A former university professor who ran afoul of the Southern Poverty Law Center is warning others about the left-wing organization.
"Mission creep occurs when an organization starts out with a particular focus and then they sort of lose their way and they drift into other areas," Dr. Carol Swain, speaking about the SPLC, told radio talk show host Tony Perkins in a Tuesday interview on American Family Radio.
Swain, 63, is currently making the media rounds after she described her 2009 fight with the SPLC in a recent op-ed in The Wall Street Journal.
"When Morris Dees and Joseph J. Levin Jr. started the SPLC in 1971, it was needed and it had noble goals," Swain wrote. "In recent years, however, it has become a tool of the radical left."
Swain became a target of the SPLC after a 2009 blog post, which warned at the time that the group's "mission creep" was causing it to become like the hate groups it claims to monitor.
She recalled to Perkins that an SPLC spokesman, later that same year, called her an "apologist for white supremacists" in a critical story published by The Tennessean newspaper.
Swain's apparent "crime" was making positive comments about a documentary, "A Conversation about Race," while the SPLC claimed it had uncovered racist comments – not included in the documentary - made by the filmmaker.
"It was written by a guy that the SPLC said was a bigot. He had criticized President Obama," Swain explained to Perkins. "I did give the film a glowing review and the reason I did is, as a professor, I thought it would be great for classroom use."
Critical news articles predictably followed, vilifying the conservative black professor in black media outlets. Swain recalls that radio show host Tom Joyner was the only person who allowed her to tell her side of the story and an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal also came to her defense.
A longtime law professor at Vanderbilt, Swain retired in 2016 after years of making headlines for her conservative views on Islam, race and racism, and left-wing academia itself.
In a May story, Swain told The Weekly Standard that she "showed up a born-again Christian" at Vanderbilt after a dramatic conversation that "shaped everything I've done since then, and it affects how I see the world."