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Southern Poverty Law Center: When 'Hate' Is Good for Business 

Southern Poverty Law Center: When 'Hate' Is Good for Business  Read Transcript


NARRATOR: Once upon a time, the Southern Poverty Law Center

served as a champion in the civil rights struggle.

It's said that the SPLC helped put the Ku Klux Klan out

of business.

Klan membership used to be in the millions.

Today it's only a few thousand.

But when you look at the SPLC's map of hate groups

in America today, one would think

America is consumed with hate.

Or is it?

When you've put the Klan out of business

and won all your battles, but you're not

ready to close your doors, you need

to find new enemies to fight.

You might also need to change the definition of hate.

NARRATOR: One of those new enemies

is former Vanderbilt history professor, Dr. Carol Swain.

Swain grew up in the Old South and fought poverty and racism

to become a university professor.

She's an expert on white nationalism.

But she's publicly attacked the SPLC.

And Swain, a conservative Christian,

found herself on the SPLC's hate list

as, quote, "an apologist for white supremacists."

Other SPLC targets have included Dr. Ben Carson, who was then

removed from the SPCL hate list; female genital mutilation

victim Hirsi Ali; and even small charities

like the Ruth Institute, whose mission is

to help families and children.

The Ruth Institute said, "if this makes us a hate group,

so be it."

Among the list of Christian groups on the SPLC's hate

map are many local churches, usually because they

oppose the gay agenda.

It includes the Family Research Council.

Executive Vice President, General Jerry Boykin,

when asked about it, doesn't pull any punches.

Well, SPLC, first of all, you need to understand,

is probably one of the most evil groups in America.

They've become a money-making machine.

And they have become an absolute Marxist, anarchist

organization.

NARRATOR: Also on the list, the Christian legal group Alliance

Defending Freedom.

They did good work many years ago,

but the SPLC lost its way a long time ago.

NARRATOR: Kerri Kupec at ADF dismissed the SPLC as a, quote,

"direct mail scam," but marvels at the SPLC's revenues,

with assets north of $300 million.

I have never heard of a group with poverty

in its name that has so much money.

NARRATOR: Apple, JP Morgan, and actor

George Clooney are just a few who have given millions

to the SPLC.

There's so much money coming in that some of it's

going into offshore investments.

A red flag for some, but offshore investing

is not uncommon among large nonprofits.

What's more disturbing is what the SPLC's opponents

see as a link to deadly violence against Christians

and conservatives.

On August 15, 2012, Floyd Lee Corkins

stormed into the Family Research Council's Washington offices

intending to kill.

He wounded the building manager before he was stopped.

A bullet hole still remains in this console.

After his arrest, Corkins told the FBI

where he heard about the Family Research Council.

Our people that come to work here everyday

come knowing that, just based on reality

and based on what happened here, they're taking a risk.

NARRATOR: James T. Hodgkinson, who shot House Majority Whip

Steve Scalise and injured several others

at a congressional softball practice this year,

had liked the Southern Poverty Law Center's Facebook page.

The SPLC later admitted, "we are aware that the SPLC was

among hundreds of groups that the man identified

as the shooter liked on Facebook.

I want to be as clear as I can possibly be.

The SPLC condemns all forms of violence."

But after these attacks, some are

asking the obvious question.

Does the Southern Poverty Law Center spread hate?

The SPLC did not respond to our invitation

to be a part of this story and refute

the claims made against it, but publicly remains unapologetic.

The SPLC says their listing of Christian groups

who oppose the LGBT agenda "is completely

unrelated to religion, Christianity, or the Bible.

These groups are listed because they repeatedly

lie in an effort to defame LGBT people."

In 2007, SPLC spokesman Mark Potok,

in this blurry video from a conference in Michigan, said--

NARRATOR: D. James Kennedy Ministries,

also on the hate list, is suing the SPLC and the charitable arm

of Amazon, AmazonSmile, for dropping it

from its list of religious charities.

The news media uses the SPLC's hate map

in stories about racism and bigotry.

CNN published the list under the headline,

"here are all the hate groups active in your area."

47 conservative groups and Senator James Lankford

have written the media demanding that it stop using the SPLC

hate map as a source.

SPLC has, first of all, no authority

other than what they've given themselves to have a hate map

or to list people or organizations as haters.

NARRATOR: But there's no sign the Southern Poverty Law

Center is changing course, when the left supports it

so strongly, much of the news media relies on it,

and the donations keep rolling in.

Dale Hurd, CBN News--

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