British Muslim reformer Maajid Nawaz complained after it defamed him and hurt fund-raising for his organization. It’s now paying him more than $3 million
Any free society must expect that a certain number of chancers, hucksters, and shake-down artists will prosper among them. But rarely have they come in so grossly endowed and shameless a guise as the “Southern Poverty Law Center.”
The SPLC was founded in the 1970s, and back then it did some respectable campaigning work to target and shut down — through legal means — actually racist organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan. All well and good, and the SPLC can still be applauded for this work. And yet students of non-profits and charities worldwide will be familiar with a certain tendency in this field, which is that such organizations rarely shut themselves down. Or, to put it another way, a charity set up to cure a disease may find a cure for that disease and yet strangely also find some reasons to continue. For of course salaries and pensions are at stake. Comfortable halos have been created. Who would want to divest themselves of the gold and glory that comes from such a sinecure? And so the charity will become, for instance, a charity to help people who once suffered from the disease that has now been cured.
So it is — though in far worse form — with the KKK and the SPLC. Of course as the KKK dwindled to an all but negligible fringe, the SPLC could not afford to bask in its victories. There was still…