Thursday, March 13, 2008

Deseret Morning News Suckered Into Regurgitating Southern Poverty Law Center Propaganda; SPLC's Latest Intelligence Report Riddled With Errors

On March 13th, 2008, the normally-reliable Deseret Morning News published an editorial entitled "Turn Back Hate Groups", which cited data supplied by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in their latest Intelligence Report for Spring 2008, entitled "The Year In Hate" [2007]. Pictured at left, the SPLC's chief inquisitor, Morris Dees.

The Deseret News started out by telling a local tearjerker story about a local Hispanic kid, Felipe, who was attacked on April 28th, 2006 while walking to Salt Lake's West High School. His attackers, two white men, allegedly called him a "stupid wetback." They told him "Go back to your country, you don't belong here". Felipe, an illegal alien, survived with a black eye, cut lip and swollen head.

Then the Deseret News referred to the Southern Poverty Law Center's latest Intelligence Report, which claims that hate crimes against Hispanics rose 35 percent between 2003 and 2006. The Deseret News thoughtlessly regurgitates other SPLC statistics, including the claim that hate groups have increased by 48 percent since 2000. The Deseret News also identifies the Utah Minuteman Project as one of three "hate" groups operating in Utah.

O.K., let's stop right here. First, if you look at the SPLC's hate map for Utah, you'll see that the Utah Minuteman Project has since been removed from the list. There are only two so-called "hate" groups listed for Utah, the FLDS and the American National Socialist Workers Party (ANSWP). And this change was made well before the deadline on the Deseret News editorial, so this is sloppy journalism on their part.

Second, their statistics are misleading because they are not indexed, or "initialized". The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which has been unfairly tagged a "hate group" by the SPLC in this story on their Intelligence Report, posted this rebuttal. Here's the pertinent excerpt:

When examined responsibly, the FBI hate crime data show a dramatically different story than the one the SPLC portrays. First, in order to suggest an artificially large increase in the raw number of hate crimes, the SPLC selects 2003 as its base year, one of lowest years on record for hate crimes against Hispanics. If one compares the number of hate crimes between 1995 (the earliest report available on the FBI's website) and 2006 (the most recent statistical year available), one would see that the number of hate crimes has increased only 17 percent.

But even this is not the whole story. The SPLC conveniently forgets to index the raw hate crime data with the population, a step always taken by the FBI to more accurately depict an increase or decrease in crime. Thus, when one indexes a 17 percent increase in hate crimes against Hispanics with a 67 percent increase in the Hispanic population between 1995 and 2006, it becomes clear that the rate of hate crimes against Hispanics has in fact dropped dramatically - by about 40 percent.

This reduction in the rate of hate crimes against Hispanics is even more apparent when one considers that the number of law enforcement agencies that participate in the FBI's hate crime data collection program increased 33 percent between 1995 and 2006. Between 2003 and 2006 alone, the number of law enforcement agencies participating in the FBI's hate crime data collection program increased by over 700.

Finally, the SPLC claims that there has been substantial growth in the number of "hate groups" since 2000. However, the SPLC provides no definition of a "hate group" and offers no objective criteria that it uses to classify organizations as such. The SPLC appears to think that it can stick this label onto any organization it wishes, including long-standing, highly-regarded immigration reform organizations such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) without being challenged as to its motivations or methodology. FAIR is confident the media and the American people will see through the SPLC's deceitful tactics.

So FAIR has exposed three tricks used by the SPLC to create a distortedly pessimistic picture of hate: First, they compare the current against the lowest, second they fail to initialize increase in hate crimes against a specific target with the increase in the population of the target group, and third, they make up their own definition of hate.

Next, the SPLC deliberately misrepresents Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee (ALIPAC) and its head, William Gheen in this story included in their Intelligence Report. Here are the highlights of Gheen's rebuttal from the ALIPAC site:

Lie Count 1-4: Wrong founding date for ALIPAC. Wrong founding purpose for ALIPAC. Wrong description of employment status change. Wrong date of employment change from Webster Office. The Truth: William Gheen did not quit the job with Senator Webster in April 2005 to fight HB 1183. ALIPAC was formed as a national organization on 9/11/2004. I took a temporary leave of absence from my job with Senator Webster to lobby against and defeat HB 1183 and returned to my post two weeks later. I did not quit my job with Senator Webster until April of 2006 when I decided to concentrate exclusively on ALIPAC.

Lie Count #5: HB 1183 did not require legal presence in the US. The Truth: HB 1183 did not require illegal aliens to supply a sworn affidavit showing they were in the country legally.

Lie Count #6: HB 1183 was not directed at children born on US soil as citizens. The Truth: The reason ALIPAC and most major news sources used the term "in-state tuition for illegal aliens is because HB 1183 would grant in state tuition for illegal aliens. This was not because of any misinformation campaign and it is ludicrous to assert that our major papers, talk radio shows, and WRAL would all be wrong about this.

Lie Count 7-8: Gheen never pushed for enforcement against Latinos. Never pressed for a Senate bill to buy buses, only asked to comment once on a particular bill by a reporter.

Lie Count #9: ALIPAC has never been supported by FAIR. FAIR is not a hate group. The Truth: ALIPAC receives no support from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and never has. Also, FAIR is not a hate group. The SPLC is full of bull crap.

And the SPLC also deliberately misrepresented the history of ANSWP Commander Bill White in this story included in their Intelligence Report. Here's the rebuttal from White, posted on the Vanguard News Network Forum:

First, my property was valued around $2.4 million, not $1.03 million. I have an offer outstanding for 17 of the properties at $1.75 million; I am holding out for a few hundred thousand more. With the real estate down turn, I think I will get about $2.1 - $2.2 million for the entire lot, which means I'll turn about a $1.2 million profit. I'm guessing they are primarily quoting values based on city tax assessments, which are often frozen or do not represent new construction. Hell, even the auction company I discussed a "fire sale" price with said at least $1.7 million for the lot.

Second, I've never been an atheist, and I would say that a deep belief in God is the primary motivating factor behind my behavior.

Third, I'm married, with children, and have been with my wife for four years, including during much of the time they seem to think I was pining over Jennifer or Erica;

Fourth, Brown, a convicted crack dealer, was convicted of assaulting me, and certainly didn't "woop" me;

Fifth, my convictions for assault are not part of a sealed juvenile record, and they probably didn't bother to look them up; I served 7 months for assault when I was 19.

Sixth, I never proclaimed an admiration for Malcolm X. A Jewish Washington Post reporter saw the Autobiography of Malcolm X on my bookshelf and published that on the internet.

Seventh, I met Stacy McCain in 1999, not at Jared Taylor's American Renaissance conference, and Stacy published me in the Washington Times in 2000.

And so on and so on ... one of the most clueless articles I've ever seen printed about me. Fortunately, so many of the facts are wrong that I don't think they can pass any serious examination.

And it doesn't stop. If you look at the SPLC's hate map, and check the individual "hate" groups for many states, you will see numerous National Vanguard units listed. One problem, though: The National Vanguard disincorporated in March 2007. Consequently, those National Vanguard units no longer exists, unless a few were incorporated into the successor European Americans United (EAU) organization. And they updated their hate map quite recently, with sufficient time to correct this discrepancy. Why do you suppose they included a bunch of defunct units on their hate list? Because it inflates the "hate" numbers and scares more people into contributing to their cause. Many lobbies use this tactic, to include the environmentalists, the anti-smoking lobby, and the anti-DUI lobby.

And, according to the Charity Navigator website, it's a lucrative financial racket for these folks. In 2005 (the most recent year publicly available), this was the basic financial posture of the SPLC:

Income: $33,918,366
Expenses: $28,910,859
Net Profit: $5,007,507
Net Assets: $168,133,303

Richard Cohen, President and CEO: $239,203
Morris Dees, Chief Trial Counsel: $266,833

While Morris Dees presents himself as a brave crusader for justice, the facts are that he has a very checkered personal past. Court records regarding a previous divorce, documented HERE and HERE, show that Dees has a record of adultery, homosexuality, and carnal knowledge of an underage girl. Under today's laws, Dees would actually be a registered sex offender. But because of his legal skills, he was able to brush the allegations aside and keep them suppressed.

Furthermore, the SPLC is notorious for using the civil justice system to deliberately target those which it deems racist. Their objective is not to get justice for their clients, but to deliberately bankrupt and ruin their targets. The Alaska Pride blog contains a number of posts describing this form of skulduggery.

The SPLC are devils in angels' clothing; the fact that they've hoodwinked an otherwise responsible newspaper like the Deseret Morning News shows how insidious and duplicitous they really are.

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