Written by Alex Newman
The far-left Southern Poverty Law Center thinks a whole race of people, American Indians, are “weak.” In a bizarre rant laced with multiple factual errors, the increasingly discredited group also theorizes about and purports to expose a vast “anti-Indian” conspiracy. But it strategically omits what is arguably the story's most important fact: The target of the SPLC's vitriol is actually an American Indian herself, married to a direct descendant of Sacajawea. Oops!
The fact that the SPLC was targeting an Indian could not have escaped the attention of the entity, long denounced as an “anti-Christian hate group” by prominent Christian and conservative organizations. That means that the outfit, which styles itself a “civil-rights” group despite being lambasted as a money-making scam by actual civil-rights leaders, was deliberately deceiving readers of its “Intelligence Report.” This is the same pseudo-“intelligence” that the radical group uses in its efforts to deceive gullible law-enforcement officials across America into viewing mainstream Americans as “extreme.”
The latest SPLC screed, written by Ryan Lenz and published online this week, blasts imaginary “anti-Indian activists” over their concerns about deeply controversial programs such as United Nations Agenda 21. To understand just how controversial this UN “sustainability” scheme is, it is worth mentioning that the state legislature in Alabama, where the SPLC's widely ridiculed “Poverty Palace” headquarters is located, voted to ban Agenda 21 in a bi-partisan law supported by every elected representative, including all Democrats. By definition, that puts the SPLC's views radically outside the mainstream.
The SPLC, though, apparently unfamiliar with the definition of the term “conspiracy theory,” regularly denounces concerns over the UN scheme as a “conspiracy theory.” Despite its tax exemption, it lashes out in a blatantly partisan manner at the Republican National Committee, too, for adopting a resolution denouncing the UN agenda as a “destructive and insidious scheme” aimed at imposing a “socialist/communist redistribution of wealth.” The SPLC report refers to that, inaccurately, as a “conspiracy theory.” For the correct definition of those words, just consult any dictionary.
Ironically, though, the SPLC hit piece, in addition to misusing basic English words, also makes highly controversial racist and collectivist claims. The European-descent propagandist claims, for example, that American Indians are “weak” and “marginalized,” as if all Americans of native ancestry were just one giant collective mass of helpless, marginalized weaklings. Most Indians would likely take offense at being characterized as “weak” based solely on their race. The piece then goes on to denounce the imaginary “anti-Indian movement” for speaking out in favor of “equality” using “the language of the civil rights movement.” Seriously. Anyone can verify the SPLC's contradictory and extremist ramblings by reading the article.
The primary “anti-Indian activist” targeted by the SPLC's propaganda is Elaine Willman, described by the SPLC as the “silver-haired matriarch of the movement.” In the whole 1,500-plus word “intelligence” report, however, the author fails to mention that the “anti-Indian” leader — the “matriarch” of the whole “anti-Indian movement,” apparently — is actually an Indian of Cherokee ancestry. Oops! Her husband is also an American Indian, and is, in fact, a direct descendant of Sacajawea, arguably America's most famous Indian. Double oops!
In addition to being an Indian, Willman is an activist in favor of equal rights without regard to race, and the author of the book Going to Pieces: The Dismantling of the United States of America. For years, she has been exposing and fighting the fact that federally funded tribal governments are being exploited and used to advance a radical agenda that harms both Indians and non-Indians alike. The SPLC, though, takes issue with those efforts. Among other attacks, Lenz blasts a speech Willman gave in Montana in which she outlined the fact that UN “indigenous peoples” schemes, including a radical UN treaty that if interpreted literally would purport to require that non-Indian Americans surrender virtually every acre of land in the United States, were being incorporated into regulations by the Obama administration.
The New American reached out to Willman to get her response to the SPLC propaganda. At first, she smiled, noting that she was happy to see the SPLC spreading the facts and making her arguments about the dangers to America more widely known. “Actually their ‘hit' pieces advance our information and positions more widely and I appreciate that,” she explained. “The only distinction is that these smears pepper their information with foul names like 'anti-Indian, racist, bigot, radical, insurgents,' etc. When one removes the name-calling, the articles are a pretty good reflection of my positions, of which I have every right and duty to hold.”
However, Willman was also concerned with a number of major factual errors made in the SPLC report. For one, while it is true that she serves on the board of the Citizens Equal Rights Alliance (CERA), which fights for equal rights without regard to race, Willman said it was inaccurate to characterize her comments and opinions as reflective of the national organization. “No matter how often I make this clear distinction in writing, videos or oral presentations, folks like Montana Human Rights Network, Charles Tanner, and Southern Poverty Law Center write as though I speak for CERA,” she said. “I absolutely do not.”
Willman also pointed to other factual errors in the SPLC report, including, among others, a quote from the self-styled “Montana Human Rights Network” that claims existing water rights in Montana will be protected under an agreement. “This is a bald-faced lie, unless the 'protection' is exclusively for tribal use,” said Willman, who is working on an advanced degree in U.S. Indian policy and is one of the nation's leading experts on the subject. Separately, Willman blasted as a “huge lie” the false claim that Concerned Citizens of Western Montana had raised money to pay for her recent move to Montana. The SPLC did not cite a source for its false claim.
“Perhaps it’s proof of the adage, 'you must be directly over the target if you’re taking that much flak',” Willman said about the SPLC attack against her and others. “I embrace the flak as the right of other citizens to have a different point of view; I find it unnecessary and beneath me to smear back!”
Another factual error in the SPLC report concerns Debbie Bacigalupi, a California activist and rancher who is attacked for speaking out against Agenda 21. “Debbie Bacigalupi, a California activist who gave a presentation on the topic in Montana, has described Agenda 21 as 'communistic history in the remaking … but in America' and 'a demonically inspired dynamic',” the SPLC reported, falsely it turns out. In fact, even the fringe left-wing groups cited by the SPLC, which have a track record of falsehoods, got it right, when they attributed the second quote to another activist concerned about Agenda 21.
The New American also reached out to Bacigalupi, who has also been targeted by other far-left groups and journalists, to get her thoughts on the SPLC's fact-error filled “intelligence” report. She called it “laughable” to see writers such as Lenz and those he quoted insist that UN Agenda 21 or sustainable development was a “conspiracy theory” — especially when anyone can find the federal, state, and local policies associated with them, or even the UN document itself. “I actually feel bad for how delusional or deceitful some, who get paid to pen, are; how far they will go to spread rumors and mistruths using highly funded internet and print media to dupe the public,” she said. “It’s abusive.” They never bothered to contact her for the facts, she said.
Blasting their “mean spirit and cruel actions,” though, Bacigalupi said she had been motivated to find out who her accusers were. “Thankfully, for most of us the truth matters,” she said. “Thus, with the full armor of God on my side, my research turned on them. I connected the dots to the same big family-tree-of-corruption I’ve seen so many times before of the United Nations, NGOs and/or Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist-Communist Party USA groups. Wow, what excitement to realize their hit pieces are an awesome badge of honor…. I mean seriously, I’m a nobody … and what an honor to have big names targeting me and validating my research.”
Also smeared in the SPLC report was The John Birch Society, an affiliate of this magazine dubbed “chief” of the “Patriot groups” by SPLC, for allegedly having “once accused President Dwight D. Eisenhower of being a Communist agent.” Of course, that is another factual error, as the constitutionalist education group did no such thing. In a statement to The New American, though, JBS public relations chief Bill Hahn noted that Willman was correct, and the SPLC was doing what it always does.
“Leave it to the SPLC to take a topic that has the potential to touch every single American and twist it to fit one of its fundraising agenda items,” Hahn said. “They attach the tag of conspiracy theory to it, but the definition of a conspiracy must include secrecy. Thanks largely to The John Birch Society that element of secrecy is blown out of the water. UN officials are on the defense regarding Agenda 21, even to the point of changing web pages to mask which cities are members of its environmental initiative. But you won’t see the SPLC address this as it does not move their donors to fill its filthy coffers. Willman is right when she talks about a 'movement to just tear down the fabric of this country.' The SPLC certainly has been doing its part.”
The far-left outfit is increasingly going off the deep end. Most recently, it claimed, again in an example of naked partisanship despite its tax exemption, that GOP presidential candidates were spreading the message of “hate groups.” For perspective, the SPLC uses the label as a weapon to foment hate against mainstream Christian organizations such as the American Family Association, which calls the SPLC a bigoted anti-Christian hate group, and the Family Research Council, which was recently attacked by a hateful terrorist (now convicted) who admitted to being inspired by the SPLC's hate propaganda. Most recently, the group labeled the mainstream Center for Security Policy as a “hate group,” too, for warning about jihad terrorism.
Speaking of terror, the SPLC appears to have lots of love for confessed terrorists, provided they are of the correct ideology. For example, on its “Teaching Tolerance” website, used to indoctrinate children at government schools with race-mongering and extremism, the radical SPLC promotes confessed communist terrorist Bill Ayers as a “highly respected figure.” The terror leader founded the Castro-backed terrorist group Weather Underground, which, in addition to murdering police officers and bombing multiple federal facilities, had dreams of interning and executing millions of “counter-revolutionary” Americans after overthrowing the nation, according to the FBI agent who infiltrated the terror group.
Ominously, though, the Obama administration is working with the SPLC to create a new terror czar position that aims to persecute Christians, conservatives, libertarians, constitutionalists, and other Americans the SPLC hates. But that may not be surprising — Obama launched his political career in the home of communist terrorist Ayers, who has a big fan club at the SPLC. It should be concerning to everyone.
Numerous high-profile left-wing leaders have vehemently denounced the SPLC and its founder, and in recent years, the group has become increasingly discredited. Just last year, the SPLC further discredited itself by concocting a paranoid conspiracy theory about an alleged vast right-wing conspiracy that exists to promote conspiracy theories. Seriously. With its most recent deceptive report on the alleged “anti-Indian” movement, which lies both by omission and by using brazen factual errors, the SPLC appears to have lost any remaining ounce of credibility it may have had.
It is time for Congress to find out just what sort of relationship this radical and deceptive hate group has formed with the Obama administration — and to shut it down before the chilling effect on free speech and the exercise of other rights becomes an even bigger problem. American taxpayers deserve better.