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 Post subject: ... From Klan Hunters to Multimillion-dollar Smear Machine
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:56 pm 
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The Southern Poverty Law Center: From Klan Hunters to Multimillion-dollar Smear Machine

By bizarrely going after Sam Harris, Majid Nawaaz, and others, the once venerable organization has abandoned its core mission, focusing instead on dirty partisan politics
By Liel Leibovitz

{Snip}

In late March, the SPLC included a piece about the best-selling author in its daily Hatewatch Headlines, a compilation of media reports on bigots, thugs, and other assorted creeps. Why was the neuroscientist and prominent atheist thrown in together with Mark Anthony Conditt, the Austin bomber who had murdered two black men, and Nazi war criminal Jakiw Palij? Because Harris defended Charles Murray, a political scientist best-known for arguing that genetic differences may account for varying levels of intelligence between races. The assertion drove many in academia and journalism to label Murray a racist; he was famously shouted out of an appearance at Middlebury College last March, and was labeled a “White Nationalist” and an “extremist” by the SPLC. But when the prominent Harvard geneticist David Reich echoed Murray’s ideas in a New York Times op-ed last month—arguing that “it is simply no longer possible to ignore average genetic differences among ‘races’”—Harris took several of Murray’s critics to task on Twitter, including Vox’s Ezra Klein. Klein responded in his typically obfuscating fashion, doing little to discuss the ideas at hand and a lot to strangle them with potent ideological terms. White men discussing the possibility of genetic differences between blacks and whites wasn’t science, Klein thundered—it was racism pure and simple, facts and findings be damned. The SPLC was quick to mirror this sentiment, placing Harris on its HateWatch list.

This was far from the first time that the SPLC applied the blunt force of its historic reputation to label political opponents as racists or extremists. Harris’s co-author, Majid Nawaaz, experienced the organization’s wrath as well. A former radical Islamist who spent four years in an Egyptian prison, Nawaaz abandoned his zealotry and committed his life to promoting a pluralistic and non-violent version of Islam, a mission that led him to serve as an advisor to three British Prime Ministers. In the fall of 2016, however, Nawaaz was placed on the SPLC’s list of “anti-Muslim extremists,” widely disseminated with the header “a journalist’s manual.” His sins, according to the list, included sharing a cartoon of Jesus and Muhammad on Twitter and visiting a London strip club. You hardly have to be a scholar to realize that neither is particularly convincing evidence that Nawaaz, himself a practicing Muslim, is some sort of bigot. Joining him on the list was Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a victim of female genital mutilation in her native Somalia and an outspoken campaigner against the practice, as well as others, like child marriage and honor killings, common throughout the Islamic world.

Rightly enraged, Nawaaz threatened to sue, and the SPLC quietly removed the list. When questioned about the removal by the National Review last week, the SPLC refused to comment.

{Snip}

http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-an ... ar-machine
Didn't know SPLC had such a sterling history, but they've lost their way in recent years..


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