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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Southern Poverty Law Center Report "Rage on the Right" Attacks CPAC,Tea Parties and Others

Here we go again, another progressive political report pretending to be a study on "hate." 

The Southern Poverty Law Center, has followed in the footsteps of the Anti-Defamation League by creating a report called "Rage on the Right" which attacks Tea Parties, CPAC, Glenn Beck, Rep. Michelle Bachman and others as part of a dangerous, right wing groups rich with veins of radical ideas, conspiracy theories and racism. 

The report is filled with misstatements and exaggerations that give the reader a feeling that they never really explored what they are reporting on, but instead simply watched commentaries on the subjects given by MSNBC's Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann.
For example

The anger seething across the American political landscape — over racial changes in the population, soaring public debt and the terrible economy, the bailouts of bankers and other elites, and an array of initiatives by the relatively liberal Obama Administration that are seen as "socialist" or even "fascist" — goes beyond the radical right. The "tea parties" and similar groups that have sprung up in recent months cannot fairly be considered extremist groups, but they are shot through with rich veins of radical ideas, conspiracy theories and racism.
I have been to, and reported on many Tea Parties, I will admit that there are some wing nuts in the Tea Party movement but not any more than the progressives like you will find on the Daily Kos, Huffington Post or even Barack Obama's own website. There are extremists in every political movement, the trick is to keep them out of power.

“We are in the midst of one of the most significant right-wing populist rebellions in United States history,” Chip Berlet, a veteran analyst of the American radical right, wrote earlier this year. "We see around us a series of overlapping social and political movements populated by people [who are] angry, resentful, and full of anxiety. They are raging against the machinery of the federal bureaucracy and liberal government programs and policies including health care, reform of immigration and labor laws, abortion, and gay marriage."

Sixty-one percent of Americans believe the country is in decline, according to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Just a quarter think the government can be trusted. And the anti-tax tea party movement is viewed in much more positive terms than either the Democratic or Republican parties, the poll found.
The founders of this country said that Government is not to be trusted. That power is in the people not in the government. Ronald Reagan, the best President in my lifetime believed in most of those points.  Yes the people are frustrated and angry, does that make them "Right-Wing Radicals?" What did that make the Anti-Bush MoveOn movement?
The signs of growing radicalization are everywhere. Armed men have come to Obama speeches bearing signs suggesting that the "tree of liberty" needs to be "watered" with "the blood of tyrants."
True MSNBC did show a cropped picture of one guy with a gun, they said it was an act of racism. That was until the guys full picture was shown. The African American man with a gun was there to support the second amendment.

The Tree of liberty sign a call to return to the constitution vision of our founders. The full quote is
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.  Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Stephens Smith, November 13, 1787.

The Conservative Political Action Conference held this February was co-sponsored by groups like the John Birch Society, which believes President Eisenhower was a Communist agent, and Oath Keepers, a Patriot outfit formed last year that suggests, in thinly veiled language, that the government has secret plans to declare martial law and intern patriotic Americans in concentration camps. Politicians pandering to the antigovernment right in 37 states have introduced "Tenth Amendment Resolutions," based on the constitutional provision keeping all powers not explicitly given to the federal government with the states. And, at the "A Well Regulated Militia" website, a recent discussion of how to build "clandestine safe houses" to stay clear of the federal government included a conversation about how mass murderers like Timothy McVeigh and Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph were supposedly betrayed at such houses. 
 I do believe that CPAC was wrong in allowing the John Birch society at the conference. I am not familiar with the "Oath Keeper" The groups above ONLY had a booth in the vast exhibit hall (hidden in the back). Having attend CPAC from the beginning to the end I can report that these groups got much more attention in the press for being at CPAC than from the attendees at CPAC. 

Did the SPLC take a look at the exhibitors of the Netroots convention? They included people ike the Anti-War, Anti-Semitic group Code Pink or Color of Change, the radical group created by self described communist Van Jone who has called for the overthrow of the US political system.
The number of hate groups in America has been going up for years, rising 54% between 2000 and 2008 and driven largely by an angry backlash against non-white immigration and, starting in the last year of that period, the economic meltdown and the climb to power of an African American president.
Another lie and a charge made without any substantiation. The backlash is against illegal Immigration, no matter what the color of the skin. And its the climb to power of an extremist Progressive President, no matter what the color of his skin. 
According to the latest annual count by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), these groups rose again slightly in 2009 — from 926 in 2008 to 932 last year — despite the demise of a key neo-Nazi group. The American National Socialist Workers Party, which had 35 chapters in 28 states, imploded shortly after the October 2008 arrest of founder Bill White for making threats against his enemies.
 Excuse me, MR SPLC, do you see the name socialist in that groups title? Left wingers want more government, right wingers want less.  Nazis and Socialists are extremists on the left side, they are looking for Totalitarian government.  The extreme on the right wing is Anarchist, they want no government.
...While in the 1990s, the movement got good reviews from a few lawmakers and talk-radio hosts, some of its central ideas today are being plugged by people with far larger audiences like FOX News’ Glenn Beck and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn). Beck, for instance, re-popularized a key Patriot conspiracy theory — the charge that FEMA is secretly running concentration camps — before finally “debunking” it.
Another lie.  The ONLY times Glenn Beck brought up the "FEMA Concentration Camps" was to say it was full of crap.  There is a reason why the SPLC doesn't have quotes from Beck and Bachmen about these camps in their report---It never happened.
... A good example is the upcoming Second Amendment March in Washington, D.C. The website promoting the march is topped by a picture of a colonial militiaman, and key supporters include Larry Pratt, a long-time militia enthusiast with connections to white supremacists, and Richard Mack, a conspiracy-mongering former sheriff associated with the Patriot group Oath Keepers.
If the SPLC actually read the constitution it would understand why there is a Militiaman on a website promoting the second amendment. The Text of the second amendment is
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
And the 4/19 march was organized and run by the NRA, it is not a radical militia movement.
What may be most noteworthy about the march, however, is its date — April 19. That is the date of the first shots fired at Lexington in the Revolutionary War. And it is also the anniversary of the fiery end of the government siege in Waco and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
Do they really think that the battle of Lexington and Concord Should be put in the same category as Waco and Oklahoma City?

There is an old saying, you can tell a lot about someone by the friends they keep. In the case of the SPLC and their new report, the first people to come out to promote their hatchet job was the group formed by the Muslim Brotherhood, to promote and fund raise for Hamas CAIR. They put out a press release saying:

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Washington-based Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, today expressed concern about the reported rise in the number of anti-government and anti-immigrant extremist groups during the past year.

CAIR cited a report released today by the respected Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). That report, titled "Rage on the Right,The Year in Hate and Extremism" states in part:

"Furious anti-immigrant vigilante groups soared by nearly 80%, adding some 136 new groups during 2009. And, most remarkably of all, so-called 'Patriot' groups -- militias and other organizations that see the federal government as part of a plot to impose 'one-world government' on liberty-loving Americans -- came roaring back after years out of the limelight.... The 'tea parties' and similar groups that have sprung up in recent months cannot fairly be considered extremist groups, but they are shot through with rich veins of radical ideas, conspiracy theories and racism
Ladies and Gentlemen, I rest my case.



Andrew Ian Dodge said...

Alas that lot have been shills for the left for a long time. They seem to have blinders that only look to the right while missing the extremists on the left. Then again they love to paint national socialists as "far-right" despite their name.

I think Beck is a bit nutty, but radical... hardly.

RedNeckoBlogger said...

SPLC is and always has been a HATE group!

Anonymous said...

Excellent post! Thanks for connecting the dots.