The Southern Poverty Law Center and The Myth of Black Separatist “Hate Groups.”


What is a Hate Group?  Once upon a time it was easy to determine hate groups in America.  They wore white sheets and called themselves the Ku Klux Klan. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has designated itself as THE group to brand an organization as a Hate Group.  It promotes itself as a non profit that monitors hate groups and other extremists throughout the U.S. and exposes their activities to law enforcement agencies, the media and the public.” They are a civil rights organization surprisingly established by a white attorney, Morris Dees, who once defended a Klansman in court.

Dees earned an acquittal for KKK  member Claude Henley, in spite of the prosecutor having pictures of him committing the crimes.  Henley, in 1961 faced federal charges for organizing mob attacks on freedom riders who sought to integrate public buses. In his autobiography,  A Lawyer’s Journey: The Morris Dees Story,  SPLC founder Morris Dees  describes feeling a guilty conscious over his defense of the Klan and after having a sudden “epiphany”, decided he would work to fight hate-groups and established the SPLC.

Since its founding in 1971, the SPLC has received numerous accolades for its efforts in challenging hate groups.  Dees has even received the  Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Award from the National Education Association and The Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice.

Mr. Dees was highly qualified in 1961 to  know what hate looked like from his experience representing the Ku Klux Klan.  However in 2018, today’s SPLC is highly unqualified to know what hate looks like when they classify Black nationalist organizations as hate groups.  Further, on their site, a closer look shows that the SPLC data on “hate groups” actually portrays Black Americans as larger proponents of hate than White Americans.

The SPLC database on “hate groups”  reveals a peculiar find. The SPLC asserts that there are 233 active Black nationalist hate groups in the United States compared to 72 active Ku Klux Klan groups.

How did the script get flipped?  How did the victims of the racism in America now become the most purveyors of hate? The words of Malcolm X ring true here, “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” 

The inflated number of Black “hate groups” is driven by the fact that each individual mosque of the Nation of Islam (NOI) is classified  by the SPLC as individual chapters of a hate group. The entire methodology the SPLC uses to classify “hate groups” is a false logic.  Just because The Nation of Islam teaches that Black people can do better for themselves in a land of their own, free from police brutality, high unemployment, the wage gap, the education gap, poor health, high crime, high rates of everything bad in life and low rates of everything good in life, does not mean he is teaching hate.  On the contrary, the Nation of Islam teaches love for black people. It’s a Black thing that many don’t understand.

When it comes to Black separatist “hate groups”, it must be remembered that Black folks did not arrive to this country on integrated slave ships. Black people were brought to the Americas against their will on slave ships.  Since then, the U.S government has systematically separated black people on slave plantations, prisons, and ghettos. The SPLC does not classify the U.S government as a hate group for seperating Black people in impoverished ghettos  but considers black organization who seek a freedom for Black people outside of the social-political, and economic structure of America as “hate groups.”

Effectively, the SPLC classifies any Black group who advances political positions outside of integrationism  as “hate groups.” Yet, under American ““integration” black people continue to suffer and at current trends will continue to lag behind whites in household wealth two whole centuries into the future! Seeing as though Black people were brought to this country against their will and never consented to be governed by America, the SPLC should perhaps be classified as a hate group itself because it defends a political arrangement that denies Black people their self determination.

What the SPLC needs to understand is that hate manifested as racism is the ability of white Americans to militarily, economically, politically, judicially, and legislatively control, dominate, and subjugate another ethnic group, the impetus being born out of resentment and derision of that ethnic group.  

In America, what NOI member ever prevented a white person from voting, acquiring an education, setting up business and killing them if they succeeded? Do Black NOI members control the majority of America’s wealth and have they carried out bombings of white towns because it was economically successful? Unlike the Klan, the NOI has no history of doing any of this nor do any of the   SPLC designated Black “hate groups” have the institutional power to discriminate, oppress, block the social mobility of any white person. Moreover, unlike the Klu Klux Klan, the NOI has no history of lynching, enslaving, discriminating against, any white person. It has never happened, and never will.

The SPLC points to the fact that the NOI has a “theology of innate Black superiority over whites” to support its claim of the NOI being a hate group.  Based upon this faulty logic, Black congressional members, from Maxine Waters to Keith Ellison have been demonized for merely attending NOI events. Following that logic, faulty as it is, if a theology that teaches love for self  to a people who were systematically taught to hate themselves for centuries can then be designated as a hate group then  surely the Mormon Church, whose religious text “the Book of Mormon”, claims Black people’s skin is a curse from God and that Blacks were meant to be subordinate to whites– should also be classified as a hate group. But they are not.  Why?

Where was the scrutiny against Mitt Romney during his presidential bid in 2012 for only belonging to a church whose “holy”  book teaches that Blacks were cursed and whose self-proclaimed prophet Joseph Smith justified the enslavement of Black people?  Sounds like hate to me. Moreover, throughout white churches in America both Protestant and Catholics, is an image of a white Jesus reinforcing the idea that God was white. Several theologians have indicated this white image of Jesus has instilled within Black people an inferiority complex.– when will all churches with a white Jesus be listed as  hate groups?

Another problematic element of the SPLC’s alleged fight against “hate” is the fact that they share their data on hate groups with law enforcement including local police as well as the FBI.  From the perspective of Black people, the FBI and local law enforcement have functioned as anti-Black hate groups. For example, after assassinating Black Panther leader, Fred Hampton, FBI, Special Agent Gregg York had this to say: “We expected about twenty Panthers to be in the apartment when the police raided the place. Only two of those Black niggers were killed, Fred Hampton and Mark Clark .”

Moreover, the FBI under J Edgar Hoover, implemented a variety of anti-Black policies including  the infamous cointelpro program that sought to disrupt and destroy Black organizations. How absurd is it for the SPLC to think its progressive for sharing its data on hate groups to the FBI, when the FBI has been complicit in anti-Black hatred.

While the SPLC may no longer be defending the Klan like its founder Attorney Morris Dees it still has a long way to go to really know what hate is all about.   

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