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Southern Poverty Law Center admits defining ‘hate’ is purely subjective
AFP had the chance recently to interview Mark Potok, the spokesperson for Morris Dees’s Southern Poverty Law Center, a multi-million-dollar operation that sees itself as America’s premier civil rights organization, but more broadly exists to pigeonhole Americans into subjective categories of “hate.”
Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) “Intelligence Project,” tasked with monitoring “hate groups” and “extremists,” freely admitted to AFP that the method SPLC staffers use for determining “hate” is not at all a science.
When asked if there is a definition on the SPLC’s Internet site that explains the parameters or metrics used to determine “hate,” Potok had a short reply: “Not really.” Potok was then asked if this kind of approach to classify “hate” is subjective, and he replied in the affirmative. “Yes, there’s some art as well as some science in it.”
According to what Potok told AFP, the SPLC “train[s] anywhere between 2,000 and 8,000 police officers a year . . . in everything from hate crimes training to, much more typically, training in hate groups anddomestic terrorism.”
Even more alarming, someone can be classified as “hateful” even if they’ve never committed any crimes nor seem poised to do so in the future, but simply for expressing their “politically incorrect” opinion.
“The listings are not based on criminality or violence or any kind of estimate we’re making as to the potential of violence or criminal actions . . . [but] based strictly on ideology,” continued Potok.
Amazingly, Potok explained why “hate” is not defined by the SPLC.
“Part of the reason we don’t publish a definition . . . this is our opinion, this is our evaluation based, we think, on objective factors,” said Potok. He says this, even after admitting that the process is clearly subjective.
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