The Tolerance Mafia

W. James Antle III at the American Conservative revisits our friends at the Southern Poverty Law Center, and their efforts to cast legitimate, mainstream political groups as racist and extremist.

What calling could be nobler than working against the cross-burning knuckle-draggers of the Ku Klux Klan? But the country that elected Barack Obama president is not the America of “Mississippi Burning.” Organizations like the Klan have been thoroughly marginalized, their racist ideologies soundly rejected by Americans of all colors and creeds. To raise money as if they constitute anything more than an unpleasant reminder of our Jim Crow past is to perpetuate a fraud.

That’s why Dees and his merry band of politically correct enforcers have had to branch out, endlessly expanding the list of “hate groups” to include perfectly mainstream organizations with which they disagree. Advocates of reduced immigration levels and stronger border security are high on the SPLC’s list of targets because of the obvious racial component of the immigration issue.

Locating cranks who have made ill-tempered remarks about immigrants is not terribly difficult work for highly trained members of the thought police. But Morris Dees’s marauders have not been content to stop there. In late 2007, the SPLC labeled the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) a hate group. This troubling designation by extension tarred organizations like CIS and Roy Beck’s NumbersUSA—and quickly achieved its intended chilling effect on the immigration debate.


Consider the case of Carol Swain, an African-American law professor at Vanderbilt who has been sounding the alarm about “the new white nationalism.” Because she approaches the subject from a scholarly rather than a fundraising perspective, she has raised the SPLC’s hackles. “When my face was smeared across the papers in my state with accusations that I was an apologist for white supremacy, I thought it was time to get involved,” Swain said at the CIS press conference. Driving the immigration debate underground, she argued, will silence legitimate restrictionists and empower genuine racists.

Read the whole thing here.

Hat tip to Robert Stacy McCain.


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  1. #1 by tom metzger on Sat 10 Apr 2010 - 14:17

    Why does the media and most other others insist on the use the term White supremacy even though most White activist’s almost never identify themselves that way. Only the rich and powerful can be White supremacists since they have the money and the power to put it into action.Working class Whites are simply separatists. We do not have the money or the power to actually do it.

    • #2 by The Republican Heretic on Sat 10 Apr 2010 - 15:34

      Well, I think that you’re kind of missing my whole point. My concern is that groups that aren’t racist are being depicted as such. I’m not too sure how a class warfare argument regarding the status of racists really addresses that at all.

      I couldn’t notice that you identify yourself as “working class,” and decry your lack of money or power. Is there no power in having your own radio show? Do you not make enough money from your lecture circuit and racist paraphernalia? Or do those payments to your victims cut into that too much?

      Perhaps you’d be in a better position if you worried about work more and race less. Perhaps the rest of us would be better off if you did that, too.

      Thanks for visiting the site, but please don’t pretend that because I support securing the borders and stopping illegal immigration, that I agree with you on anything. Conflating stopping illegal immigration with racism is exactly what I am arguing against. And don’t feel you have to visit here again.

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