The Southern Poverty Law Center uses its hate map to put conservatives in the same category as extremist groups like the Ku Klux Klan.
In some cases, people are fired and de-platformed for the label given by SPLC — which they essentially acknowledge is a matter of opinion. In some cases, violent assaults appear to have been triggered by these designations.
Until now, attempts to hold the SPLC accountable for alleged defamation have failed – one lawsuit is on track to change that.
D.A. King founded the Dustin Inman Society, which was named after a sixteen-year-old boy who lost his life to an illegal alien.
The group was initially not branded as a hate group by the SPLC. In 2011, then head of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project Heidi Beirich, conceded “because he is fighting, working on his legislation through the political process, that is not something we can quibble with, whether we like the law or not.”
This changed in 2018 — when the society was given the “hate group” designation.
King said the change was made within days of them registering as active lobbyists on immigration-related legislation in the Georgia Capitol.
He filed a lawsuit against the SPLC.
Front Page Mag reported on the lawsuit (09/08/22):
The complaint notes the past history of violent assaults triggered by SPLC hate group designations and hate map listings including the Family Resource Council terrorist attack. The complaint demonstrates the sloppiness that the SPLC is known for by listing a series of basic factual errors about the year when the Dustin Inman Society was incorporated, where King was employed and what year he got involved in activism against the illegal alien crisis.
The Southern Poverty Law Center either knew that the Dustin Inman Society did not meet its own definition of ‘hate group’ and maliciously published the designation anyway or was so grossly incompetent and reckless as to be malicious in publishing the designation without doing any due dillegence as they repeatedly hold out to the public.
The SPLC’s response essentially acknowledged that its hate group labels are a matter of opinion and cited a previous judicial ruling arguing that King had failed to allege facts plausibly demonstrating, by clear and convincing evidence, that SPLC subjectively knew that its characterization of DIS was false.
The Southern Poverty Law Center wants its smears to be treated as facts. And companies fire people, Big Tech monopolies deplatform organizations, including the David Horowitz Freedom Center, based on those smears. The SPLC provides training to law enforcement and politicians use its lists as a basis for government action. Guidestar, a non-profit information source, at one point added SPLC ‘flags’ on organizations that it had listed as hate groups. That goes beyond merely offering opinions. And yet when cornered, the SPLC’s lawyers counter that it’s just offering “constitutionally protected opinions” no different than any pundit.
Now, the SPLC’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit has been denied.
The ruling allows the lawsuit to head to the discovery phase.
On Friday, however, a federal judge denied the SPLC’s motion to dismiss a defamation lawsuit, allowing the case to proceed.
The lawsuit also lists a plethora of statements the SPLC has made about the society, which King claims to be blatant falsehoods. Among other things, the SPLC has claimed the Dustin Inman Society was incorporated in 2003, when King in fact founded it in 2005; it has claimed that the DIS was previously known as the American Resistance Foundation; it has claimed that King worked on immigration issues since the 1990s, although he did not become interested in the issues until 2003; and it claimed King worked for the Georgia Coalition of Immigration Reduction in the 1990s, which he claims to be false.
King is seeking a trial, compensatory damages, punitive damages, and a permanent injunction ordering the SPLC to remove its accusations and issue a public retraction and apology.
While a judge dismissed a previous version of King’s lawsuit without prejudice in March 2022, the society’s president filed a new lawsuit in June. Judge W. Keith Watkins denied the SPLC’s motion to dismiss the new lawsuit on Friday. The judge’s ruling allows the lawsuit to proceed to the discovery phase, in which the society can demand the SPLC hand over documents to prove its case and the SPLC can demand society documents to defend itself.
Here is the ruling:
A massive win for conservatives!
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