SPLC: The Quotable Mr. Potok
THE SOUTHERN POVERTY Law Center (SPLC) now has nearly $190 million tax-free donor-dollars available in its bloated Endowment Fund, and received just over $31 MILLION donor-dollars from its mostly elderly donor base last year.
Much of the financial success of this most profitable of non-profits must be attributed to the SPLC’s $143,000 donor-dollar-a-year Public Relations Guru, Mark Potok (pictured, right, with Bill O’Reilly).
Mr. Potok, who has no legal or law enforcement background, earns his six-digit salary by maintaining an ongoing fear campaign that plays fast and loose with the facts, or in cases such as the SPLC’s infamous Hate Map, simply manufactures “facts” out of thin air.
Prior to coming to the highly lucrative Hate Industry, Mr. Potok was a part-time stringer for USA Today in the 1990s, a position that no doubt qualifies him as an eminent scholar on “hate groups.”
It might be informative to reflect on some of Mr. Potok’s more interesting comments to the media over the years, which speak volumes as to the beliefs of his employers at the SPLC:
On the SPLC’s own definition of “hate group.” (Since there is no legal definition, Mr. P just made one up.)
“…a “hate group” has nothing to do with criminality… [or] potential for violence…” Rather, as Potok put it, “It’s all about ideology.”
No crime, no violence, just “wrong thinking”
“The FBI does not monitor groups just because they have “hateful” ideology. There must be some evidence of criminal wrongdoing.“ (www.usatoday.com, May 17, 2002)
Fortunately, the “law center” has never been deterred by the petty legalities and Constitutional blather that hamper actual law enforcement agencies.
On the SPLC’s scrupulously high standards for consigning a “group” to its Hate Map:
“Hate group activities can include criminal acts, marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing.”
Well, you can’t ask for much more “evidence of criminal wrongdoing” than that. Marches, speeches, publishing, no wonder the FBI was all over Martin Luther King. The guy was forever leading marches, giving speeches, handing out literature and all kinds of other tell-tale signs of “hate group” activity.
“Potok acknowledged that some of the groups may be small and said it is impossible for outsiders to gauge the membership of most of the groups.” (David Crary, Associated Press Online, March 10, 2008)
“Potok says inclusion on the list might come from a minor presence, such as a post office box.” (www.sanluisobispo.com, March 25, 2009)
On the impeccably high level of research that goes into each and every “report” churned out by Mr. Potok’s public relations minions:
“Mark Potok, who has directed the SLPC’s Intelligence Project for 12 years, said the report relies on media, citizen and law enforcement reports, and does not include original reporting by SPLC staff.” (www.postcrescent.com, July 6, 2009)
You say “po-tay-toh” and I say “glorified news clipping service”…
On the imminent threat of ever-growing numbers of “hate groups” (after all, the Hate Map doesn’t lie, right?):
“And I would say as a general matter, it is extremely unusual these days for an organization to plan and carry out a criminal act where mainly for the reason that they are so likely to get caught.
So what we really see out there in terms of violence from the radical right is by and large what we would call lone wolves, people operating on their own or with just one or two partners. As opposed to, you know, being some kind of organizational plan.” (www.npr.org, October 30, 2008)
“Still, [Potok] said the public should remain vigilant about the activities of hate groups, even though individuals are responsible for the majority of hate crimes in America.” (www.courier-journal.com, July 21, 2009)
Potok’s expert advice to police on how to identify domestic terrorists:
“One of the warnings is strange license plates on vehicles,” Potok said, “something like ‘The Republic of Texas.” (www.katv.com, September 22, 2010)
Remember, it was the “experts” at the SPLC who warned the Missouri State Police to be on the look out for “dangerous” people with Ron Paul and Bob Barr bumper stickers on their cars.