Morris Dees: “Civil Rights” Hustler

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I must say that I was not surprised to learn that Western has invited Morris Dees, founder and chief counsel of the “Southern Poverty Law Center”, and “civil rights leader”, to speak here on the Hill Thursday.

After all, last year we were treated to words of wisdom from Marxist radical and erstwhile “black power” militant Angela Davis, once implicated in the murder of a Federal judge during the 60’s if I’m not mistaken.

Had he not given WKU the proverbial shaft, we would also have been graced by the presence of arch-race baiter and “civil rights” hustler Al Sharpton.

So, given the nature of those that have been invited to speak here during my short tenure as a WKU student, it surprises me little that the school would invite what some have called “the white Jesse Jackson.”

Dees and his SPLC organization claim to be champions of “tolerance” and “civil rights” and such, but it seems that Dees is mostly a champion of fundraising, the majority of which is not ever used on so-called “civil rights” oriented activities.

In 1999, for example, the SPLC took in a reported $ 44 million from fundraising and stock investments. Only $ 13 million was used on “civil rights” programs that year. Dees’ former associate, anti-capital punishment lawyer Millard Farmer has called Dees “the Jim and Tammy Faye Baker of the civil rights movement.” Dees himself reportedly receives some $ 273,000 a year in “compensations”, and the SPLC is said to have some $ 120 million in its treasury, making the SPLC the richest “civil rights” organization. Such would seem to put the lie to the notion that Dees and the SPLC really know much about poverty.

Dees and co. make much of their money stoking fears of so-called “hate groups” and exacerbating existing racial tensions. Despite the fact that any extant Klan groups are a tiny fragment of the historical Klan, Dees still uses such tiny groups as evidence of “domestic terrorism and hate” to drum up donations to the SPLC,case in point, his sensationalistic “Klan Watch”. Dees and the SPLC made millions in donations from the well publicized legal decision against a Klan faction, the actual plaintiff in the case only received $ 51,874.70.

Any occurrence of a so-called “hate crime” typically spurs the SPLC to start wailing about “intolerance” and “hatred” with outstretched palms.

Although such “hate crimes” are oft blamed on SPLC-designated “hate groups”, it is nearly always individuals acting on their own that commit the much publicized “hate crimes” that the SPLC so loves to exploit. Apparently accuracy matters not to Morris Dees, not good for business after all.

I encourage the WKU student body to go hear Dees’ speech; after all it’s probably our money that will be used to “compensate” Dees for his time and words of inspiration anyway. I will be there myself. I also encourage students to take what Dees says with one giant grain of salt, given the nature of the man and his organization. Don’t take my word for it though. Find out for yourself.

Finally to the WKU administration: If you are willing to invite leftist extremists such as Angela Davis, and race-baiters like Al Sharpton and Morris Dees to speak here, why not those from the other end of the political spectrum for the true “diversity” of opinion so touted these days?

Zack Cummins

Fredonia junior