Not enough 'hate groups' to go around?

While California battles a water shortage, the Southern Poverty Law Center, which raises millions of dollars a year purporting to fight a rising tide of “hate groups,” apparently is running out of bogeymen.  The SPLC embarrassed itself earlier this year by placing Dr. Ben Carson on its “Extremist File” list, and then offering an unconvincing apology.

Matters have gotten so bad (that is to say good, in that there just aren’t that many hate groups out there) that Mark Pitcavage, director of investigative research at the Anti-Defamation League (another group fundraising off hate groups), has launched a little internecine warfare.  Watching the Watchdogs reports:

Mark Pitcavage of the ADL:

“According to Mark Pitcavage, director of investigative research at that Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the SPLC has a habit of counting single individuals as groups or chapters, which can give a skewed impression of hate groups in any given state.” [Emphasis added]

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s list is wildly inflated,” said Pitcavage. “They list skinhead groups in places where there are no organized groups, but instead it’s just a couple of individuals.” [Emphasis added]

Yow! We have to admit that while it is rewarding to see someone in Mr. Pitcavage’s position reaffirming what Watching the Watchdogshas been saying for years now, it’s a little unnerving to watch one Public Relations chief publicly de-panting another.

And if that were not weird enough, in the same article Mr. Potok pretty much admits that his “racist skinhead” numbers are crap:

“However, according to Potok, most racist skinheads aren’t part of any group, so the list is far from comprehensive.”

“Largely, it’s a bar and music scene,” he said. “In general, you do see, from time to time, some political plots, but most of the time it’s low-level interpersonal violence — infighting amongst themselves over women or drugs — or beating people up on the street.”

“By the time you’re 30, you’re aging out of it, by and large,” Potok later added. “You grow your hair out, even if you still have the same views.”

Comforting words, Mr. Potok, but you’re still pulling alleged groups out of your imagination to pad out your “Hate Map.”

What follows is an amusing tabulation of all the “hate groups” listed by the SPLC that have no known locations.  Read the whole thing.

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