sending modest checks to the those fear mongering goons. $265 million in assets, and they needed our petit bourgeois pennies? I first realized that they were alarmist scammers in high-school, but back then I thought that the scam involved providing upper-middle class incomes for Dees and his crew in return for laughable newsletters detailing the latest surge racist bathroom graffiti. I figured that scouring every rest stop bench for swastika carvings involved an expensive network of traveling inspectors, leaving just enough cream for the SPLC leadership to skim the makings of a modest but comfortable lifestyle.

The SPLC is a affinity scam, wrapped inside a mystery, inside a garish building. Well, not so much of a mystery anymore:-(
- The Judean People's Front

Evil Sandmich said...

I think that their decreasing fundraising is following them on the path to being on the wrong side of history.

Mr. Anon said...

Does the Weekly Standard really differ from the SPLC in any significant way? Does William Kristol differ from Morris Dees in any significant way? They seem to be playing the same game, for many of the same reasons.

Anonymous said...

Is there a single conservative character on TV or movies who is positive? Lots of characters are neither liberal or conservative or apolitical, but is there any who is meant to be conservative and is very positive?

There are lots of characters who are supposed to be Jewish, gay, feminist, liberal, feminist, and etc. who are meant to be POSITIVE characters.
While there are characters in movies who may appeal to conservatives, are there any who are supposed to be CONSERVATIVE?

I can't think of any.

I think there are more positive gay characters in movies and TV than conservative characters.

So, all those fools addicted to pop culture can't associate any conservative character to goodness or nobility.

Unknown said...

The Southern Poverty Law Center sounds like an awkward and clumsy title that doesn't clearly define what they do, and that's no accident. It sounds most like an organization providing legal aide to poor Southerners, which is something few, if any, would have any qualms with.

Their name is their cover, and it's one of the main reasons they've become the Defamers of Record for so long. Only recently have they been called into question by a few daring mainstream conservative press outlets.

They've shown their hubris by impugning the character of organizations and critics of an all powerful centralized government of the Federal variety, and that is one reason they are rapidly losing credibility. Lot's of otherwise supporters of the SPLC get suspicious when people with reasonable, if not quite mainstream views get lumped in with the KKK/American NAZI party types. They begin to look really flaky, because what they do amounts to nothing more than creating a vast enemies list. This list transparently shows that there just aren't enough real "racists" out their to name and shame, so they have to start painting with a broad brush. That may have more to do with their concerns over killing the golden goose of donations than the actuarial tables of 1960's liberals.

Baloo said...

"Assault speech" — A banning idea whose time has come!

Anonymous said...

Will Geekly Standard admit that most conservative thinktanks and much of the GOP itself have become nothing but organizations funded by Northeastern Jews who would have us believe that Jews in Israel are on the verge of being wiped out by Palesti-Nazis and nuked by Iran(a nation that still doesn't have a single nuke).

Very incisive.

Mark said...

There's been much hysteria here at Washington State University over the (admittedly rather brutal) weekend assault on an American Indian faculty member. What was mildly interesting to hear amidst the reflexive cries of "hate crime" (there is no actual evidence of this) is the oft-mentioned discord between the coalition members. American Indians are upset that other minority groups are attempting to "own" the situation, or encroach upon their accumulated victimhood capital. While this doesn't surprise any regular reader, it's somewhat rare to see this played out in the wild and in my own backyard.

Anonymous said...

I suspect the dynamic here is that a vibrant, diverse society runs out of money and the pale ethnic group that funds these things. Feedback indeed.

Parasites indeed.

Anonymous said...

Basically, the SPLC is one small group of Jews (it's Morris Seligman Dees, by the way) conning money out of a much larger group of Jews by convincing them there are still Nazis hiding in every shadow.

It would be interesting to know how much of the contributions come from Jews versus from Whites. Is it implausible to think that a lot of it comes from the "1960s liberals"?

Anonymous said...

"The SPLC is a affinity scam, wrapped inside a mystery, inside a garish building. Well, not so much of a mystery anymore:-("

This has to be one of the funniest isteve comments ever.

Steve Sailer said...

Why the odd name of the SPLC?

Morris Dees's Southern Poverty Law Center = SPLC ~ SCLC = Southern Christian Leadership Council of Martin Luther King

Ergo:

Morris ~ Martin in the brains of easily confused affluent elderly people

Dees isn't a member of the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame for nothing.

Anonymous said...

"Basically, the SPLC is one small group of Jews (it's Morris Seligman Dees, by the way) conning money out of a much larger group of Jews by convincing them there are still Nazis hiding in every shadow."

Boy, you got this wrong!! Do you really think NY-Times-reading Jews really really believe that the KKK is prowling around and lynching blacks and etc? Do you really believe that? You think people like the Pritzkers and Harvard Jews really believe that helpless blacks are at the mercy of Southern rednecks? They know all about black crime and black danger. After all, they see it all around in Detroit, Chicago, NY, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and etc.

No, very rich Jews fund organizations like SPLC to put white America on the defensive. By having this organization scream 'Nazi' and 'KKK' at every turn, it silences white America from regaining any sense of white identity, pride, and purpose.

It's not that SPLC milks very rich Jews. It's that very rich Jews see some political worth in SPLC.

But with the rise of the internet, many rich Jews might think... 'why do we need the SPLC when we can do so much more via the internet through Jewish-controlled Google, facebook, Slate, Jezebel, and 100s of other sites?'
And so, SPLC cannot draw funds like it used to. It's going the way of Newsweek. The shame game is now all online, and liberal media is bigger than ever. In the past, most people got local news. So, NY Times was read mostly by Nyers, and LA times mostly by los angelenos. But now NY Times on facebook is read by 10s of millions all over America.

And all networks other than Fox are all out propaganda machines on the attack for 'white supremacism'.

There was a time when most news was objective. Sure, there was a liberal bias but the standards was more along the line of Ted Koppel on Nightline who interviewed everyone dispassionately and fairly. So, even though most news was liberal-biased, it wasn't brazenly biased.

But then, talk radio came along and brazenly spread conservative news and opinions. A lot of people found that engaging and entertaining, and so there was a rise of conservatism, even among the young who turned to talk radio. For many people, guys like Limbaugh seemed so much more entertaining than the dry faces on TV news.

Liberals got worried and even thought to bring back the fairness doctrine. But then, the news culture changed where TV 'journalists' could brazenly push their political views with lots of personality. Though cons have Fox, all the other channels loudly and aggressively pushed the liberal view of things.

And even though liberals failed with talk radio format, they found something even more effective with Talk TV, especially Colbert and Stewart, and young people thought that was so hip and witty and cool.
A lot of people like the look of Talk TV, but the image of talk radio for most people is fat slob like Limbaugh babbling like a baby for 3 hrs. Limbaugh can be funny but his humor is infantile and crude. It has no hipster youth appeal.
Stewart and Colbert play it like Matt Damon in Bourne movies. Limbaugh goes on and on like Ralph Kramden.

Anonymous said...

If conservatism doesn't have the demographic numbers, media power, and money to win elections, it can no longer win politically on principles and values.
Then, it must turn into a cultural movement. So, if 'gay marriage' becomes legal nationally, we must create a new culture of true marriage that is for real sexuals.

As for politics, there is only one thing to do, which is to dissolve the GOP and go into subversive mode. Everyone should enter the Democratic Party in a Trojan Horse trick. Saul Alinskyism of the Right.
And one way to undermine the 'left' is paradoxically by pushing for even harder versions of leftism. So, if the left calls for higher taxes, we demand even higher so that the liberal elites will really feel the squeeze. If the left says we need bigger government and more spending, we call for even more so that the system will go bust sooner.
If the left calls for more affirmative action, we call for even more and target the elite Jews and rich liberal whites.

Too much of a good thing is a bad thing, and we can make the liberal rich find out the hard way.

Meanwhile, in the cultural and social sphere, we maintain our world of conservatism where marriage is true marriage and men are men and women are women.

Derek Brown said...

I don't know if Luke Lea was being sarcastic but I have to note that the Kristol branch of the neocons has borne alot fruit than has the Podohoertz/Commentary branch. What really put it into focus for me was comparing the two seminal works of the elder Kristol and Podhoertz. Two cheers for capitalism could have been written by a paleocon. "Negro Problem" was little more than a who/whom analysis in which Podhoertz effectively said screw the blacks they hate us even after all we did for them. The Kristols to me truly grappled with the issues of politics most notably the idea of nomos (evidenced by Bill Kristol scorning the Repubs looking to cave on social issues) whereas the Podhoertzs et. al really are little more than a who/whom movement. In a way Kristol's understanding of conservatism was deepened by the fact that he went right later than did Podhoertz. For P, it was ethnic spite that goaded him right wards and as such his conservatism was always going to be racially oriented towards his groups, Kristol broke right when the heat of the cultural wars was starting to build and as such truly grasped the mechanics of culture and its intersection with politics.

Anonymous said...

You know that ANOn wanted to say play it cool like James Bond but then thought no that's not hip who's that happening guy in that new spy series Bourne yea that's the ticket. I bet you think Stuart Scott is cool too. Someone should purge the self-loathacons out of the movement they really up the beta factor.

Anonymous said...

"I don't know if Luke Lea was being sarcastic but I have to note that the Kristol branch of the neocons has borne alot fruit than has the Podohoertz/Commentary branch."

Didn't William Kristol argue that Dan Quayle is the future of American conservatism? Wasn't he behind Sarah Palin?
Wasn't he gloating to Buchanan that all the 'Arabists' have been purged?

Anonymous said...

Does Fox speak for white christian conservatives? O'reilly's contemptuous dismissal of conservative christians as "bible thumpers" for opposing homosexual marriage on the basis of Chritian revelation and Christian morality makes one suspect Fox is a neocon front which exists to manage white christian conservative opinion. Hannity recent surrender on illegal immigration strenghtens the argument.

Anonymous said...

When the conventional wisdom finally comes to its senses about racism, we'll have the SPLC to thank for being the straw that broke the camel's back.

Anonymous said...

makes one suspect Fox is a neocon front which exists to manage white christian conservative opinion. Hannity recent surrender on illegal immigration strenghtens the argument.

Yep.

Derek Brown said...

What exactly was wrong with Dan Quayle? He basically nailed it with Murphy Brown. So right he had to be destroyed. I don't care for Palin but lets be clear no brilliant paleocon would has fared any better. And the Arabists should have been purged just as I hope the Israeli sympathizers will be purged. We need diplomats who represent America not diplomats who rep for Israel or diplomats who go native at the sight of long flowing robes and a harem.

Ex Submarine Officer said...

I don't think Morris Dees is jewish, despite the name.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Morris Dees is jewish, despite the name.

Judaism is a political ideology, not a race.

a Newsreader said...

Is it just me, or are some of the better articles in the respectable right-o-sphere just a rephrasing of selections from Steve's archive?

At least the author of this one bothered to call some of the relevant players for some quotes.

TGGP said...

Is there anything new in this that wasn't already published in Harper's years ago?

David Davenport said...

Everyone should enter the Democratic Party in a Trojan Horse trick. Saul Alinskyism of the Right.

Nope, your proposal is Saul Alinskyism of the Left.

It's lame Saul Alinskyism, which you've posted at iSteve several times. Who the Hell do you think is going to buy it?

Svigor said...

"Assault speech" — A banning idea whose time has come!

The Founding Fathers never could have foreseen modern broadcast media or social networks.

Common sense speech legislation.

There's only one purpose to hate speech, and that's to hurt people.

People who use offensive speech have small wee-wees.

Do it for the Children!

Nobody's infringing on your right to Free Speech.

Hate speech is the same as yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater.

Svigor said...

This has to be one of the funniest isteve comments ever.

Yeah, that was pretty good.

Null said...

Did any of you guys read the part of the article where it notes that Dees is not, in fact, Jewish?

Nice to pull off affinity fraud while not being a member of the group!

Cail Corishev said...

As for politics, there is only one thing to do, which is to dissolve the GOP and go into subversive mode. Everyone should enter the Democratic Party in a Trojan Horse trick. Saul Alinskyism of the Right.

When did Alinsky suggest that leftists abandon the Democratic Party and infiltrate the GOP?

That never happened, of course. Leftists stick with the party more amenable to their interests (both parties lean left, but the Dems more so). They stick with the party no matter what, even when it does things they don't care for -- middle-America union members staying with the party as it pushes for "gay rights," or real Marxists staying put even when it cozies up to banksters, for instance -- because they always keep their eye on the prize: victory. If you win, you can figure out who gets what from the spoils later; but if you lose, you get nothing.

That "my party do or die" attitude is the main reason for the "ratchet effect" (a Thatcher saying, I believe): with the Democrats consistently pulling one direction and the Republicans inconsistently pulling one way or the other or arguing about whether to pull at all, the Dems constantly gain.

On the other side, you get atheist libertarians whining that Republican politicians talk about God too much, which A) they probably don't do that any more than Democrats do, and B) so what? If it gets votes for the party that you want to win so you can get the smaller government you want, just shut up and ignore it. That's what Democrats do, and it's why they always win in the end.

I'm not saying conservatives/libertarians/traditionalists should just accept the GOP the way it is. But if you're going to infiltrate a party, infiltrate the one that has at least some affinity for your interests, not the one that hates you and everything you stand for.

Anonymous said...

Did any of you guys read the part of the article where it notes that Dees is not, in fact, Jewish?

What makes someone Jewish, or not Jewish?

ben tillman said...

Did any of you guys read the part of the article where it notes that Dees is not, in fact, Jewish?


And how is the author of that article qualified to "note" that Dees is not Jewish?