Leftist 'Hate Map' Brands Conservatives 'Haters' For Opposing Wokeness

News Image By Tyler O'Neil/Daily Signal June 12, 2024
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Wokeness is impossible to escape. Everywhere you turn, you see rainbow flags, Black Lives Matter signs, or calls for "diversity and inclusion." Companies force DEI trainings on staff. FBI agents march in Pride parades. Teachers tell kids in school that they are oppressors or oppressed based on their skin color. Target stores sell transgender swimsuits and Bud Light teams up with a grown man who acts like a little girl. Even Buzz Lightyear and "Star Wars" have gone woke.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration is falling all over itself to push transgender pronouns, to promote drag queens, and to celebrate Pride--even on Easter Sunday!

It's enough to drive anyone with common sense up a wall. Yet when Americans dare to say, "Enough!" they find themselves branded "authoritarian" for wanting a moment's peace.

If you don't get on board with woke, you oppose "democracy." You're a bigot, a racist, or a Christian nationalist.

Where does this insane idea come from? It comes from the spin masters at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The SPLC has long demonized mainstream conservative and Christian nonprofits by putting them on a map with Ku Klux Klan chapters. It updates this "hate map" annually with a "Year in Hate and Extremism" report for the previous year. On Tuesday, it published the report for 2023.

That report reads like a dispatch from a "Handmaid's Tale" dystopia, where evil white Christian jackbooted thugs have seized control of the government and are forcing everyone to adopt their propaganda. The report is so divorced from reality, it would be downright hilarious if so much of the legacy media, corporate America, the Democrats, and the Department of Justice didn't take it deadly seriously.

In a classic case of projection, the SPLC report warns that the Right is trying to take control of the culture and erase the poor persecuted left-wing minority groups while the SPLC covers for the woke movement, which has already seized the commanding heights of American culture and is straining to silence dissent. It calls conservative efforts "ethnocide" (the erasure of an ethnic group's culture, akin to genocide), and "Christian supremacy."

Back at home in the real world, the woke elites have already taken control of the culture and worked to dismantle America's heritage. Christians, Jews, and even atheists who hold beliefs about the world and America that used to be the norm find themselves living in what feels like a different country--nay, a different world.


Woke ideology has seeped into the education system at an alarming pace.

Critical race theory, or CRT--a lens by which teachers tell white students they are oppressors and black students they are oppressed in a "systemically racist" America--amounts to a new form of "anti-racist" discrimination on the basis of race.

Transgender ideology teaches kids that males can become female and vice versa, encouraging experimental medical interventions while ignoring the horrific toll that "gender-affirming care" takes on young bodies.

Yet for the spin masters at the SPLC, efforts to weaken the suffocating grasp of woke ideology on America's institutions amount to cultural tyranny. To them, commonsense Americans' campaign against critical race theory and transgender ideology in schools is a form of oppression, while "drag queen story hour" is a symbol of "freedom" and is important for "democracy."

The "Year in Hate and Extremism" includes a long section demonizing parental rights groups and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for "ethnocide through authoritarianism." That section compares Florida's efforts to prevent discrimination (what else do you call shaming students for the color of their skin?) to the "forced acculturation" of Native Americans in previous eras. It suggests parental rights groups and DeSantis are trying to "control a man's thinking" to make minority groups more subservient.

Another section raises the alarm about school choice, suggesting that it is a secret "Dominionist Christian" plot to take over society.

The SPLC warns against "dominionism," the idea that "only Christians ... have the right to control government and all influential posts in society and culture."

"The goal of much of this theology is to strip government of functions such as education and welfare and ... reserve those for churches," the SPLC warns. It claims "dominionists" want to "siphon off public funds and put them in the hands of a reactionary minority."

The SPLC strains to connect its attack on school choice to racial segregation. It warns that dominionism aims "to fulfill a decades-old dream, begun when segregated schools were ruled unconstitutional, to keep education shackled to a narrow, authoritarian version of Christianity."

So, parents who are fed up with the woke takeover of public education, who want to find schools that won't indoctrinate their kids into CRT and transgender orthodoxy, and who want the education dollars they pay in taxes to follow their children when they leave this woke school system are pushing a form of segregationist "authoritarianism?"

If anyone is "authoritarian" in this situation, it's the leftist activists who subverted the public school system in the first place, not the parents who want another option.

Religious Freedom

The SPLC report also demonizes efforts to defend religious freedom.

The "Year in Hate" goes out of its way to attack House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., mostly for his previous work with the Christian law firm Alliance Defending Freedom. The SPLC claims that ADF "often pits Christians unfairly against LGBTQ+ people in a legal gambit to undermine nondiscrimination laws through claims of 'religious freedom.'"

In reality, ADF's most famous client, Christian baker Jack Phillips, will gladly sell cakes to anyone, but he refuses to craft custom cakes to celebrate same-sex weddings because he believes marriage is between one man and one woman. Colorado's government used a "nondiscrimination" law to punish him for this, and ADF sued on his behalf. ADF did not "unfairly" pit anyone against anyone. LGBTQ activists are constantly demonizing conservative Christians and attempting to silence them. The SPLC demonizes ADF for pushing back.

Shoring up the Deep State

The SPLC report also condemns an effort to restrain the federal bureaucracy, which has acted like a "deep state" under former President Donald Trump and under President Joe Biden. Bureaucrats bragged about opposing Trump from within, and many officials have openly complained about Biden's support for Israel during the war in Gaza.

Project 2025, a coalition of more than 100 commonsense and conservative organizations led by my former employer, The Heritage Foundation, aims to rein in the administrative state and make it more accountable to the people's elected president, as the Constitution envisions. The SPLC faults the coalition for working with "at least nine hate and antigovernment groups with strong ties to the Republican Party," singling out mainstream conservative organizations that the SPLC has repeatedly attacked: ADF, the Center for Immigration Studies, and Moms for Liberty.

"The coalition's 'Mandate for Leadership' [a manual for the next conservative president containing policy recommendations for reforming federal agencies] characterizes Christianity as under threat and frames some policy recommendations as part of a 'Judeo-Christian tradition,'" the SPLC notes. "It also calls for staffing the federal bureaucracy with ideologues recruited with the assistance of many partner groups."

The SPLC suggests that Christianity is not under threat, that the Judeo-Christian tradition does not undergird American freedom, and that the federal bureaucracy has not already been flooded with ideologues--and the SPLC is completely wrong on all three counts. The organization and its allies are the very people threatening conservative Christianity, demonizing the Judeo-Christian tradition, and seeding the administrative state with left-wing activists.

When conservatives launch a plan to counter this influence and restore sanity to the situation, the SPLC cries foul.


Perhaps the most galling aspect of the SPLC's report involves antisemitism, however.

The SPLC admits that "antisemitism on college campuses" is a "legitimate issue," yet it does not condemn any group for harassing Jews on campus. It does not mention the anti-Israel agitators at the New York college Cooper Union who locked Jewish students inside a library while shouting, "Free Palestine!" It does not mention the anti-Israel demonstrator who physically blocked a Jewish student from walking on the University of California, Los Angeles, campus.

Instead, the report states that "a faux hypersensitivity toward antisemitism was particularly visible among right-wing media and politicians in the United States as they utilized the legitimate issue of antisemitism on college campuses to disingenuously further an attack on higher education."

Almost as an afterthought, the SPLC notes that colleges should "review and revise their policies," before it moves on to condemning the conservatives who call out antisemitism.

These "accusers need to acknowledge their own ties to antisemitic narratives before accusing others," the scolding SPLC intones. "Certain politicians targeting education overlook their associations with groups like Moms for Liberty, which has a chapter that quoted Hitler, and entities like PragerU, known for promoting right-wing ideas and neglecting the realities of slavery and indigenous peoples in American history, and fostering a pro-white Protestant narrative that emboldens extremist groups."

In other words, conservatives can't criticize anti-Israel rioters for antisemitism because one Moms for Liberty chapter quoted Hitler--never mind that the chapter was quoting Hitler ironically to demonstrate how the woke Left took over education. Conservatives can't speak up about Jews getting harassed because they might agree with PragerU, which presents Judeo-Christian heritage as a good thing. Oh, horrors!

The SPLC also warned, "The upcoming election year will likely witness a continued use of George Soros as an antisemitic trope to symbolize the existence of the 'deep state.'"

Never mind that George Soros, a Hungarian American hedge fund billionaire of Jewish heritage, bankrolls a broad swath of the modern Left and is largely responsible for the "Rogue Prosecutor" movement that helps elect left-wing local prosecutors who refuse to prosecute most crimes, all in the name of racial equity. Never mind that his son, Alex Soros, who has now taken the reins at his father's Open Society Foundations, is providing free political advice to Democrats in opposing Trump.

Ignore all that and remember: It is the height of "antisemitism" to suggest that George Soros may be impacting our political system!

Of course, the SPLC doesn't just defend Soros out of the goodness of its heart. It has financially benefited from Soros' Foundation to Promote Open Society, which gave the SPLC a $75,000 grant in 2016.

Rather than addressing the antisemitism on college campuses, the SPLC weaponizes the issue against conservatives and defends its political allies.

'White Supremacy'

Longtime readers know that I almost always bring up a few points when writing on the SPLC. First, my book, "Making Hate Pay," documents how the SPLC became the far-left smear factory it is today. It took its "hate map"--a fundraising tool masquerading as a report on white supremacist terror networks left over from the Ku Klux Klan--and weaponized it to demonize conservatives. Second, both my book and my reporting illustrate how the SPLC is notoriously unreliable, and a court is actively considering defamation claims against the center.

The latest SPLC report once again demonstrates that the "hate map" smears mainstream conservative and Christian organizations by associating them with the Klan. The SPLC spells out that association in black and white in the report's introduction: "The Southern Poverty Law Center's preeminent 'Year in Hate' report provides a comprehensive analysis of the organizational infrastructure--the groups--upholding white supremacy in the United States."

In short, if you disagree with the SPLC's agenda, you're part of the "white supremacy" nexus supporting "ethnocide," "Christian supremacy," "authoritarianism," and whatever new term we can think of to make you seem nefarious.

The only way to escape these epithets, you see, is to get with the all-of-government, all-of-society woke CRT transgender program, which isn't authoritarian at all.

Originally published at The Daily Signal

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