Southern Poverty Law Center at it Again

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is a very special organization that likes to blame all of society’s ills on “right-wing” groups. This time they’re claiming that hate groups are sprouting up everywhere and it’s all because “right-wing extremists” hate Obama:

Hate groups and other groups on the far right – so-called Patriot groups which vow to resist the encroachments of the Federal government, and anti-immigrant nativist groups – are tracked by the Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC).

“In the fall (autumn) of 2008,” says the director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project, Mark Potok, “we started to see an explosion in hate groups, but more generally in right-wing groups of general types.”

I removed the link embedded in the BBC story because I have a firm policy against linking to complete fuckwads like the SPLC. Anyways the SPLC has been claiming that “right-wing extremists” are terrorist organizations but make no mention of left-wing groups such as Greenpeace of the Animal Liberation Front. Apparently it’s only bad if you murder people for “right-wing” causes although I personally believe it’s wrong to murder anybody for their beliefs. Alas considering some of their other “reports” I’m not surprised that they’re claiming a rise in these groups is due to the election of Obama. After all if there is a rise it’s completely implausible that it’s due to economic instability causing people negatively affected to look for somebody to blame. Nope that idea is just silly.

But Mark Potok is concerned.

“I think we are in a very similar period as we were in the run-up to the Oklahoma City bombing,” he says, “as far as a bombing or an attack like that, whether that will come, we don’t know.

“We are very close in numbers to the numbers we had at the very peak of the militia movement.”

First of all the statement made by Potok is dubious at best because we have no idea what the peak numbers in the “militia movement” were. What the fuck was the “militia movement” anyways? I remember no news articles talking about a massive uptick in militias besides those put out by the SPLC.

If there was a sudden and noticeable uprising in hate crimes (using the government’s definition of the words) I’d have expected it mentioned by various law enforcement agencies (that seems like something the Federal Bureau of Investigations would be all over).

Second of all calling groups of violent individuals right-wing is a misnomer. Crazy people are crazy regardless of their beliefs. What right-wing ultimately means is that you’re conservative. Being racist is entire separate from being politically conservative. Just because you believe the size of government should be reduced doesn’t mean you hate Jewish people, it means you want the size of government reduces.

The SPLC ties everything ill they mention to “right-wing extremists.” Yet most people who I know that identify themselves as right-wing have a strong devotion to law and fixing the currently established system by voting for “representatives” who advocate small government. I would think, being an active member in the gun community, that I know a large number of people who identify themselves as right-wing. It seems to me if a majority of people who are right-wing wanted to violently overthrow the government I’d know at least one person in favor of that solution.

In fact most of the people I know who advocate violence against the government are anarchist of the socialist persuasion (once again not all anarchists of the socialist persuasion advocate violence, I just know a few who do). These individuals are strongly left-wing as they believe in establishing a socialist society. Yet these people are never mentioned by any SPLC reports which indicates a bit of bias on their behalf.

What I’m really curious about is what recommendation will the SPLC to six this “problem” (in quotes because I see no evidence that this problem actually exists). I’m betting they’re going to urge the government to further crack down on “right-wing extremist” groups. Once again nobody is likely to listen to them besides those who believe the conflict in American is truly between left and right and thus feel the need to demonize the other side. Still if this report is being mentioned on the BBC is likely that it’ll be appearing in American news sources soon.

4 thoughts on “Southern Poverty Law Center at it Again”

  1. Anarchists of the socialist persuasion? Is this like the ‘anarchists’ in Greece who are protesting cuts in government handouts?

    1. Those would be the ones. I don’t understand the mentality there because they advocate the elimination of the state along with all other forms of hierarchy but then protest when the government’s power beings to falter.

      I’ve tried to have some anarcho-socialists explain the logic behind it but none of them could provide a satisfactory answer (and by satisfactory I mean a logical one).

  2. Chris, the “anarchists” in Greece are not anarchists, they’re just anti-capitalists. The protests are supported and started by the various communist and socialist political parties, who pay professional agitators to start violence. They don’t want less state power, they just want that power in socialist hands. Ask me sometime and I’ll go into detail about the problems there.

    In most other countries “anarchist” is synonymous with “anti-capitalist”.

    1. Many of them are anarchists. Traditionally anarchism is the belief that all forms of hierarchy and control must be eliminated and many ascribing to this ideology believe capitalism to be a form of hierarchy and control. There is a strong divide between social and individual anarchists (in fact most social anarchists refuse to acknowledge individual anarchists as true Scotsmen, I mean anarchists).

      Social anarchists believe people have a right to the necessities of survival and thus want to state to provide things like health care, food, and shelter for those without means until the state collapses and society begins to provide those things. It’s very similar to the beliefs of Karl Marx who believed state socialism was needed to transition to a communist society (which, in Marx’s material, was supposed to be a stateless society). I really don’t follow this as providing those necessities requires somebody produce them which means if there aren’t enough people to produce the necessities some kind of coercion must be used to get more people doing it.

      I don’t fully understand the idea behind social anarchists even though I’ve sent many hours in conversation with various people describing themselves as such. In fact some of the conversations I’ve had involved the Greece situation where the people were talking about how they support their fellow anarchists. The philosophy seems to have many contradiction statements and overly-ambiguous ideas. For instance social anarchists believe there is a difference between property (which they want to eliminate the concept of) and possessions (which they’re OK with). The dividing line between property and a possession is ambiguous and open for interpretation which indicates to me a poorly thought out system (or at the very least a system in need of revision).

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