Culture

Media Beware: The Southern Poverty Law Center Has Become a Dangerous Joke

SPLC co-founder Morris Dees (Photo: Smontgom65/Dreamstime)
Reporters should stop using it as a source.

I  have a confession to make: I’m a hater lurking at a convention of haters. Our thoughtcrimes are clear and inexcusable. I’m at a meeting of Christians who believe the Bible is true, who believe that mankind is fallen and in need of a Savior, and who believe that we should live according to certain moral rules — including rules that govern sexual conduct. We believe that we should have the basic liberty to live according to that faith, and we also believe that other human beings should be able to live according to the different dictates of their consciences, so long as we all respect each other’s fundamental rights. To make matters even worse, I used to work for this hate group. I was a senior counsel, supervising a whole platoon of hateful litigators.

This may come as a shock to some readers, but there are apparently millions upon million of people like us in these United States. There are even — imagine this! — elected officials who share these vile beliefs. We tend to gather together once per week, we form groups that advocate for life and liberty, and we sometimes even attend conventions where we discuss legal and cultural trends. Fortunately, however, the mainstream media is on the case, ready to blow the lid off our secret covens of corruption. Here’s ABC News, last night:

https://twitter.com/ABC/status/885460813519228928

Last year, a radical mob tried to physically attack American Enterprise Institute scholar Charles Murray. He escaped unharmed, but a female professor who tried to protect him was injured, suffering a concussion and other injuries as the mob surged toward Murray. What helped motivate the mob? The SPLC’s absurd designation of Murray as a “white nationalist.”

It would be unfair to hold the SPLC responsible for these violent acts. After all, the ultimate moral responsibility for violence rests with the criminal. But we all know that speech has power. It can influence men to do great good or inflict great harm. The SPLC is using its speech to inflict harm, to express its own form of hate, and to spread misinformation and deception throughout the land.

What’s the solution? The media should stop using it as a source — unless the SPLC again starts focusing on its original valuable mission of exposing and combating racist terrorists and white supremacists. Enough is enough. The SPLC has lost its integrity. Media outlets who use the SPLC to assess Christian speech expose only their own bias and incompetence. There is no justification for its vicious hate.

READ MORE:

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— David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and an attorney.

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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