How labeling my organization a hate group shuts down public debate

How labeling my organization a hate group shuts down public debate, by Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies.

Are you now, or have you ever been, a “hate group”?

This is the question at the heart of an attempt to delegitimize and suppress views regarding immigration held by a large share of the American public.

Since 2007, the Southern Poverty Law Center has methodically added mainstream organizations critical of current immigration policy to its blacklist of “hate groups,” including the Federation for American Immigration Reform, the Immigration Reform Law Institute and Californians for Population Stabilization, among others. In February, my own organization, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), got its turn.

The wickedness of the SPLC’s blacklist lies in the fact that it conflates groups that really do preach hatred, such as the Ku Klux Klan and Nation of Islam, with ones that simply do not share the SPLC’s political preferences. The obvious goal is to marginalize the organizations in this second category by bullying reporters into avoiding them, scaring away writers and researchers from working for them, and limiting invitations for them to discuss their work. …

Of course, political combatants call each other names all the time; I’ve succumbed myself on occasion. But the SPLC stands apart; it’s backed by a quarter-billion-dollar war chest, successful branding by SPLC co-founder and direct-marketing impresario Morris Dees, and a pose of disinterestedness and neutrality that has gained it credibility with many in the media and law enforcement.

Yet the SPLC’s protestations of neutrality are false. It is an integral part of the immigration-expansion coalition, as even the briefest look at the “Immigrant Justice” page on its website will confirm. Regardless, the SPLC’s smearing of political opponents continues to be reported as news; hours after publication of the latest SPLC blacklist, the New Yorker retailed the “hate group” charge against CIS.

Yep, if it wasn’t for the biased media, these tactics simply wouldn’t work. It seems there is a race between the independent Internet overtaking the media as the place for news, and the left closing down all opposition and asserting more dictatorial control over society.