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The Southern Poverty Law Center And Hate

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Folks, Wednesday’s sad, misguided and evil shooting at the Family Research Council headquarters has sadly brought out attacks against an American icon of equality and civil rights, the Southern Poverty Law Center. Frankly, I remember as a young man in my 20’s and 30’s seeing their mailings in my father’s home, and remember him explaining to me that, (despite their odd name,) they were an important group that did amazing work. Little did I know that years later, the SPLC and I would be tied in a battle to help the American people understand what hate looks like.

For those unaware, the Southern Poverty Law Center watches and reports on people and groups that pose a threat to this country in the form of hate.

From taking down the KKK (yes, they did that) to monitoring the actions of the man who became the Sikh temple shooter a few weeks ago, the SPLC has a long history of fighting for civil rights. Noted civil rights activist Julian Bond was president of the SPLC in the 1970’s. Bond later went to the NAACP where today he is their Chairman Emeritus.

“The Southern Poverty Law Center monitors hate groups and extremists throughout the United States and exposes their activities to law enforcement agencies, the media and the public,” the SPLC website states. “We’ve crippled some of the country’s most notorious hate groups by suing them for murders and other violent acts committed by their members.”

They add they are “dedicated to defending the rights of the LGBT community. Our current work has a national reach but is primarily focused on the Southeast where relatively few organizations advocate for this community.”

As you no doubt know, the SPLC today is under attack because hate groups like the Family Research Council and the American Family Association, and groups and individuals who support hate groups, like Maggie Gallagher and NOM, the National Organization For Marriage, don’t like the “hate group” label being applied to “Christian” organizations.

Well, in case anyone forgot, the KKK was a “Christian” organization too.

The SPLC doesn’t place anti-gay groups on its list just because they feel like it. They are slow to act, waiting sometimes years as they monitor and write about the actions of groups that are concerning.

“The Southern Poverty Law Center counted 1,018 active hate groups in the United States in 2011. Only organizations and their chapters known to be active during 2011 are included” in the SPLC’s hate map:

All hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.

This list was compiled using hate group publications and websites, citizen and law enforcement reports, field sources and news reports.

Hate group activities can include criminal acts, marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing. Websites appearing to be merely the work of a single individual, rather than the publication of a group, are not included in this list. Listing here does not imply a group advocates or engages in violence or other criminal activity.

It’s time hate groups stop attacking those who expose their hate, and just put and end to their hate.

Of course, that will never happen, at least, not in my lifetime.

Yesterday I turned 50 years old. Today, I made a donation of $100 (I wish it could be more) to the Southern Poverty Law Center, in honor of my father, a man who hated inequality and, after years of being a conservative, and a libertarian, grew increasingly displeased with the Republican Party. Ronald Reagan pushed him over the edge and my father ultimately became a Democrat. He died after a long battle with cancer in 2004. I think this would make him happy.

And so, in honor of my dad, and of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s 41 years of fighting hate and inequality, starting Monday we will begin a new series, the “Hate Group QOTD,” or, quote of the day.

Each day, Monday through Friday, we’ll share with you a quote from a hate group leader that symbolizes why their organization is listed among the SPLC’s active anti-gay hate groups.

It’s my hope that you’ll share these quotes, which, no doubt, you’ll find offensive, with as many folks as you can, so we can expose the anti-gay hate and lies that these hate groups spread.

Remember, groups like the Family Research Council and the American Family Association, and others, like Scott Lively’s Abiding Truth Ministries and Mission: America, are hate groups not because of the hate they spread, but because of the lies they spread.

Now, it’s time to end the lies, and hopefully, the hate.

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'PRETTY TERRIFYING'

‘Bleakest Scenario’: Advisor to 4 Presidents Warns ‘All Hell Breaks Lose’ After 2024 Election

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One of the most experienced former White House staffers in America warned of the unraveling of America during a Saturday appearance on CNN.

David Gergen served as director of speechwriting for President Richard Nixon, communications director for Presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, and counselor to the president under Bill Clinton.

CNN’s Pamela Brown said, “as someone who has advised so many presidents, who cares so much about American democracy, how concerned are you about the future U.S. elections with this backdrop of the ‘Big Lie’?”

“I’m very concerned,” Gergen replied.

“I think that we’re in more, we’re in potentially more danger than we were six months ago, a year ago. Listen, the bleakest scenario is that all the efforts that are being made now between Democrats and Republicans on where we’re going to go on the economy and pandemic, you know, that all these talks may collapse and we in government may be seen as dysfunctional,” he explained.

“The Republicans then use this in 2022 to take back the House and set themselves up for 2024. Trump could go on as crazy as he is now, he gets crazier as it goes along. You can see all this coming together at an outcome in 2024,” he continued.

“If Trump were to be re-elected, all hell is going to break loose in this country. On the other hand, if his supporters think it’s been stolen from him after 2024, all hell could break loose on that side, too. So I think we’re in pretty treacherous territory right now,” Gergen warned.

“Those are not very good options you just laid out there, David Gergen,” Brown said. “Pretty terrifying.”

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Steve Schmidt Warns on GOP Authoritarian Threat: ‘Democracy Cannot Survive’ When ‘The Lie and the Truth Stand Equally’

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Steve Schmidt, Lincoln Project co-founder and Republican strategist-turned-Democrat, expressed concern about the latest authoritarian attack leveled on the United States’ democracy as he urged Americans to push back against their threats.

Speaking to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Schmidt laid out the main issue with former President Donald Trump’s “Big Lie.”

“The front of that fight is a space where the lie is confronted with the truth. That is the battleground. And it plays out in 1 million ways,” Schmidt said. “But a democracy cannot survive in a world where the lie and the truth stand equally. The system that we have is based on a compact that requires faith in belief and trust. It’s how we share power with people that we disagree with. We acknowledge that we live in a complex world where people have different perspectives.”

He continued, “And we have to accommodate those views. In the 21st century, I believe that there was a consensus that has unraveled in start really short period of time, that you can trace all the way back to the beginning of the country, in the name of political power — also, the same people claiming that they’re doing it in the name of freedom are seeing that that preservation of freedom means maintaining our power. Not necessarily abiding the results of the election. And when you get into that territory, you’re in a scary space.”

 

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News

Marjorie Taylor Green’s Chief of Staff Quits — Hours After Her Very Public Meltdown on the Capitol Steps

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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) lost her most senior staffer on Friday after she made a scene on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

NBC News reported Greene “instigated a shouting match with a group of House Democrats who were holding an event outside the U.S. Capitol on Friday.”

Greene screamed that Democrats support “murder” for supporting abortion rights.

Following the incident, Greene announced that her chief of staff had “advised” her that he would no longer be working in her office.

“I want to thank my Chief of Staff, Patrick Parsons, for helping me take the fight to the Socialist Democrats as I’ve transitioned into Congress. He’s advised me he will be moving back into the political arena to help elect America First conservatives who can fight alongside me,” she posted to Twitter.

 

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