Monday, August 30, 2010

A lonely nut grinding an imaginary axe

The comment was left on the Minnesotans achieve “Intelligence Report” status post. I didn’t approve it, so it isn’t in the comment stream; I wanted to give it a place all by itself.


A crackdown on and labeling of all Americans? The Klan, white supremacy groups, the National Socialists (those loveable Nazis), nativists, gay bashers, and plain old garden variety racists, sure, but all Americans?

Please go to the Southern Poverty Law Center website, and just look at some of their recent activities:

Settlement Ends Louisiana Police Shooting Lawsuit

SPLC Files Suit Against Georgia Police Officers Who Beat Latino Man
SPLC’s New Anti-Bullying Film and Teaching Kit Now Available
SPLC Sues Mississippi Authorities, Hospital for Illegally Taking Immigrant's Newborn
Intelligence Report: Movement at Root of Recent Police Murders Growing
Guestworker Teachers Defrauded in International Labor Trafficking Scheme
Children with Disabilities Face Discrimination in New Orleans Schools
SPLC Files Suit After New Orleans First-Grader Handcuffed

That’s just on the front page.

You have a funny idea of “all Americans,” Dan.

The SPLC’s summer Intelligence Report, subtitled Meet the Patriots, is a virtual encyclopedia of right wing hate groups.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has brought many cases on behalf of minorities, the disenfranchised, and the poor. Here’s a docket of some of the more important cases it has brought.

Feidt’s comment is an insult — an ignorant, baseless insult — of a scrappy and courageous civil rights law firm that has done a lot of people a lot of good since it was founded in Birmingham, Alabama in 1971.

Feidt cites the fact that the Hutaree militia group was released on bail as proof of the “dodgy” character of the SPLC. The Hutaree militia was in fact on SLPC’s “watch list” of hate groups. But it is important to be mindful of a couple of things: the SPLC didn’t start the prosecutions, a United States Attorney in Michigan did. And those terrorism and conspiracy charges are still outstanding; the charges themselves have not been dismissed.

The SPLC wasn’t even in court, but it is ignorant and absurd to think — and again ignorant and foolish to write — that the charges were “laughed out of court.”

This comment has made me wonder whether Dan Feidt is just a lonely nut grinding an imaginary axe, or perhaps whether he is part of something at least a little more formally organized. A concerted effort to damage the SPLC is certainly not out of the questions; there have been threats against the organization before — and threats on Morris Dees’ life, too. I hope it’s the former, but I wouldn’t be surprised by the latter.

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