What the Hell Has Happened to the Southern Poverty Law Center?

On June 18, 1984 Denver radio talk-show host Alan Berg was gunned down in his driveway. Bruce Pierce pumped 13 bullets into Alan Berg. To homicide detectives, such overkill usually indicates a passion killing by someone with a visceral animus toward the victim. Alan Berg never did anything to Bruce Pierce, but Pierce hated him anyway. Pierce hated Berg because he was Jewish and because on his radio show he exposed and criticized racist white supremacists and the groups they belonged to.

Pierce was a member of a white supremacist group that called itself “The Order.” He was convicted in Federal Court of violating Berg’s civil rights and sentenced to 150 years in prison. He was not charged with murder because murder is not a federal crime except in certain cases directly affecting the federal government. Pierce died in 2010 at the age of 56 in the Allenwood Federal Correction Complex in Pennsylvania.

When Federal Judge Richard Matsch sentenced Pierce, he said: “The man (Berg) was killed for who he was, what he believed in, and what he said and did, and that crime strikes at the very core of the Constitution.”

The Order had three names on its kill list. Besides Berg, TV producer Norman Lear and Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center were targeted by “The Order.” Berg was the only one they ever able to kill.

When I knew Morris Dees, and I did for a while, I found him to be intelligent and congenial. The sort of person I would naturally like and admire. He rode a BMW motorcycle so I had to like him for that. Our common interest in motorcycles is how we met. His motorcycle was stored in my garage for the winter once. He was an overnight guest in my home on a few occasions. I knew he was the founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center and that made him of special interest to me because I respected that organization for its work to alleviate poverty and fight white supremacist violence.

Dees pursued a strategy of suing white supremacist organizations for personal injury damages. The legal theory was conspiracy to foment violence against certain minority groups, primarily blacks. Not sure, but Dees may also have used the Federal RICO statute to support a civil cause of action for damages. In essence, Dees argued, the white supremacists who preached racial hatred were doing so for the express purpose of inciting violence against people they hated, mainly blacks and Jews. The white supremacist instigators may as well have been wielding the rocks, clubs, guns, and bombs themselves. They who use their powers of persuasion to incite others to violence should be held accountable, Dees said.

The organizations were enriching themselves by spewing hatred and violence to weak-minded losers who would carry out the carnage they advocated. The converts and followers would donate to them out of sympathy for the hatred they preached. They may also have run various criminal operations to generate income.

Morris Dees labeled them “hate organizations,” that existed solely for the purpose of harming the objects of their hatred. The violence was visited upon people not for anything they had done but simply for who they were, what race or religion they belonged to.

This strategy worked. Dees and his SPLC won large judgments against prominent white supremacist organizations. This was a strategy of following the money. The supremacist organizations had money, the individuals who carried out the heinous acts on behalf of the organization usually had none, so a judgment against the individual would likely have little impact on the organization itself.

Like most criminal organizations, the soldiers actually carrying out violence on the ground were the easiest to replace. Lazy losers are plentiful and easy to convert.

That much was all well and good for the SPLC. It was doing good for society and it was enjoying success. Now, something terrible has happened. The SPLC has gone over to the dark side. Oh, they haven’t become white supremacist criminals. No, they have done something I personally find almost equally bad. They’ve become radical leftist thugs. They’ve become Maximilien Robespierre.

I’m not saying Morris Dees is responsible for this, I don’t know that. It may have happened without him, even oven his objection. I don’t claim to know. I just hope he will stop it if he can. The Morris Dees I knew or thought I knew, would abhor what the SPLC has become.

I have no idea how it happened but the SPLC is as much a hate group as the white supremacist organizations it used to hound and fight. Now anyone who voted for or supports Donald Trump is pegged by the SPLC as a fascist or a white supremacist. No one should be in a better position to know who and what is a white supremacist than the SPLC, but that expertise is now being used to support ad hominem and actual physical attacks on innocent people. An organization that once held to account hate groups that advocated violence now supports political groups that engage in violence.

The SPLC has aligned itself with Google, Facebook and Twitter to shut down websites guilty of nothing more than disagreeing with them on certain political issues. Once a defender of civil rights, the SPLC now condemns the right of free speech when spoken by anyone they don’t like or by anyone with a different opinion.

D. James Kennedy Ministries Sues SPLC Over “Hate” Labeling. The SPLC has labeled DJKM an “anti-LGBT hate group” for its opposition to same-sex marriage and transgenderism. SPLC has come a long way since Alan Berg. Now murder, violence  and private religious beliefs with which SPLC disagrees are all equated.

SPLC has become the monster they used to oppose with all their might. Now that might is directed against people who clearly do not deserve it. It’s being done for the same reasons Judge Matsch sentenced Bruce Pierce to 150 years in prison. It’s being done to people whom the SPLC has no reason to hate except for who they are, what they think, what they believe. Innocent people are being accused of unspeakable violence and the actual perpetrators of violence are lauded with praise.

Once upon a time Morris Dees was motivated by his desire to support and help people who were down trodden through no fault of their own. What the hell has happened to all that, Morris?

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