A politically-skewed activist organization has warned law enforcement officials nationwide of the threat posed by the so-called “Patriot movement.” The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)'s Fall, 2009, issue of the “Intelligence Report” expands those designated as extremists, with alarmist language artificially combining a disparate group. The report said, “Militiamen, white supremacists, anti-Semites, nativists, tax protesters and a range of other activists of the radical right are cross-pollinating and may even be coalescing.” On the SPLC website, one report claims, "anti-government rhetoric spills into the Mainstream," listing conservative celebrities like Sean Hannity and Red State's Erick Erickson as purveyors of "white-hot antigovernment rhetoric." Where did SPLC get the data for that assumption? None other than the leftwingers at Media Matters, where bloggers dismiss every major study on media bias and claim the media favors the right.
Tax protesters and white supremacists have united? Whites and minorities alike who are upset with out-of-control government spending would be shocked to find out that they are “coalescing” with the Ku Klux Klan.
As to the “range of other activists,” the report primarily focuses its ire on the Oath Keepers, an association of military members, veterans, law enforcement officers, and firefighters who reaffirm the oath they took to support and defend the Constitution. If the Constitution is the basis of our government, how does swearing an oath to the Constitution and pledging not to follow unconstitutional orders make one “anti-government?”
The article goes on to paint the patriotic movement as a fearful group of militia members, racists, and terrorists – who even reap “illegal fortunes.”
The article also states that “there has been a remarkable rash of domestic terrorist incidents since Obama's election.” What does the SPLC consider to be “domestic terrorist incidents,” town hall protests? Predictably, the SPLC article joins Democrat politicians and members of the media in portraying opposition to the president's agenda as racist.
In August, the SPLC attacked the Minuteman Project – a group of citizens who operate within the law in order to deter illegal immigration. What the SPLC misses is that the law itself is anti-(illegal) immigrant, not the Minuteman Project. Apparently the SPLC also fails to grasp that protecting the U.S. from the ensuing drugs, violence, and crime that results from illegal immigration is not racist – it's a responsibility of the federal government set forth in the U.S. Constitution.
Like other documents released this year trumpeting the threat of so-called “right wing extremists,” the SPLC Intelligence Report has to stretch significantly in order to make a partisan point. Unfortunately, this has long-reaching effects because both state and federal intelligence organizations use SPLC material when crafting assessments.
The inflammatory report released in February from the Missouri Information Analysis Center on right wing extremism used the SPLC as a research source. The report labeled supporters of third party candidates – specifically naming Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, and Bob Barr – as potential militia members. MIAC cited the SPLC as a research source for the report, which was later recalled by the state government and the official responsible was sacked.
Much of the information used to craft the Department of Homeland Security's infamous Rightwing Extremism report that, among other accusations, labeled combat veterans opposing Obama's agenda as potential terrorists, also came from the SPLC website. The report acknowledged that there was no evidence of right wing extremist activity and was only based on speculation and “chatter.” DHS secretary Janet Napolitano eventually issued an apology, but stood by the assessment.
The SPLC blog is called “Hatewatch,” and is subtitled “Keeping an eye on the radical right.” Apparently the hate by the radical left and radical Islam doesn't concern the activist group. A review of the SPLC's “Hate Group Map” shows that the group is not as concerned with radicals as much as they are with the right. Other groups have taken what amounts to propaganda and pushed negative opinions that include tea party protesters.
Why the bias? Thanks to grants from such far-left groups as George Soros' Open Society Institute, the SPLC is able to maintain a massive $201 million endowment fund . Apparently, the SPLC is about as non-partisan as ACORN.
A group that fights groups like the Ku Klux Klan is worthy of praise. However, there is something inherently wrong with a group that considers citizens exercising their Constitutional rights and following the law to be no different than hate groups and terrorists. Especially when that group advises our nation's law enforcement officers and plays a role in the government's assessments of extremist groups.
Apparently, the SPLC's real problem is with the Constitution itself. --by Chris Carter