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View Diary: Anti-Gay Persecution on Trial (45 comments)

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  •  blah blah blah (1+ / 0-)
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    you hate the SPLC - and you have a blog about how much you hate it

    you sound like a right wing troll

    •  Right-wing Troll? (0+ / 0-)

      You're upset because I posted legitimate criticism of the SPLC's spurious and unconstitutional "hate group" designation and its fundraising policies, so now I'm a "right-wing troll"?

      Well, I voted for President Obama twice, so please, just let me know which pigeon-hole I'm supposed to move to now?

      Here's another SPLC factoid that might interest you:

      The SPLC bills itself as "the nation's leading civil rights organization" in all of its fundraising materials, yet, NOT ONE of its top executives is a minority.

      Despite being headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama, the birthplace of Rosa Parks and the American Civil Rights Movement, and located literally in the back yard of Dr. Martin Luther King's home church on Dexter Avenue, the SPLC has never hired a person of color to a highly paid position of authority in its entire 42-year history.

      Even the Center's laughably named "Teaching Tolerance" program, which purports to promote diversity in the K-12 classroom has been led by "whites only" for 21 of its 22 year history.

      If you're okay with a "civil rights" organization, with more than 200 employees and more than a quarter-BILLION dollars in cash on-hand that has never hired a minority executive in more than 40 years of operation, just say so.

      I get all of my information directly from the SPLC's website. Where do you get your info from? Cognitive dissonance and wishful thinking?

      Apparently, bigotry is a universal malady.

      •  oh yes - so you say (1+ / 0-)
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        but I did go to their website and I saw pictures of people from minority groups including people of color in executive positions.

        these days, the first thing a bigot does is accuse others of bigotry, sir

        most people with an axe to grind against the SPLC are not progressive

        •  No Minorities at the Top (0+ / 0-)

          What you saw were pictures of the SPLC's highly diverse Board of Directors, which is exactly what you were supposed to see.

          In 1994, the SPLC's hometown newspaper, the Montgomery Advertiser, ran a series of articles exposing the SPLC, including one examining the Board.

          On Feb. 19, 1994, Dan Morse wrote in his article, "Friendly board: Friends, associates fill board," that the Board of Directors was comprised of:

          *      Good friends of [SPLC Founder] Morris Dees.
          *    People who have benefited from Mr. Dees' services without paying for them.
          *    Past and present co-workers of Mr. Dees.
          *    A lawyer who helped block an attempt by Mr. Dees' second wife to get Southern Poverty Law Center financial records during a divorce case.
          *    Mr. Dees' personal physician.
          *    Mr. Dees himself.

          Morse wrote that the Board was basically a rubber stamp that approved whatever Dees put before them without debate. Some of the 1994 Board members are still on it today.

          If you look at page 7 of the SPLC's most recent IRS Form 990, found on the SPLC's web site, you'll see that the Board is unpaid.

          Basically, you're looking at a classic case of "brown-washing." The SPLC posts photos of honorary board members with no actual authority and says "Hey! We're diverse! Just look at us!"

          Dees wrote in his 1991 autobiography, A Season for Justice, that he only offered Julian Bond "the largely honorary position of President" of the SPLC in 1971 so he could put a genuine Civil Rights leader's name on his fundraising letters. Bond lived 3 hours away, in Atlanta, at the time. Do you really think the "honorary President" commuted to Montgomery every day?

          How much honorary impact do you think Mr. Bond had on the organization?

          Pages 7 and 8 also list the six-digit salaries of the SPLC's top executives, shown here.

          The highest ranking minority at the SPLC is Lecia Brooks, who runs their museum. Two years ago, when the salary list on the Form 990 dipped as low as $70,000 dollars, Ms. Brooks still wasn't listed, meaning that, at best, she made less than half of what the lowest paid white executives made, and, as the museum manager,  she has no input into the operations of the SPLC itself.

          Again, don't take my word for it, the names and salaries are all posted on the SPLC web site and you can use the Internet Archive to look at previous Form 990s. If you spot a highly paid minority with any real decision-making power at the SPLC, just say so.

          Cognitive dissonance aside, the SPLC does not hire minorities to positions of power.

          "I told you these were shadows of the things that have been," said the Ghost. "That they are what they are, do not blame me!"

          •  seriously - you link to a video YOU made? (0+ / 0-)

            and expect me to take that seriously?

            I a looking at the photos of the Senior Program Staff at the SPLC here:


            Are these people not paid?  Are they not influential in the SPLC?  Are some of them not people of color?

            So, because this private organization doesn't meet YOUR standards, none of the good work they do has any validity?

            Is that your stance here?

            •  No minorities at the top (0+ / 0-)

              Of course I don't expect you to take it seriously. That video simply validates everything I said in my previous post by showing where I found the information, showing photos of the all-white executive staff and their salaries and showing the actual text from Morris Dees' autobiography where he explains that he only made Julian Bond his "honorary President" as a celebrity endorsement.

              In order to take the video seriously you'd actually have to watch it, and we both know that's not very likely.

              This whole conversation began because I posted a legitimate criticism of the SPLC's spurious "hate group" designation. You disagreed with me and prejudged me as "a right wing troll."

              Ironically, you followed that up with  " the first thing a bigot does is accuse others of bigotry." Well, no. The first thing a bigot does is accuse others of being "right wing."

              Let's face it, no matter how much evidence I can produce here, there is not a single legitimate criticism of the SPLC's hiring and fundraising practices that you would be willing to accept.

              Webster's defines bigot as "a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices."

              Nothing anyone says will ever sway you from your opinion of the SPLC. "The SPLC said it. I believe it. That settles it!" At least I'm willing to consider evidence to the contrary. Will you?

              As for my stance and standards, regarding the photos you linked to, what I see is that 7 of the 9 people are among the six-digit salary white execs we've already discussed, and our Ms. Brooks, who is paid about half of what the lowest paid white on that page makes.

              Ms. Shelly is a recent hire and her salary won't be disclosed until this coming March, but either way, as one of several SPLC public relations people, her job is to raise donations and not to influence the operations of the SPLC.

              I do see a couple of other interesting things, though. On Feb. 16, 1994, Dan Morse wrote another article about the SPLC, "Equal Treatment? No Blacks in Center's Leadership," where he first noted the all-white executive suite.

              In November, 2000, investigative journalist Ken Silverstein made the same observation in Harper's Magazine, hardly a right-wing rag.

              And like you, I too went back through all of the SPLC's Form 990s from 2001 to the present day, looking for even one single minority at the top, with no luck.

              Dan Morse also noted that all of the staff at the SPLC's "Teaching Tolerance" diversity program were white in 1994. Going back through the SPLC's archives, I learned that all of Teaching Tolerance's directors have been white, except for a brief interregnum around 2010, where Lecia Brooks served as "interim director," for several months until she could be replaced by blue-eyed Maureen Costello, also pictured on your linked page.

              Maybe I'm idealistic, but I do have a predilection to believe that a minority viewpoint might prove beneficial to a 23-year old diversity program headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama.

              I also see a photo of Dr. Heidi Beirich, who was hired within a month of her colleague Mark Potok, shown next to her,  in 1998. Dr. Beirich and Mr. Potok both did the same kind of public relations work for over a decade, with Dr. Beirich penning articles and making public and media appearances, just like Mr. Potok.

              Dr. Beirich has a PhD and two Masters degrees, while Mr. Potok has a BS in Political Science. Mark Potok makes $150,000 a year. Dr. Beirich makes half of that, or less.

              Call me a "right wing troll," but I believe in equal pay for equal work. That's my stance.

              As mentioned, the SPLC will release their next Form 990 in March. If the numbers change and Ms. Brooks and Ms. Shelly are paid the same as their white counterparts, I will recant.

              If Dr. Beirich, who now holds the Intelligence Project Director title that Mr. Potok held all those years, is paid comparably to her predecessor, I will recant.

              Until then, I will continue to review the SPLC's own documents and statements and evaluate them accordingly. I've done the research and I've cited my sources.

              If you think the data is wrong then simply refute it and back it up with something more substantial than cognitive dissonance.

              •  didn't answer my questions. and... (0+ / 0-)

                cognitive dissonance

                "You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means”
                •  Answers (0+ / 0-)

                  I've noticed that your replies get shorter while mine are getting longer. No matter.

                  "Are these people not paid?  Are they not influential in the SPLC?  Are some of them not people of color?"

                  1. Yes. Those people are paid. The blacks are paid half of what the whites make.

                  2. No. The museum director and public relations agent are not influential in the SPLC. They are not in decision-making positions of authority.

                  3. Yes. Two of nine are persons of color who are paid half of what most of the whites make, except Dr. Heidi Beirich.

                  "So, because this private organization doesn't meet YOUR standards, none of the good work they do has any validity?"

                  Well, since my standards include diversity at all levels and equal pay for equal work, as well as truth in advertising, then no, the SPLC falls far short of my standards as described above.

                  I guess what you're saying is that they meet yours, though.

                  As for their "good works," if you actually look at their case docket on their web-site, you'll see that the vast majority of their cases involve suing impoverished school districts and filing law suits on behalf of  illegal immigrants.

                  I won't say it's not important work, but it's pretty low hanging fruit for a civil rights law firm that took in more than $31 million in tax-free donations last year (about $4,400 dollars each and every hour). That figure doesn't include the tens of millions they make in interest on their quarter-BILLION dollar cash reserves.

                  When you compare it to what a group like the Innocence Project has done, freeing hundreds of wrongfully convicted people from prison and Death Row, on a fraction of the SPLC's budget, I don't see much comparison from a civil rights point of view.

                  Still, if you're happy with the SPLC's practices then you should send them money, early and often. Your $100 dollar donation will match their current revenue stream for nearly 80 seconds.

                  As for cognitive dissonance, it's simply a matter of the mind compensating for conflicting information. You believe that Group A is great, someone introduces evidence to the contrary, you negate that information by writing them off as "a right-wing troll" and voila, you don't have to address the contrary information.

                  BTW, I like the recipe too. It looks yummy, and it's a lot easier than refuting the numbers.

            •  do not feed the troll :-) n/t (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Frederick Clarkson

              ... there is always an easy solution to every problem -- neat, plausible and wrong. - H. L. Mencken

              by renbear on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:02:45 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

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