Stop using the Southern Poverty Law Center and its "hate list" as a standard of morality – that's what two pro-family organizations are telling companies today in The Wall Street Journal.
"Family Research Council and American Family Association are two of the organizations that have been unfairly and unjustly targeted by the Southern Poverty Law Center over the years as 'hate' groups," explains Tim Wildmon, president of American Family Association, one of the groups behind a newspaper ad in today's WSJ.
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"The SPLC is in its early stages of its demise, I think, because they were found out to be complete hypocrites inside their own organization," Wildman continues. "So we're wanting to cite this and show this in an ad that will reach corporate America in The Wall Street Journal – and hopefully we'll see corporations stop using the SPLC 'hate group' list as something that is legitimate."
In March, published reports said that SPLC was mired in allegations of racism and sexual harassment. According to AL.com, claims stretch back decades.
Companies addressed directly in the WSJ ad are Amazon, PayPal, YouTube, Spotify, CNN, and MSNBC. It also features comments about what the SPLC was doing, in the words of former interns and employees, such as:
"Sometimes the press will describe us as monitoring hate groups. I want to say plainly that our aim in life is to destroy these groups, completely destroy them." – Mark Potok, former SPLC senior fellow
"We were part of the con, and we knew it." – Bob Moser, former SPLC writer
"You will never step foot in a more contradictory place as long as you live." – The New Yorker, quoting a former SPLC employee
Today's ad, paid for by the Family Research Council and American Family Association in cooperation with SPLCExposed.com, comes on the heels of an open letter to news organizations calling on media to stop using data from the SPLC (see related story). The signers of that letter included a "Who's Who" of conservative leaders and activists, including the presidents of FRC and AFA, Tony Perkins and Tim Wildmon.
The ad concludes with this admonition:
"Those who use SPLC and its hate list as a standard of morality should cease. A bad tree cannot produce good fruit. Will corporations and media outlets continue to align themselves with an organization that its own employees say is racist, bigoted, and rife with sexual misconduct and discrimination? If so, their partnership can only produce rotten fruit."
Earlier this month, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) asked the Internal Revenue Service to look at the SPLC's tax-exempt status, saying the Alabama-based group has "become kind of a hate group themselves" by using a "so-called 'hate map' … to stigmatize their political opponents."
Editor's Note: The American Family Association is the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates OneNewsNow.com.