Bozell Signs Letters Demanding Media, Social CEOs Abandon Hate-Filled, Anti-Christian, Anti-Conservative SPLC

By Craig Bannister | April 4, 2019 | 11:01 AM EDT

MRC Pres. Brent Bozell

Media Research Center (MRC) President Brent Bozell has signed letters to social media CEOs and major media outlets, calling on them to abandon and denounce use of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as an authority on “hate” and “extremist.”

Bozell joins a host of prominent conservative leaders in signing the two open letters, dated April 3, 2019. One letter, addressed to the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter and Google, is signed by members of the Free Speech Alliance (FSA). The other, from the Family Research Council (FRC), is addressed to the nation’s media and signed by nearly seventy leading conservatives.

The SPLC has shown itself to be “a hate-filled, anti-Christian, anti-conservative organization” that attacks and bullies Christian and conservative organizations by labeling them “hate groups” and “extremist,” the FSA letter to the social media giants says:

“SPLC has proven to be a hate-filled, anti-Christian, anti-conservative organization and nothing more than a weapon of the radical Left, whose goal is to bully people into compliance with their ideology. Fail to comply with their demands, and you will be labeled as a hate group or an extremist.

“We are writing today to demand you drop any and all affiliation with the SPLC. Moreover, you should restore your own credibility by making a public statement disavowing the SPLC and affirmatively stating that you do not have a formal or informal relationship with them.”

SPLC’s use of the “hate” label has been tied to violence against a faith-based organization, and also resulted in a multi-million settlement payment, the letter notes:

“The SPLC’s track record includes targeting faith-based organizations like the Family Research Council (FRC) for speaking out about principles found in the Bible. Sadly, the result of SPLC’s labeling of FRC a “hate group” was a 2012 shooting at FRC’s headquarters. After that tragic incident, the FBI appeared to have dropped SPLC as a partner in determining who is and is not a hate group.

“Last year, SPLC was forced to settle a $3.375 million lawsuit for falsely labeling a Muslim individual as an extremist. Maajid Nawaz had long ago abandoned his once held Islamic radicalism and formed a foundation to fight this extremist ideology. But he was branded as a hate monger by the SPLC for criticizing the radical ideology he once embraced.”

The Family Research Council letter to media also cites internal and external SPLC scandals and condemns its “aggressively anti-Christian” and “morally bankrupt” behavior:

“Today’s SPLC is aggressively anti-Christian and morally bankrupt – both inside and out. It attacks anyone who disagrees with its far-left agenda, smearing them with lies and grossly mischaracterizing their work. All the while SPLC has also been imploding from within, with allegations of sex and race discrimination – which have hounded them for years –finally boiling over with the firing of Dees and the resignation of Cohen. Indeed recent developments, including confessions by former staffers that the SPLC’s fundraising was suspect, have attracted the attention of a member of the U.S. Senate and triggered a request for investigation by the Internal Revenue Service into the SPLC’s classification as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.”

Since SPLC’s ideological bullying tactics have ravaged its credibility, media are should immediately stop using SPLC as an authority on what is “hate” and “extremist,” the letter says:

“SPLC has lost all credibility. We call on all media, corporations, social media companies, and financial institutions to immediately stop relying on their discredited and partisan ‘hate’ and ‘extremist’ lists.”

Both letters and their signatories are presented below.

Free Speech Alliance Letters to CEOs of Facebook, Twitter, and Google

Mark Zuckerberg

Chief Executive Officer

Facebook

 

Jack Dorsey

Chief Executive Officer

Twitter

 

Sundar Pichai

Chief Executive Officer

Google

For years, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has branded itself the ultimate arbiter of what constitutes hate in America. You, along with the liberal media, have played a part in elevating them into this role. According to a July 6, 2018 Daily Caller story, the four largest technology platforms, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Twitter, all work with SPLC for this specific purpose.
However, it is now clear that the SPLC has proven to be a hate-filled, anti-Christian, anti-conservative organization and nothing more than a weapon of the radical Left, whose goal is to bully people into compliance with their ideology. Fail to comply with their demands, and you will be labeled as a hate group or an extremist.

The recent news regarding the termination of co-founder Morris Dees and resignation of president Richard Cohen are but the latest episodes that call into question SPLC’s status. There is simply no longer any defensible rationale left for an organization to use them as a point of reference or in any advisory capacity. We are writing today to demand you drop any and all affiliation with the SPLC. Moreover, you should restore your own credibility by making a public statement disavowing the SPLC and affirmatively stating that you do not have a formal or informal relationship with them.

The SPLC’s track record includes targeting faith-based organizations like the Family Research Council (FRC) for speaking out about principles found in the Bible. Sadly, the result of SPLC’s labeling of FRC a “hate group” was a 2012 shooting at FRC’s headquarters. After that tragic incident, the FBI appeared to have dropped SPLC as a partner in determining who is and is not a hate group.

Last year, SPLC was forced to settle a $3.375 million lawsuit for falsely labeling a Muslim individual as an extremist. Maajid Nawaz had long ago abandoned his once held Islamic radicalism and formed a foundation to fight this extremist ideology. But he was branded as a hate monger by the SPLC for criticizing the radical ideology he once embraced.

Despite this track record of making false charges of bigotry, SPLC continued to be an adviser to leading technology and social media companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook and Twitter. No doubt you, along with executives at these other companies, feared the bullying tactics SPLC would use against you if you did not comply. None of you could afford to be labeled as friendly to hate groups on your platforms. Instead, you chose to cooperate with the SPLC despite the clear evidence that the organization wants nothing more than to shut down all conservative speech.

Now it appears the SPLC is once again exposed for its hypocrisy with the firing of co-founder Morris Dees and subsequent resignation of its president Richard Cohen. While SPLC refuses to release the details of Dees’ removal from his role with the organization, news reports point to SPLC tolerating an ongoing hostile work environment toward people of color, and women as well. SPLC has not denied these reports. We can only reasonably conclude that Dees contributed to an ongoing hostile work environment and that SPLC led by Cohen is an organization tolerant of an atmosphere of hate. When combined with SPLC’s clearly demonstrated anti-Christian and anti-conservative bias, it is time for reputable organizations to cut all ties with SPLC, and denounce them as nothing more than a politically motivated tool of the Left.

While you were previously unwilling to cut ties with SPLC for targeting its political enemies with hate-filled and biased allegations, are you going to continue to work with an organization which reportedly allowed outrageous discrimination to occur for years as well? By maintaining the SPLC in an advisory capacity Facebook is embracing SPLC’s hate-filled agenda.

We look forward to your announcement that you are terminating your relationship with this hateful and hypocritical organization. We will publish your response or lack thereof.

Sincerely,

L. Brent Bozell

Founder and President

Media Research Center

 

Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin

(US Army, Retired)

Executive Vice President,

Family Research Council

 

Tricia Erickson, President

Angel Pictures & Publicity, Inc.

 

Lady Brigitte Gabriel

Founder & Chairman, ACT For America

 

Cleta Mitchell

Partner

Foley & Lardner LLP

 

Steven Ertelt

Editor

LifeNews.com

 

Terry Schilling

Executive Director

American Principles Project

 

John-Henry Westen

Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief

LifeSiteNews.com

 

Morton Blackwell

Chairman

The Weyrich Lunch.

 

Mark J. Fitzgibbons

President of Corporate Affairs

American Target Advertising, Inc.

 

Ron Robinson

President

Young America’s Foundation

 

Floyd Brown

Publisher

Western Journal

 

Richard A. Viguerie

Chairman

FedUpPAC.org

 

Ed Corrigan

Executive Director

Conservative Partnership Institute

 

Nicholas Stehle

Campaign for the American Future

 

Everett Piper, PhD

President

Oklahoma Wesleyan University

 

Rod D. Martin

Founder & CEO

The Martin Organization, Inc.

 

Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West

(US Army, Retired)

Member, 112th US Congress

Senior Fellow, Media Research Center

 

Shawn A. Mitchell

Former National Chaplain

National Federation of Republican Assemblies

 

Jerry Melvin

Former Dean

Florida House of Representatives

 

Anthony Allen

President

Hannibal-LaGrange University

 

Lee A. Beaman

CEO

Beaman Automotive Group

 

Kevin Freeman

Founder

NSIC Institute

 

Mat Staver

Founder and Chairman

Liberty Counsel

 

Justin Danhof

General Counsel

National Center for Public Policy Research

 

Susan Carleson

Chairman and CEO

The American Civil Rights Union

 

Gary L. Bauer

President

American Values

FRC Letter to Media:

Dear Members of the News Media:

In September 2017, a group similar to the one signing below wrote a public letter to warn the news media about the untrustworthy and corrupt nature of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). We suggested then that you refrain from using the SPLC as a source. Some news organizations and individuals became more circumspect about the SPLC, but, unfortunately, some did not. That said, 2017 and 2018 produced several publications marking the beginning of a much-needed reassessment of the SPLC’s self-appointed standing as America’s arbiter of “hate.”

Of course, a large portion of the impetus for a reevaluation flowed from the highly damaging settlement the SPLC had to reach with former Islamic radical, Maajid Nawaz. After falsely calling Nawaz an “extremist” in its “Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists,” the SPLC settled with him for $3.375 million in June 2018. Richard Cohen, the SPLC’s president, also had to read and post online a humiliating apology to Nawaz that showed the reckless and careless nature of their misguided push to label him an extremist.

The SPLC’s ability to deflect and parry seems to have ended with its March 13 firing of Morris Dees, its co-founder and leader for almost five decades. Dees’ termination was accompanied by a terse, opaque pronouncement. In the statement on its website, the SPLC ascribes to itself the values of “truth, justice, equity, and inclusion” and alludes to Dees as “one of our own who fail[ed] to meet those standards.” No further explanation was or has been provided. Dees’ firing was not the only shoe to drop. Within ten days both the president, Richard Cohen, and the legal director, Rhonda Brownstein, had left the SPLC.

Los Angeles Times reporter Matt Pearce discovered within hours of Dees’ firing that the organization was in turmoil –a conclusion clearly supported by the later departures. Pearce observed that the SPLC, “whose leadership is predominantly white, [had] been wrestling with complaints of workplace mistreatment of women and people of color.” According to Josh Moon of the Alabama Political Reporter, the explosion that led to Dees’ firing was ignited by the resignation of a highly respected, black senior attorney, Meredith Horton, who sent a letter to senior leadership decrying working conditions at the organization.

Horton’s resignation and the contents of her letter seems to have prompted “about two dozen employees” to write two letters supportive of Ms. Horton’s claims to the SPLC’s management and board of directors. According to Pearce, the group wrote that they were concerned these “allegations of mistreatment, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and racism threaten the moral authority of this organization and our integrity along with it.”

In response to this inner upheaval, Morris Dees was fired unceremoniously, and his bio page was purged from the SPLC website. Next, the management hired Michelle Obama's former chief of staff, attorney Tina Tchen, to investigate its workplace culture. This choice raises serious concerns about the neutrality of the investigation. And the choice appears particularly problematic given Tchen recently making headlines for interfering with the Chicago Police Department’s Jussie Smollett investigation.

If SPLC is interested in restoring its lost credibility with the public and remaining SPLC staff, an SPLC-initiated investigation should include at least the following and the results should be made public:

First, release to the public the letter written by staff attorney Meredith Horton that started the cascade of events leading to Morris Dees’ dismissal.

Second, release the two letters written by the SPLC staff to the management in the aftermath of Ms. Horton’s letter being sent to SPLC management. Any similar unpublicized documents received by management in the past twenty years should be released as well.

Third, appoint a responsible investigator to examine the various news reports over the years that have pointed to deep flaws in the SPLC and publicly lay out who within the Center who knew what and when about these work conditions. Here are some of the articles that must be examined:

Any analysis of the SPLC must start with John Egerton’s three-decade old “Poverty Palace: How the Southern Poverty Law Center Got Rich Fighting the Klan,” Progressive (July 1988) In his recent, excellent New Yorker article, Bob Moser writes, “The great Southern journalist John Egerton, writing for the Progressive, had painted a damning portrait of Dees, the Center’s longtime mastermind, as a ‘super-salesman and master fundraiser’ who viewed the civil-rights work mainly as a marketing tool for the gullible Northern liberals. ‘We just run our business like a business,’ Dees told Egerton. ‘Whether you’re selling cakes or causes, it’s all the same.’” Among other things, a responsible investigator would examine why the entire legal staff and the first Klanwatch director resigned in the mid-1980s.

• Racial Discrimination. A responsible investigation must comb through the Pulitzer Prize-nominated series from the Montgomery Advertiser that was published in February 1994. It was a journalistic broadside that mostly bounced off the hull of the SPLC. An investigative team must go back and, where possible, interview the staffers named in that series of articles. It is a necessary starting point because racial discrimination and mistreatment were two of the more shocking allegations lodged against the SPLC and Dees. Of special significance are three articles by Dan Morse that laid out many of the race-based grievances in 1994 that have been echoed in the recent events leading to the Dees dismissal.9In “Equal Treatment?” Morse quotes a Harvard law graduate attorney, Christine Lee, as saying, “I would definitely say that there was not a single black employee with whom I spoke who was happy to be working there.” And, “of 13 black former center staffers contacted, said they either experienced or observed racial problems inside the Law Center. Three said they heard racial slurs, three likened the center to a plantation and two said they had been treated better at predominantly white corporate law firms.”

In the second article, “Black Former Workers Question Treatment,” Morse reported that Christine Lee, referenced in the previous paragraph, noted comments by white staff members that as “just a way of talking about black people as jesters that in a way that hasn’t ... I don’t think been done in 30 or 40 years.”

A third article described the mistreatment that the Center’s first black staff attorney, Dennis Sweet, received at Dees’ hands. Sweet later became a member of the Mississippi legislature, but before going to the SPLC he had worked in the District of Columbia public defender’s office where he excelled. Sweet also encountered at least one black attorney, C.B. King of Albany, Georgia, who considered Dees’ racial attitudes to be highly retrograde. “Morris treated me differently. Morris came after me,” Sweet told Dan Morse.

Sexual Harassment. Bob Moser’s New Yorker article notes, “...Incoming female staffers were additionally warned by their new colleagues about Deess’ reputation for hitting on young women.”12And, again, Matt Pearce reported that SPLC’s own staff recently wrote to upper management that allegations of sexual harassment and gender discrimination “threaten the moral authority of this organization and our integrity along with it.” An investigation and public accounting of these allegations must be made.

Big League Politics reported various sexual misdeeds by Dees that were discovered in divorce papers filed in March 1979. The papers were filed by Dees’ ex-wife, Maureen. The divorce papers have been circulating for some years and had to have been known to SPLC staff and management for decades.

Today’s SPLC is aggressively anti-Christian and morally bankrupt – both inside and out. It attacks anyone who disagrees with its far-left agenda, smearing them with lies and grossly mischaracterizing their work. All the while SPLC has also been imploding from within, with allegations of sex and race discrimination –which have hounded them for years –finally boiling over with the firing of Dees and the resignation of Cohen. Indeed recent developments, including confessions by former staffers that the SPLC’s fundraising was suspect, have attracted the attention of a member of the U.S. Senate and triggered a request for investigation by the Internal Revenue Service into the SPLC’s classification as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

SPLC has lost all credibility. We call on all media, corporations, social media companies, and financial institutions to immediately stop relying on their discredited and partisan “hate” and “extremist” lists.

Sincerely,

Tim Wildmon

President

American Family Association

 

Michael P. Farris

President, CEO and General Counsel

Alliance Defending Freedom

 

Gary L. Bauer

President

American Values

 

Ryan Mauro

National Security Analyst

Clarion Project

 

Lisa B. Nelson

Chief Executive Officer

ALEC

 

Maj. General Paul E. Vallely, U.S. Army (Ret.)

Chairman, Stand Up America US Foundation

Chairman, Legacy National Security Advisory Group

 

Commander J. B. Wells, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

Attorney at Law

Executive Director

Military-Veterans Advocacy, Inc.

 

Robert J. Muise

Co-Founder & Senior Counsel

American Freedom Law Center

 

David Yerushalmi

Co-Founder & Senior Counsel

American Freedom Law Center

 

Sharon Slater

President

Family Watch International

 

Tom Benton, MD, MPH

Fellow, American College of Pediatricians

Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor

University of Florida

 

Tom DeWeese

President

American Policy Center

Steve Amundson

Counter Jihad Coalition

 

Arthur A. Schulcz, Sr.

Executive Director and General Counsel

International Council of Evangelical Chaplain Endorsers

 

Chaplain (Colonel) Phillip F. Wright, U.S. Army (Ret.)

Executive Director

Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty (CALL)

 

Martin Mawyer

President

Christian Action Network

 

Don Blake

President

Virginia Christian Alliance

 

Austin Ruse

President

C-FAM

 

Brian Camenker

President

Mass Resistance

 

Philip B. Haney

Founding Member, DHS

Customs & Border Protection (CPB) Office (Ret.)

 

James Simpson

Investigative Journalist

 

Dale L. Wilcox

Executive Director and General Counsel

Immigration Reform Law Institute

 

Bill Warner

President

Center for the Study of Political Islam

 

Michelle Cretella, MD, FCP

Executive Director

American College of Pediatricians

 

Lady Brigitte Gabriel

Founder & Chairman

ACT For America

 

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

Founder and President

The Ruth Institute

 

Randy Berholtz, Esq.

Principal

Sorrento Valley Law Group

 

Cynthia Kendoll

Director

Oregonians for Immigration Reform

 

Scott Walter

President

Capital Research Center

 

Eunie Smith

President

Eagle Forum

 

Cathie Adams

First Vice President

Eagle Forum

 

Trayce Bradford

President

Texas Eagle Forum

 

Bobbie Patray

President

Tennessee Eagle Forum

 

Becky Gerritson

Executive Director

Eagle Forum of Alabama

 

F. B. Chambers

President

Eagle Forum of Oklahoma

 

Deborah Bione

Eagle Forum

Clare Lopez

Vice President of Policy and Analysis

Centerfor Security Policy

 

J. Michael Waller, Ph.D.

Vice President

Center for Security Policy

 

Sandy Rios

Host

"Sandy Rios in the Morning"

 

Mat Staver

Founder and Chairman

Liberty Counsel

 

Robert Spencer

Director

Jihad Watch

 

Louie Johnston Jr.

Founder, Patriot Pastors

Founder, American Constitution Center

 

Pamela Geller

President

American Freedom Defense Initiative

 

Trevor Loudon

Author, Speaker, Filmmaker

TrevorLoudon.com

 

Christopher C. Hull, Ph.D.

Senior Fellow

Americans for Intelligence Reform

 

Rabbi Aryeh Spero

 

Janice Shaw Crouse, Ph.D.

Crouse Institute: Faith, Family, Culture

 

Frank Wright, Ph.D.

President & CEO

D. James Kennedy Ministries

 

Tom Trento

Director

The United West

 

Dick Manasseri

Mary Wierbicki

Co-founder

Sharia Crime Stoppers

 

Lieutenant General Tom McInerney,

U.S. Air Force (Ret.)

 

Vice Admiral William D. Lee

U.S. Coast Guard (Ret.)

 

Kathy Statham

Georgia Political Activist

 

Brent Bozell

President

Media Research Center

 

William Becker

President/CEO/Chief Counsel

Freedom X Law

 

William A. Donohue, Ph.D.

President

Catholic League for Religious & Civil Rights

 

David Smith

Executive Director

Illinois Family institute

 

Cathy Hinners

Founder

DailyRollCall.com

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