SPLC, ADL SMEAR PATRIOTS
By Mark Anderson
Did you know that informing Americans about the often bitter truth about their nation and the world constitutes “hate”? Neither did we. But the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center sees itself fit to list 512 American patriot groups in a special issue of its quarterly Intelligence Report and characterize them as “hate” groups—even while admitting, “[The] listing here does not imply that the groups themselves advocate or engage in violence or other criminal activities, or are racist,” as the report states.
If these groups are not criminally inclined, then what’s the problem? The problem from the SPLC’s viewpoint is that many of these groups, whatever their imperfections, communicate pertinent information to a population that is increasingly indifferent to, or distrustful of, big media, misplaced or abused government authority and the rogue corporate structure.
Of course, not every group that made “the list” is always accurate in its views, nor does freedom of speech mean you must be accurate, nor does it exclude those who may say stupid things. It’s not illegal to be eccentric, nor is it against the law to be angry or upset at what’s going on. Most people are. Deal with it.
Corporate structure has colluded with government to impoverish the average person and bail out corporate titans to the tune of billions. Everybody knows this, except, it seems, the SPLC, which wants to tell Americans and law enforcement officials to distrust these citizen groups while those in the corporate world rob our nation and close down our industry.
If calling attention to corporate-government actions that threaten the future of every man, woman and child is “hate,” then some groups listed by the SPLC stand “guilty as charged.”
But observe that usually those who shout “hate” the loudest are themselves the “haters,” for lack of a better word. It’s the world’s oldest trick: Accuse others of what you are guilty of, as a ploy to smear your perceived
opponents. The SPLC seems adept at this. Good people in conservative groups are lumped in with obscure elements and lesser-known groups who would disagree with each other on many issues. But the SPLC makes it seem like they agree on most things, to broaden the smear.
Yet, it’s not as if the SPLC is particularly important or credible. This whole thing has become a tiresome perennial exercise for the leftist SPLC, which sees anyone to the political “right” of its positions as “extremist”—another abused buzzword used to confuse the population. It’s all a matter of perspective. If you are in a group as ultra-left wing as the SPLC, almost everyone else is automatically to the right of you. Then it becomes a question only of who to put on “the list.”
Meanwhile, the SPLC speaks of illegal immigrants as if breaking U.S. immigration laws is unimportant. In other words, it’s OK to enter the nation illegally, but it’s not OK to protest it. Overall, the SPLC’s work borders on slander and libel.
The biggest problem, however, is that the SPLC has the ear of the Department of Homeland Security, among other government agencies that troll for signs of “domestic terrorism” and may equate these American “extremist” groups with potential terrorism without justification.
Most Americans are a mixture of “right” and “left” views, if such labels must be used, and most people actually have much more in common than is usually assumed. For example, except for a minority of neoconservatives running our foreign policy (a breed of alleged conservatives who lust for empire and conquest), a sizable cross section of both liberals and traditional, constitutional conservatives want to stop fighting perpetual wars.
AFP reminds Americans that there are about 800 U.S. military bases in at least 120 nations and that our interventionist foreign policy is bankrupting our nation, maiming and killing our own soldiers who are not given winnable missions, and bringing untold agony and death on innocent foreign people. Is it hateful to report that?
And excuse us for noting that Israel does not need nor deserve exclusive U.S. protection and foreign aid. The Israeli army’s slaughter of largely defenseless Palestinians in late 2008 showed the whole world what that rogue nation is all about.
Thus, hardly more need be said, except to say that just as Germany and other European nations can and should defend themselves without American taxpayers holding their hands, the same goes for Israel, which is perfectly capable, with some 200-400 nuclear weapons, of defending itself. This is not “anti-Semitism.”
SPLC’s Intelligence Report includes this general description: “Of these groups, 127 were militias . . . and the remainder includes ‘common-law’ courts, publishers, ministries and citizen groups. Generally, patriot groups define themselves as opposed to the ‘New World Order,’ engage in groundless conspiracy theorizing, or advocate or adhere to extreme anti-government doctrines.”
The actual listing consists of John Birch Society, Oath Keepers, Constitution Party, American Independent Party and various other patriot-citizen groups and chapters in all 50 states. None gives any indication of being dangerous. There also is a Texas-based group to end the Federal Reserve’s private central banking racket, which is tough to define as “hate.” And Gary Franchi’s principled Restore the Republic in Illinois is listed, when this writer can personally attest to Franchi’s honesty and passion to report the truth and make America a better place.
Other, more obscure, groups are listed, too, whose status and intentions are unknown. Yet, they all have a right to their opinions and to engage in the political reform process.
Unless engaged in actual, provable crime, any person or group can say anything they want in the United States. May it always remain that way, regardless of attempts by some to reclassify free speech as hate speech and label concerned Americans as “enemies of the state.”
Mark Anderson is a longtime newsman now working as a deputy editor for AFP. He and his wife Angie provide photographs and video of the events they cover for AFP. Listen to Mark’s radio show at republicbroadcasting.org, Saturdays at 2. Email him at at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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(Issue # 19, May 12, 2010)