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Potok/ABC: White Hate Groups Thriving

Another press release from Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Huffington Post, via ABC News.

(Note: the headline at the top of the page when you access this story online reads: Obama’s Safety: Hate Groups Thrive Amidst Town Hall Health Care Debates – ABC News):

Fear for Obama’s Safety Grows as Hate Groups Thrive on Racial Backlash

Violent Signs, Gun, Standoff Latest in Emerging Anger Towards the President

By BRIAN ROSS, ANNA SCHECTER and MEGAN CHUCHMACH

August 14, 2009— Experts who track hate groups across the U.S. are growing increasingly concerned over violent rhetoric targeted at President Obama, especially as the debate over health care intensifies and a pattern of threats emerges

"I don’t think these are simply people who are mentally ill or off their rocker," Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, told ABC News of those behind the threats. "In a very real sense they represent a genuine reaction, a genuine backlash against Obama."

Experts say a sharp growth in so-called militia groups that helped spawn a wave of domestic terrorism in the 1990s, and are now using YouTube, rock music and the Internet to recruit members and spread hate and fear – shouldn’t be ignored.

"It’s certainly a scary time," said former FBI agent Brad Garrett, now an ABC News consultant. Garrett said the Secret Service "cannot afford to pass on anyone," and he believes "they really do fear that something could happen to [Obama]."

Garrett said statements like one recently made by controversial radio host Rush Limbaugh comparing a logo for the White House plan to a Nazi symbol "legitimizes people who are on the edge to go do something or say something."

"And if you go and take a look at this, you will find that the Obama health care logo is damn close to a Nazi swastika logo," Limbaugh said.

Later, someone painted a swastika outside the office of Congressman David Scott of Georgia, one of Obama’s supporters.

While officials told ABC News that the President’s daily threat matrix has yet to reflect a sharp increase in threats, White House officials privately admit deep concern and have told the Secret Service to keep security tight, even if Obama objects.

"I think the president has, in effect, triggered fears amongst fairly large numbers of white people in this country that they are somehow losing their country, that the battle is lost," Potok told ABC News. "The nation that their Christian white forefathers created has somehow been taken from them."

As we posted just two days ago (and several dozen times previously), the head of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s ‘Intelligence Project’ and Huffington Post correspondent Mark Potok is the source of all of these hate crime stories, and he has been for years.

Much of this latest article has been dutifully spouted almost word for word in literally dozens of articles generated by Mr. Potok over the months since Mr. Obama decided to run for office.

They only differ in citing contemporary details to make the stories seem fresh. But they are ultimately the same claims Mr. Potok has been making from the start.

We have previously discussed a few of Mr. Potok’s articles in the media here at S&L:

CBS: Shooting Proves Rise Of Hate Groups

Recession Is Fueling Rightwing Extremism

Now CNN Says Hate Groups Are Growing

White Supremacists Still Not On The Rise

WP: Bad Economy May Fuel Hate Groups

AP: Obama Gets Most Death Threats Ever

Another Fantasy On The Rise Of Hate Sites

Still No ‘Explosion’ In (White) Hate Sites

WP Makes Up Hate Site ‘Explosion’ Story

If you click on some of them you will see the familiar thread.

You will also note that when Mr. Potok does not simply make things up out of whole cloth, he pretends to believe those who tell him what he wants to hear.

For instance, in many of the above linked articles, Mr. Potok bases his claims of massive growth of hate sites on the reports those who run various racist sites on the internet. And he pretends that their claims are factual.

But as we have noted time and again, these claims of dramatic growth at (white) hate sites are simply and demonstrably untrue.

According to the internet traffic monitor Alexa, the page views at Mr. Potok’s favorite site, Stormfront, have remained remarkably steady:

Similarly, the numbers at another site regularly cited by Mr. Potok, the National Socialist Movement NSM88, are also not quite exploding:

Nor is there any perceptible growth at another favorite page of Mr. Potok’s, ‘the official site’ of the Ku Klux Klan:

But such details never seem to stop Mr. Potok from crying ‘wolf.’ After all, he is a professional fear monger.

Nor will they keep our media watchdogs from reporting his tireless ravings as if they had any basis in reality.

They have their jobs to do, too.

And speaking of jobs, according to the Southern Policy Center (a 501c3 “charity”) 990 forms as reported, they received $33,526,228 in 2007. The same form reports that their net assets or fund balances in 2007 were $219,551,849.

It occurs to us the Southern Poverty Law Center could do a lot for poverty by spreading their wealth around.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, August 14th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

18 Responses to “Potok/ABC: White Hate Groups Thriving”

  1. TwilightZoned

    Hmmm…makes you wonder if Potok had anything to do with ‘THE watch list’ we’ve all heard so much about and has recently has been debunked.

    “…director of the Intelligence Project…” Now there’s an oxymoron with this guy.

  2. rakkasan

    Also, any spikes in the (very small) numbers are likely driven by media accounts of said websites.

  3. bronzeprofessor

    Normally I would blow off the SPLC’s histrionics as irrelevant, but sadly, this storyline is chilling free speech everywhere. Several people I know have had their Facebook accounts blocked or canceled because somebody deemed their critiques of the President as dangerous.

    • catie

      Bobby, there was an article earlier this year about the “dangerous right wingers, including military vets, pro-lifers, etc” and this guy was quoted throughout the article. I wondered who he was and suddenly he started popping up like dandelions all of the sudden.
      I’m no longer on Facebook myself as my account was canceled by them. I’m not really sure why though.

  4. bronzeprofessor

    Here’s another piece that’s relevant:

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0.....latestnews

    A black guy in Mississippi posed as an anti-Obama racist and posted hate speech on Facebook, then got caught.

  5. Right of the People

    I think you will find the majority of people don’t care about Barry’s heritage as much as his asinine policies and plans for the destruction of our country. Red, yellow, black, white, brown, beige or green, I don’t care what color he is, he just needs to go.

  6. Helena

    And speaking of jobs, according to the Southern Policy Center (a 501c3 “charity”) 990 forms as reported, they received $33,526,228 in 2007. The same form reports that their net assets or fund balances in 2007 were $219,551,849.

    It occurs to us the Southern Poverty Law Center could do a lot for poverty by spreading their wealth around.

    That’s an awful lot of moola. So, are they giving scholarships or job training or subsidizing job training or internships at least? They could bankroll 50,000 families a year and still have enough to pay Mr. Potok a handsome salary.

  7. conant

    I have long concluded that the SPLC was just another bunch of progressives getting fat off the poverty biz, but that aside-Why would a true right wing racist want any harm to come to OUR DEAR LEADER when every day he gets up and presents new proof of what affirmative actions programs and socialism produce?

  8. Yarddog1

    Here in Montgomery this group lacks any real respect and are rather unimportant in the scheme of things. I don’t really understand where exactly it is they get all that money. I’ll bet a big chunk of it begins as our tax dollars. They are simply another group of race baiters spreading their own brand of hate so that they can stay in business. But I have news for the SPLC – Whites do not have a monopoly on hate. The real hate here comes from the Black community towards Whites. Blacks do not want equality, they desire supremacy so that they can make us pay for something that happened long ago. It is really a shame because this attitude does nothing more than impede the progress of the Black community. And it is groups like SPLC that perpetuates this travesty.

  9. Liberals Demise

    What is with these 501c3 Charity groups that have war chests larger than most Third World Nations and continue to build their monies off the taxpayers. Then they proceed to undermine the very principles that make them what they are.

    This is a classic example of why the American people are up in arms. For too long we have sat back and watched the crazies and their ilk run amok and bitch and moan about this and that. The minority was getting away with telling the majority what to do! When we are done with this HealthScare we need to weed out the 501c3 leeches and eliminate their tax status. This frees up the moneys their will get from Uncle Sugar and send the cockroaches back into the dark!!
    Out of sight…..out of mind!!

  10. philmarlowe

    What is the deal with this guy? He looks like a character out of a Lovecraft story.

  11. pdsand

    Soooo,
    Either you believe Ms. Pelosi and we’re astroturf, or you believe Mr. Potok and we’re a genuine backlash against Obama, but it’s only because we’re racists.

    This would wring a tear out of a bronze bust of Joseph Stalin.

    • JohnMG

      But it brings a smile to my face, because obviously we’re really pissing them off, and we scarcely had to do anything but be ourselves.

      They’re only now beginning to feel what we’ve experienced for far too long now. And they can’t deal with it. Funny!

  12. canary

    Obama admits he think different races of people will always be meanacing, alien and always apart. (some of the statements are in his book
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

    Obama 2001 speech. Punish white suburban people, necessary for his salvation. Redristube the wealth
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

    and his best buddy Bill Ayers calling himself the anti-Christ. I wonder what Ayers thinks of Obama now.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SqsrsnGPr0

  13. GL0120

    This announcement from the SPLC is no different than one of the many “Research” groups announces that Coffee, Saccharin, etc,. causes cancer.
    They must find some headline grabbing problem in order to keep their funding flowing.
    If the groups don’t find the problems that they were organized to study, they’d cease to exist.
    Then again, that would be a true service to mankind!

  14. canary

    The SPLC is committing fraud to get more funding. They didn’t mention growing Mexican and Black protest groups, nor their growing gangs, such as the increase of Rapper gang killings. Obama has really been giving the signal to minorities it’s okay to lie, cheat, defraud, do drugs (Since Obama did it, it’s more cool than ever, and you can still be slick and sneaky enough become rich).

  15. MinnesotaRush

    Hell .. for $219,551,849.00 I’d say the sky is falling, too. I’d say I had a black father and was born in Kenya. I’d say __________________ (fill in the blank).




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