Nice Work, If You Can Get It

Yesterday, in my discussion about “courage,” regular detractor Bruce Henry cited the SPLC and their efforts at fighting racism and hatred in America. And they have certainly done wonderful things — I rejoiced when they won their lawsuit against the Ku Klux Klan and took possession of the Klan’s headquarters.

But like so many groups, they’ve suffered from the price of victory: what do you do with the warriors, after the war has been largely won?

Sadly, they’ve not simply declared victory. Instead, they’ve simply decided to redefine the enemy, the struggle, and keep on fighting.

Sometimes, it works out well. The March of Dimes waged war on polio, and won — and then expanded their efforts to cover other health problems afflicting newborns.

Other times, like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, they end up frittering away their moral power by bringing that same zeal into areas where, quite frankly, it doesn’t work. MADD is now on a crusade for seat belt laws and other nanny-state silliness.

That’s the way the SPLC is going. Currently, their big concerns are “hate groups” — an extremely nebulous label that they define however they see fit. For example, on their “Hate Map,” they list five “hate groups” in my own New Hampshire. And two of the entries are for “Radical Traditional Catholicism” in Richmond, NH — “IHM Media” and “Slaves of the Immaculate Heart Of Mary.” Now, a naif like me might think that they are the same group, but to highly-skilled professionals at the SPLC, they’re two entirely separate groups.

(For an even better takedown of the “Hate Map,” see here and here.)

And when I say “highly-skilled professionals,” I mean it. Those people who run the SPLC are pros of the first rate. Just look at their payroll.

Judging by that accounting, it seems that the best way to fight poverty and racism in America is to pay a bunch of white people a whole bunch of money. Last year, those top ten folks at the SPLC pulled down an average of $197,818 in pay.

That’s right. The first two million they raise each year goes right into the pockets of the top honkeys.

You know, that could be an interesting blogswarm: bloggers from each state could take a look at the SPLC’s “Hate Map” and point out just how flawed it is. I did a bit of a swipe at their New Hampshire findings, and Bob Owens took a lot of the starch out of the North Carolina results. That’s two down, and only 55 48 to go…

Campaign question for November...
"A rabat in the heart of Manhattan"