by Jon Sutz, Editor, SaveTheWest.com
SaveTheWest has two basic beliefs regarding hate crimes: that even one hate crime is too many, and that news organizations should investigate and report on hate crimes according to the same standards and practices, regardless of who is accused of perpetrating them, and who are their victims.
HuffPost is one of the “news” organizations that disagrees. But it is not alone. Almost every story that HuffPost publishes concerning hate crimes is based on data provided by the notorious Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
Once the gold-standard of research in this realm, it has steadily disintegrated over recent years into a repeatedly discredited, extremist group whose smears and bias are so incendiary, that it helped to inspire a domestic terrorist act.
Those facts alone should have given HuffPost serious concern as to whether and how to make use of any of the SPLC’s claims. However, more recent research, conducted by SaveTheWest, reveals a damning trail of SPLC acts and omissions — all of which occurred before the 2016 election — should exclude it from any reasonable discourse about “hate crimes.”
Examples of how the SPLC discredited itself before the November 8, 2016 election
(1) While the SPLC claims its mission is to “monitor hate groups and other extremists throughout the United States and expose their activities to the public, the media and law enforcement,” its roster of the hate groups it targets (screencap at right) makes no mention of the one group that is perpetrating more hate-driven terrorist acts than any other: radical Islamists.
(2) The SPLC classifies the the most deadly Islamist terror attack on U.S. soil since 9/11 — the June 12, 2016 Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, FL, by a self-professed radical Islamist — as being among “radical-right terrorist plots, conspiracies and racist rampages” (screencap 1, 2).
(3) The SPLC ignores the fact that Omar Matteen, the radical Islamist who attacked the gay Pulse nightclub, openly admitted on recorded calls to the police that he was an “Islamic soldier,” and that he acted out of loyalty to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, “on behalf of the Islamic State.”
(4) The SPLC ignores the fact that a radical Islamist preacher, Sheikh Farrokh Sekaleshfar, lectured at an Islamic center in Orlando in April 2016 — two months before Mateen’s massacre at the Pulse — and was captured on video saying that Muslims must murder gays, “out of compassion.” (The fact that the SPLC ignored this fact is provable by searching his name at the SPLC, which returns no results.)
(5) The SPLC also lists Micah Johnson, a Black Lives Matter-affiliated racist, who murdered five Dallas, TX police officers — explicitly because they were white — as being a “radical-right” terrorist.
(6) The SPLC completely ignores Mauricelm-Lei Millere, the founder of the African American Defense League (AAFD), a black terror-inciting hate group, whom the Daily Beast reported openly called for the murder of white police officers soon after Johnson’s massacre was over — as well as the fact that Johnson was a follower of the AAFD’s Facebook page. [HuffPost also has provided zero coverage of the AADL and Millere.]
(7) The SPLC publicly admits that it has not verified the allegations of “hate incidents” listed in its reports. Which means that some or many of these alleged incidents may, in fact, be part of the growing rash of fake hate crimes. Examples:
Examples of how the SPLC discredited itself since the November 8, 2016 election
(1) Trumpeting a teacher survey that contains anecdotal reports of hate crimes and hate incidents since the election — but focusing only on those against minority students, while omitting the fact that a significant portion of them were directed at white students. From the NY Post:
Report buried Trump-related ‘hate crimes’ against white kids, by Paul Sperry, NY Post, December 5, 2016. Excerpts (emphasis added):
The Southern Poverty Law Center partnered with the American Federation of Teachers, which formally endorsed Hillary Clinton, to circulate the questionnaire among its 1.6 million mostly Democratic members. The survey was sent out to K-12 teachers and administrators who subscribe to its “Teaching Tolerance” newsletter.
The SPLC’s widely cited report — “The Trump Effect: The Impact of the 2016 Presidential Election on Our Nation’s Schools” — reported that 40 percent of the more than 10,000 educators who responded to the survey “have heard derogatory language directed at students of color, Muslims, immigrants and people based on gender or sexual orientation.” […]
But the SPLC didn’t present the whole story. The Montgomery, Ala.-based nonprofit self-censored results from a key question it asked educators — whether they agree or disagree with the following statement: “I have heard derogatory language or slurs about white students.”
Asked last week to provide the data, SPLC initially said it was having a hard time getting the information “from the researchers.” Pressed, SPLC spokeswoman Kirsten Bokenkamp finally revealed that “about 20 percent answered affirmatively to that question.” […]
[T]he SPLC acknowledges that it has not independently verified any of the claims. It collected most of them on its website, many anonymously. […]
[Former Education Department civil rights attorney Hans] Bader pointed out that most of the anti-minority “hate crimes” and “hate incidents” cited by SPLC do not legally constitute hate crimes, and many involve constitutionally protected speech.
“It is simply ridiculous that SPLC treats ‘build the wall’ as hate rhetoric,” he said. The center counted people mentioning “build the wall” as 467 incidents of hate.