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The king of the hate business

The king of the hate business

The sun is dipping low in the evening sky over the Republican Party as the Other Leading Brand. A mere 21 percent of the adult population identify themselves as Republicans. Sen. Arlen Specter sees the writing on the wall. He prefers to make his sixth senatorial run under the ample Democratic banner, rather than get mangled in the tiny shark tank of a Republican primary attended only by people who want to see the country run by Limbaugh and Hannity. With Franken certified, Specter crossing the aisle and Biden in reserve, the Democrats can no longer hide behind the excuse of a Republican filibuster. They’ll figure out a way, no doubt, but it could be embarrassing. It’s also horrible news for people who raise money and make money selling the notion there’s a right resurgence out there in the hinterland with massed legions of haters, ready to march down Main Street draped in Klan robes, a copy of Mein Kampf tucked under one arm and a Bible under the other. What is the arch-salesman of hate mongering, Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center, going to do now? Ever since 1971, US Postal Service mailbags have bulged with his fundraising letters, scaring dollars out of the pockets of trembling liberals aghast at his lurid depictions of hatesodden America, in dire need of legal confrontation by the SPLC. Nine years ago, Ken Silverstein wrote a devastating commentary on Dees and the SPLC in Harper’s, dissecting a typical swatch of Dees’ solicitations.At that time, as Silverstein pointed out, the SPLC was “the wealthiest civil rights group in America,” with $120 million in assets. As of October 2008, the net assets of the SPLC were $170.2 million. The merchant of hate himself, Dees, was paid an annual $273,132 as chief trial counsel and the SPLC’s president and CEO, Richard Cohen, $290,193. Total revenue in 2007 was $44.7 million and program expenses $20.8 million. In other words, the Southern Poverty Law Center was raising twice as much as it was spending on its proclaimed mission. Fundraising and administrative expenses accounted for $9 million, leaving $14 million to be put in the center’s vast asset portfolio. But where are the haters? That hardy old standby, the KKK, despite the SPLC’s predictable howls about an uptick in its chapters, is a moth-eaten and depleted troupe, at least 10 percent of them on the government payroll as informants for the FBI. As Noel Ignatiev once remarked in his book Race Traitor, there isn’t a public school in any county in the USA that doesn’t represent a menace to blacks a thousand times more potent than that offered by the KKK, just as there aren’t many such schools that probably haven’t been propositioned by DeesContinued on page 24

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