Paul Drockton: SPLC and the Business of Hate

"I'll Think About That Tomorrow"

Apparently, trafficking in hatred is a very lucrative business. The Southern Poverty Law Center, known for its outlandish smear campaigns against respected organizations like the American Family Association (Source) and respected journalist Lou Dobbs (over questioning Obama's birth certificate), has found that selling hatred is big business.

"...Morris Dees [founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center] won a judgment for a black woman whose son was killed by Klansmen. She received $51,875 as settlement. Mr. Dees, according to an investigation by the Montgomery Advertiser, pulled in $9 million from fund-raising solicitation letters that featured a particularly gruesome photograph of the grieving mother's son. Mr. Dees, who pays himself an annual salary of $275,000, offered the grieving mother none of the $9 million her son's death made for him." (Source)

.... Mr. Dees, in fact, earns - or is paid, which is not necessarily the same thing - more than nearly any officer of other advocacy groups surveyed by the National Journal, more than the chairmen of the ACLU, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Children's Defense Fund. (Ibid)
"You are a fraud and a con man," Stephen Bright, director of the Southern Center for Human Rights, which actually takes on dozens of death-penalty appeals for poor blacks every year, once told him. "You spend so much, accomplish so little, and promote yourself so shamelessly."... (Ibid)

"In fact, unknown to most CFC donors, the tax-exempt SPLC flunked an audit by the Arlington-based Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance, which requires that "a reasonable percentage, at least 50 percent of total income from all sources, should be applied to programs and activities directly related to the purposes for which the organization exists." (Ibid)

Cashing in on the misery of others is nothing new. The real embarassment is the fact that the main-stream media only helps perpetuate this fraud by giving the SPLC continuous exposure as an authority on the politics of hate. Perhaps this is because the SPLC knows a profitable cause when it sees one. Currently, its focus is on defending the radical homosexual agenda in our nation's schools.
According to the SPLC's latest IRS filings (Source):

* The organization raked in a hefty 32 million dollars in 2010
* Lost over 13 million on investments in 2009.
* Paid Richard Cohen over $339,000 in total compensation in 2010!
* Paid its Chief Trial Counsel, MORRIS DEES, over $340,000 in 2010!
* Paid its CFO, TEENIE HUTCHISON, over $146,000 in 2010
* Paid its COO, MICHAEL TOOHEY, over $210,000 in 2010
* Paid its General Counsel, JOSEPH L LEVIN over $180,000
Has 6 other employees in the six figures....

Even more revealing is the amount of money it spends on raising money. Over 1 million dollars was spent in 2010 on telemarketing, list/name purchases and databases.

The Southern Poverty Law Center is a classic example of fear based fundraising. In order to survive, it feeds on the worst of people's irrational fears. A gun for hire, with the primary focus on fundraising, can only corrupt the national discourse without adding anything of real value to the discussion.