By Judy Andreas – JudyAndreas.com 2006
The Southern Poverty Law Center may, at one time, have been a force dedicated to preserving the American Values of freedom and constitutional rights through American law, but they have strayed far afield of their initially stated goals. Today they are wildly flailing accusations at anyone who, in their estimation, is guilty of a "hate" crime And as their brush continues to broaden, they are busily applying sweeping strokes to the word "racism" and hungrily scanning the landscape for anyone who dares to oppose the actions of any non-white individual, group or nation. Whether the non-white individual has committed an act of criminal conduct appears to be irrelevant to the SPLC.
The Southern Poverty Law Center was founded by Julian Bond and Morris Dees and is based in Montgomery Alabama. Since 1998, Bond has been chairman of the NAACP but remains active with the Center and serves on its board of Directors. Bond states that America is hopelessly racist. "Everywhere we see clear racial fault lines, which divide American society as much now as at any time in our past, " he said in 1999. Bond now holds 23 honorary degrees and is Distinguished Professor at American University and professor of history at the University of Virginia.
And what about Morris Dees, you ask? Perhaps the question is best answered by Dees's former legal associate Millard Farmer who describes the crusading lawyer as "the Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker of the civil rights movement" (with apologies to Jim and Tammy) "Former associates say that Dees is obsessed with making money."
By non-profit standards, the SPLC has an enormous endowment fund of over $152 million, according to its 2005 annual report. Although they bill themselves as a civil rights law firm, only a fraction of their resources go to actual legal work. Most of the money is devoted to "educating the general public, public officials, teachers, students and law enforcement agencies and officers with respect to issues of hate and intolerance and promoting tolerance of differences throughout the schools."
In the year ending on October 31, 2005, the SPLC paid Morris Dees $297,559 in salary and pension plan contributions. SPLC President Richard Cohen took home $274,838, but the Center co-founder Joseph Levin received only $171,904 for his efforts as general counsel.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has mastered the art of inflaming racial passions and it has moved from the not so sublime to the totally ridiculous.
For example, the latest, and, in my humble estimation, laughable, claim has been that there is racism in The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. What's next? Putting Little Jack Horner in the corner seems to be a case for Child Protective Services and, of course, there is something terribly un-kosher about The Three Little Pigs.
So what is the matter with The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King? In 2004, The Southern Poverty Law Center's website Tolerance.org published an article titled "A Return of the White Patriarchy" by Andrea Lewis. Ms. Lewis complained that in The Lord of The Rings: The Return of the King, which is based on a novel by J.R.R. Tolkien :
"Almost all of the heroes of the series are manly men who are whiter than white. They are frequently framed in halos of blinding bright light and exude a heavenly aura of all that is Eurocentric and good. Who but these courageous Anglo-Saxon souls can save Middle Earth from the dark and evil forces of the world"?
As Matthew Vadum, Editor of Organization Trends, pointed out "Who knew that the hobbits and elves in a movie that won 11 Academy Awards in 2004 were in reality Little Hitlers in disguise?"
Going beyond the ridiculous, another insult to intelligence appeared in the guise of a 2005 article by Colleen O'Brien. She informed the mesmerized movie maven that Harry Potter was basically "A Half-Blood Prince" Revealed. The mega-bestseller by J.K. Rowling embraces a racist worldview, according to Ms. O'Brien:
"In J.K. Rowling's world, half-blood means 'half magic' But the term-reflecting a dichotomy between magic/powerful and mundane/helpless - implies a hierarchy. This 'magic' hierarchy directly resembles racial hierarchies. Racially speaking, a 'half-blood' could be a person with parents of differing races, such as one Asian parent and one white parent; in this case, not being 'pure-blood' can diminish certain rights and inclusion in the community. Even in the world of magic, the term 'half-blood' implies that one half does not mingle with the other. Half-bloods come from two different worlds and the idea of these bifurcated worlds conjures images of racial segregation. These inflections of the language of race still make me cringe. Why does the magic metaphor emerge from a language of racial difference? And what do millions of readers do with these metaphors? " Matthew Vadum
Ms. O'Brien's article might make an amusing bit for The Daily Show, but as a serious literary appraisal it is somewhere between ludicrous and chilling.
A Tolerance.org "Hate In the News" bulletin from a week before Halloween 2002 asked young readers to think carefully about the political ramifications of trick-or-treat costumes. Two partial excerpts follow:
WEARING A 'FUNNY' COSTUME?
Ask yourself if the humor is based on 'making fun' of real people, real human traits or cultures?
WEARING A 'BEAUTIFUL' COSTUME?
Ask yourself if the costume is meant to be beautiful, are these characteristics drawn from commercial references, such as movie characters? Too often, "beautiful" at Halloween means white, blonde, princess masks."
Even the deepest sleepiest of sheeple has got to wonder what is motivating the SPLC and has it totally lost control.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has attacked a conservative intellectual writer, Dinish D'Souza, who has made powerful statements about the kind of racial alarmism that is the SPLC'S "bread and butter."
D'Souza, a dark-skinned immigrant to the U.S. from India, argued that the intolerant, politically correct culture of American universities stifles free thought because it is obsessed with race, class and gender. D'Souza also stated that "It is the civil rights industry which now has a vested interest in the persistence of the ghetto ".
In addition, the SPLC has accused the American Military of being racist.
Recently, the Center went after the Minutemen Project, a group devoted to preventing illegal border crossings into the United States from Mexico. The Center slapped the R word ("racist" not "righteous") on the Project. It has been a long time since I studied for my College Board exams, but perhaps I should review my vocabulary. It may depend on what your definition of "is" is, but I certainly do not see any confusion in the definition of "illegal."
Even Ted Turner sees illegal immigration as a problem. Will the SPLC tar and feather him too?
While some people are still following the politically correct "yellow brick road" I prefer to follow the money trail. Perhaps, at the end of the day, the Southern Poverty Law Center's activism may be merely a profitable enterprise. Trafficking supposed racists is a lucrative business indeed. And, if you cannot locate them......... then, create them.
Last updated 25/11/2006