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Southern Poverty Law Center [with Update]

April 30, 2010

Welcome back loyal readers, spring (and pollen) is in the air, so your humble blogger is in a particularly good mood this morning.  As a foreward to this post I am in the Big Apple this week on vacation, and so I have access to a television, and this entry is slightly different from my usual ones.  Last night, after The River Wild (located on one of my 4 HBO Channels) was over, I watched the 11pm repeat of The Rachel Maddow Show.

On Ms. Maddow’s show last night, she attempted to interview Dan Stein, who is the president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (“FAIR”).  FAIR’s legal arm, the Immigration Reform Law Institute, and in particular one of the attorneys, Kris Kobach, is responsible for writing the new Arizona law.  Oh Arizona, I wish the Grand Canyon was in New Mexico.  Hmmm… 

There are a few people who say the new Arizona law won’t encourage racial profiling.  Really?  A law that allows police officers to require potential illegal aliens to prove their citizenship?  And a social security number and a drivers license isn’t enough?  What’s that you say oh-non-racial-profiler-drug-smokers?  Their shoes, you want us to be able to tell by their shoes?  You, who I’m pretty sure has never been racial profiled in your life, are simply and willingly blind to reality.  And deserve no more media attention, including media outlets trolling for “news” stories on half-term governor quitters’ facebook accounts.  Ever. 

The interview itself is quite literally jaw dropping.  Ms. Maddow even threw her hands up in frustration at one point because Mr. Stein would not stop talking.  It was several minutes in before Ms. Maddow finally got in a question.  Which he then talked over.  Here’s a free hint Mr. Stein: when you are being interviewed, spewing diatribes nonstop so that the interviewer can’t actually ask you a question doesn’t help your cause at all.  You look like a jerk with a lot to hide.  It actually makes me wonder what other stuff the research team on the show didn’t find.  He was presented with a lot of pretty racist comments and memos written by founding members and board of trustee members of FAIR.  Just follow this link to the info, actual publicly available documents and quotes.  Free hint to other news shows: Fact checking, if you’re not going to call it out in real time, should be done by you, otherwise you allow yourself to become a platform for truth-stretchers, fibbers, and outright liars instead of credible journalistic sources.

At the beginning of the interview, Mr. Stein went on a, what can really be described as vicious, rant/attack on the Southern Poverty Law Center. Now, I am familiar with the SPLC and I know the group has a list of active hate groups, and wouldn’t you know it, FAIR’s founder John Tanton is one of the featured profiles. Not that surprising then, when Mr. Stein attacked SPLC instead of directly addressing the questions asked by Ms. Maddow.

SPLC, from their own website, describes themselves as “a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society.”  The SPLC was founded in 1971 to bring the promises of the Civil Rights Movement to the South, where blacks were still excluded from decent housing, education, elected offices, and work opportunities.  It has won court decisions on behalf of blacks, women, immigrants, children, disabled folks, and other groups that traditionally have seen the highway of justice building an overpass over their home with no on-ramp.  So clearly, this organization is nefarious and should be stopped.  If you google search the SPLC, you’re going to find articles (make sure you check their sourcing) that deem them to be a left-wing hate group that has developed a “patriot” hit list.  My experience, growing up in the South, is that they are only hated by those that hate others as well. 

You can donate to SPLC here.

One of my loyal readers has alerted me to the fact that the Anti-Defamation League’s Civil Rights Division does comparable work to the SPLC, and oftentimes in concert with them.  So go check them out as well.

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