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Beware of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Fearmongering

by John Spritzler

March 6, 2013

Regarding the Southern Poverty Law Center and its famous list of hate groups , I think we need to be extremely skeptical of it. Here's why, to focus on just one of many examples. If you go the the SPLC's webpage at, which is titled "Active General Hate Groups," and look at the 5th row under "California" you will find listed for the city of Ontario a "hate group" named Chick Publications. If you then go to the Chick Publications web page at you will see their masthead featuring smiling faces of men and women who include blacks, whites, and Asians. The organization is trying to convert everybody to their Christian evangelical religion. Not my cup of tea, and maybe not yours either. But are they, in your opinion, a "hate group"?

Here's one more example, but there are many.

SPLC (at ) writes, "'Radical traditionalist' Catholics, who may make up the largest single group of serious anti-Semites in America...." and on the SPLC web page here ( they list a whole bunch of such little groups (this is how they get their "close to one thousand" hate groups number). I went to the website of the first group, the one in Palmdale, CA called OMNI Christian Book Club, at and what I found was, again, not my cup of tea but hardly a "hate group." Go there and decide for yourself.

One more example.

The SPLC lists a whole bunch of "anti-gay" hate groups on their web page at . One of them is the Massachusetts group called Mass Resistance, whose web page is at . I know the leaders of this group. They are assholes who support Israel and brag about being friends with Bill Gates. But the organization is about opposing same-sex marriage and opposing the politicians' turning the public schools, even elementary schools, into pro-homosexual and transgender lifestyle propaganda centers that actively encourage young children to adopt this lifestyle. Mass Resistance documents what goes on in elementary schools at and they oppose it. Here ( ) they describe a book given to middle school children that advises how to do the following things, and I quote verbatim: "FUCKIN', SUCKIN', SPIT OR SWALLOW?, RIMMING (LICKIN BUTT), FISTING, TOYS, MUTUAL JERKIN' OFF." Mass Resistance opposes this stuff in the schools. (So do I.) Does this make them a "hate group"?

I think SPLC uses fear mongering to raise money. You can read why at , the a webpage of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, that SPLC attacked as a "hate group."

I'm sure there are some racist neo-Nazi type groups in existence. But it would be a huge mistake, I believe, to let our mental image of our fellow Americans be shaped by a group like the SPLC. The ruling class doesn't care if we love them or hate them; they only want us to believe that resistance is futile. That's why they want us to believe that we are surrounded by nasty bigots, and that the "good guys" are too small a minority to have a snowball's chance in hell of defeating the people in power. This extremely dangerous lie is, unfortunately, widely believed. That is why I devote so many words to refuting it.

A Misunderstanding about Democracy

Although the SPLC engages in fearmongering to deflect our attention away from the ruling plutocracy and to make us fear others instead, it is true that there are people among us (not just super rich and powsrful billionaires and their loyal politicians and corporate managers) who are enemies of all that is good and decent. Such people will need to be prevented from having their way in any good society.

The point here is that revolutionary democracy is not about including absolutely everybody, even the enemies of equality and mutual aid; it is, on the contrary, about how those who DO support equality and mutual aid (the vast majority, in fact)--and only those people--cooperate by means of voluntary federation to defeat those who attack those values. This is discussed in some detail in A Misunderstanding about Democracy.

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