When Morris Dees spoke at the St. Paul Jewish Community Center back in the 1990’s, I walked out on him. He was ragging on George H.W. Bush at the time in an absurdly partisan and otherwise unfair manner. Even though he had drawn a relatively large crowd, he saw me leaving and commented on it. He seemed to take pleasure in it. I thought he was a gratingly obvious fraud.
Dees is the co-founder of the so-called Southern Poverty Law Center. The group’s name is as misleading as that of the Holy Roman Empire. It is a ridiculously wealthy left-wing hate cult operating in the guise of a civil rights organization. The organization now serves as a handmaiden to forces of the left as they seek to stigmatize honorable conservatives and confine our public discourse to channels and writers or speakers approved by them. Nice work if you can get it (and they get it).
The organization has now unceremoniously canned Dees. The Montgomery Advertiser has a good story on his firing here. I infer from the group’s public statement quoted by the Advertiser that Dees was found to have committed some kind of workplace harassment:
“As a civil rights organization [sic], the SPLC is committed to ensuring that the conduct of our staff reflects the mission of the organization and the values we hope to instill in the world,” [SPLC president Richard] Cohen said in the emailed statement. “When one of our own fails to meet those standards, no matter his or her role in the organization, we take it seriously and must take appropriate action.”
One can also draw inferences from this part of Cohen’s statement:
“Today we announced a number of immediate, concrete next steps we’re taking, including bringing in an outside organization to conduct a comprehensive assessment of our internal climate and workplace practices, to ensure that our talented staff is working in the environment that they deserve — one in which all voices are heard and all staff members are respected[.]”
The disgrace of Dees is long overdue but it’s not enough. The group should follow up by closing its doors and liquidating its assets for distribution to truly charitable organizations, which SPLC is not.
PAUL ADDS: Divorce documents often make for unpleasant reading. Dees’ are worse than unpleasant.