26th February 2011
Roland Shirk kicks over a rock — and finds the Southern Poverty Law Center.
A group that began as Klan Watch, back when the Klan still (barely) existed, SPLC has since had to reinvent itself as an all-purpose watchdog keeping a keen eye on the activities of groups such as… Civil War Reenactors, Catholic monks, and opponents of Islamic terror. Given the happy decline into obscurity of white racist and anti-Semitic groups (anti-Zionists don’t count, no matter how many Jews they kill), SPLC has been forced to look a little harder for its targets. Since the only people outside of psych wards and tiny little compounds in Idaho who still preach the mass repression or murder of others based on religion are Muslims, and are by definition innocent, the standards for what makes a hate group will have to broadened a bit.
The alternative is too ugly to contemplate: SPLC might have to declare “victory” and go home, and its officers might have to sacrifice the six-figure incomes they earn by churning out letters that scare elderly Holocaust survivors into writing them fat checks. That money might instead be wasted on legacies to their grandchildren, when it could go to good use gold-plating the toilet fixtures on SPLC’s glittering Poverty Palace. Men like Morris Dees would have to find jobs at Starbucks.