The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) calls itself a nonprofit civil rights organization "dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry" by using "litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy." It was founded in 1971 as a small civil rights law firm that fought the Ku Klux Klan for financial damages for the victims of Klan violence. But despite its laudable origins, the SPLC has over time fashioned itself into a political referee while simultaneously engaging in progressive activism, using smear tactics, intimidation, and a knack for fundraising to silence its political opponents. Next to neo-Nazi and Klan organizations, the SPLC includes Christian ministries, non-profit advocacy groups, and conservative think tanks on its infamous "hate list." SPLC representative Mark Potok has stated both that their efforts are geared toward destroying the groups on their list, and that the "hate list" honorees are included for strictly ideological reasons. Heidi Beirich of the SPLC has stressed that like it or not, the SPLC is only focused on the "radical right." Hate clearly pays, as the SPLC's tax forms demonstrate. As of October 2017, the SPLC boasts 291 employees, 640 contractors, six national offices, and an endowment fund of more than $319 million, $69 million of which is held in offshore accounts.
Philanthropy Roundtable's Karl Zinsmeister has joined other experts and pundits in rebuking the SPLC, saying: "Though it styles itself as a public-interest law firm, the Southern Poverty Law Center does shockingly little litigation, and only small amounts of that on behalf of any aggrieved individuals. Its two largest expenses are propaganda operations: creating its annual lists of 'haters' and 'extremists,' and running a big effort that pushes 'tolerance education.'"
It's the SPLC's education programs that are perhaps the most disturbing. The well-funded and articulate SPLC is far from a non-partisan arbiter of data on "hate" and "tolerance." Rather, it seeks American children as the most susceptible targets of its large-scale propaganda operation aimed at normalizing ultra-Left perspectives, peddling junk science, and revising American history, and in so doing, crafting the nation's students into social activists in their own image.