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An Academic has Exposed Bias at the Southern Poverty Law Centre

Your point of view of how best to describe the Southern Poverty Law Centre, tends to depend on your political outlook. To those on the left, they are human rights supporters who stick up for vulnerable minorities. To those on the right, they are liberals trying to score political points and malign conservative groups by lumping them in with extremists. Their modus operandi is to criticise statements made by groups with whom they disagree ideologically, and to add those organisations to their official listing of “hate groups”.

A proportion of what is said by the Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC), is probably valid. But a proportion is also opinion dressed up as fact, and ideological bias dressed up as educated legal neutrality. I find this activist group irritating and misleading for several reasons:

  • The organisation promotes a selective list of “hate groups” that are chosen according to ideological differences, while other groups who hate just as much or more, are ignored due to unspoken closer ideological ties.
  • Those who are on their hate list, are as far as I know, on the list not primarily for hate, but for supposed lies. Shouldnt it be a list of “dishonest groups”?
  • SPLC statements have a way of being used to transform opinion into apparent fact. What I mean is, SPLC may criticise someone for a statement they have made. But whether that statement is valid or invalid, is sometimes a matter of opinion. EG the statement that homosexuality is unhealthy. The SPLC may disagree that homosexuality is unhealthy, but they might not state why they disagree. Rather they might just label it as being a hateful statement. It’s this approach that has led Robert Gagnon to suggest that their acronym actually stands for “Slandering People Like Crazy”. And once criticised by the SPLC, a leftist journalist may then cite this to suggest that the individual or group has been determined to be ‘hateful’. So an opinion then can get framed in the liberal media as though it’s a fact.

Those at the SPLC are often well educated and release statements that appear intelligent, unbiased and reasonable. But a recent academic study of the group suggests that they are very biased indeed… More here

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