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April 4, 2023
SPLC to Face the Music for ‘Hate Group’ Defamation as Lawsuit Clears Major Hurdle
FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL—The Southern Poverty Law Center routinely brands mainstream conservative and Christian organizations “hate groups,” placing them on a map with chapters of the Ku Klux Klan, but most lawsuits aiming to hold the SPLC accountable for this alleged defamation have failed.
On Friday, however, a federal judge denied the SPLC’s motion to dismiss a defamation lawsuit, allowing the case to proceed.
The SPLC branded the Georgia-based Dustin Inman Society an “anti-immigrant hate group” in February 2018 after the SPLC had previously stated in 2011 that it did not consider the society a “hate group.” The society, named after a 16-year-old Georgia boy killed in a 2000 car crash caused by an illegal immigrant, aims to combat illegal immigration.
“After telling the Associated Press in 2011 that we were not a ‘hate group,’ the SPLC changed their mind and made us an ‘anti-immigrant hate group’ within days of their registering as active lobbyists against pro-enforcement, immigration-related legislation here in the Georgia Capitol,” D.A. King, the society’s founder and president, told The Daily Signal in an emailed statement Tuesday.
King claimed that the SPLC’s “goal was clearly to paint us as the extremists and to marginalize us in the eyes of state lawmakers and the media. That effort was largely successful.”
As I explain in my book “Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center,” the SPLC took the program it used to monitor the Ku Klux Klan—the Intelligence Project—and weaponized it against conservatives and Christians, branding them “hate groups” in an effort to raise money and demonize its ideological opponents. The SPLC has an endowment of more than $500 million and bank accounts in the Cayman Islands. Amid a racial discrimination and sexual harassment scandal in 2019 that led the SPLC to fire its co-founder, a former employee came forward, calling the “hate” accusations a “highly profitable scam.”
King’s lawsuit quotes Heidi Beirich—then-director of the Intelligence Project—who told The Associated Press in 2011 that the SPLC did not consider the society a “hate group,” but rather listed King as a “nativist.”
“His tactics have generally not been to get up in the face of actual immigrants and threaten them,” Beirich said. “Because he is fighting, working on his legislation through the political process, that is not something we can quibble with, whether we like the law or not.”…
Please read the rest of this entire well-written report at the Daily Signal site.