Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cashing In on the White Male Terrorist Threat

The intentionally outrageous editorial by the Los Angeles Times comes out swinging:

There are, in increasingly frightening numbers, cells of angry men in the United States preparing for combat with the U.S. government. They are usually heavily armed, blinded by an intractable hatred, often motivated by religious zeal.
They're not jihadists. They are white, right-wing Americans, nearly all with an obsessive attachment to guns, who may represent a greater danger to the lives of American civilians than international terrorists.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which has been tracking hate groups for 30 years, released its latest report on the growth of these organizations this week. Its findings were, to say the least, alarming. 

And gets the response it wanted, in the form of attention to its completely irrelevant modern mainstream newspaper sinking ship. The desperation reeks of the final days of the print edition of Newsweek, when it went for shrill grandstanding in a pathetic attempt to keep itself alive.

But while we're all staring at the latest streaker prancing around the liberal media football field, we might as well consider the "source" used to justify this inane commentary.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has a rich history of charging imaginary right-wing dragons going back decades. It has proven to be a lucrative racket and an enduring one as well. The fact is, people have been on to founder Morris Dees' scam for years now:

In an article entitled "The Church of Morris Dees" in the November 2000 issue of Harper's magazine Ken Silverstein noted that the SPLC spends such a high percentage of its revenue on salaries, perks, and fundraising that "The American Institute of Philanthropy gives the Center one of the worst rankings of any [nonprofit] group it monitors."
That, I suppose, is how it was able to move into its new palatial headquarters building in Montgomery, Alabama that is known locally as the "Poverty Palace."
All of this is undoubtedly why leftist journalist Alexander Cockburn wrote in the New York Press in 2007 that "I've long regarded Morris Dees and his Southern Poverty Law Center as collectively one of the greatest frauds in American life. The reasons: a relentless fundraising machine devoted to terrifying mostly low-income contributors into unbolting ill-spared dollars year after year to an organization that now has an endowment of more than $100 million . . ."

In short, Dees was in it for the money. And for the last 40+ years of decline in this nation, bashing white Americans has proven a fine way to make a comfortable living:

SPLC founder Morris Dees is a lawyer, but he began his career as a direct marketer, hawking everything from cookbooks to tractor seat cushions.  Indeed, the SPLC was a latecomer to the civil rights movement, as many of the biggest legal and legislative battles had been won before the organization was formed in 1971.
Dees' first law partner, Millard Fuller, had this to say of him and their legal and direct marketing business ventures in the 1960s:
Morris and I, from the first days of our partnership, shared the overriding purpose of making a pile of money. ... We were not particular about how we did  it. We just wanted to be independently rich.  During the eight years we worked together we never wavered in that resolve.

It's no wonder that the mainstream media continue to take this race-baiting con artist seriously. After all, it fits with their pre-conceived notions of what most Americans are like and it allows them to keep selling the stale myth of their role as "civil rights champions," even as the country is hurtling toward a path to fewer and fewer rights for ALL Americans, not matter what race they may be.

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