Since 1971 the Southern Policy Law Center (SPLC) has fought racism and hate crimes in America, most notably in the Deep South. Particularly during its earlier years when its co-founder, Atlanta civil rights activist Julian Bond, was still involved, the SPLC achieved an admirable record in helping bring to justice those accused of racially based murders, lynchings, and beatings.
Forty years later the SPLC has evolved into the cash cow of the civil rights movement and behaves as though it were the left-wing equivalent of the John Birch Society, a right-wing, 1950’s anticommunist group which was certain that behind every bush was a card-carrying communist. Today anyone with whom the SPLC happens to disagree is assumed to be either a racist or guilty of a hate crime.
But in its zealous pursuit of alleged racists such as the League of the South or hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, the SPLC has completely overlooked the 900-pound gorilla, namely the United States Government. The American Empire is arguably the most racist empire of all-time which routinely engages in hate crimes and crimes against humanity on a scale heretofore unimaginable. The transgressions of the likes of the League of the South and the Ku Klux Klan pale in comparison to those of the White House, the Congress, the Pentagon, and the military industrial complex.
If the SPLC is really serious about confronting racism and hate crimes, then it should redirect the focus of its attention towards the leading perpetrators of such evil. Specifically, it should aim its big antiracist, anti hate crime propaganda guns at the following individuals and institutions:
Barack Obama. The bedrock on which American foreign policy rests is the war on terror launched by President George W. Bush shortly after 9/11. Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama now presides over its execution with almost religious like fervor. Let there be no doubt about it, the war on terror is thoroughly grounded in racism and hatred of Muslims. As Commander in Chief of the American War Team, otherwise known as the Pentagon, Obama vigorously promotes the use of drones, Navy Seals, Delta Force death squads, and so-called smart warfare. Smart warfare has been employed by the Obama war team in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. Syria and Iran are likely to be next on the President’s kill list.
If the SPLC is truly interested in stopping hate crimes, maybe it should start at the very top?
U.S. Congress. All of this military madness is made possible by the defense appropriations authorized by the U.S. Congress, a political body which operates under the absolute control of Wall Street, Corporate America, and the Israeli Lobby. The Congress not only enables a foreign policy based on full-spectrum dominance, imperial overstretch, and might-makes-right, but its members, from both sides of the aisle, are its principal cheerleaders. It willingly approves trillion dollar plus national security budgets which support 1.6 million American troops stationed in 1,000 military bases in 153 countries. The Empire, with the blessings of Congress, not only engages in racism and hate crimes worldwide, but in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Palestine (through its Israeli proxy), it actually practices genocide and ethnic cleansing, all under the guise of protecting freedom. And what has been the response of the SPLC to all of this? Hardly a whimper.
Hillary Clinton. Traditionally the role of the Secretary of State has been to serve as the chief diplomat of the U.S. Government encouraging good relations between the United States and the rest of the world. Apparently no one ever explained this to Hillary Clinton. She seems to spend most of her time flying around the globe trying to provoke wars with countries such as Libya, Iran, Syria, China, Pakistan, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela. Her aim appears to be to talk tougher and be more mean spirited than her predecessor Madeleine Albright.
Leon Panetta. As the leader of the American military machine, Leon Panetta understands very well that the Pentagon’s obscene budgets are unsustainable without the support of an electorate which truly believes in the threat of terrorism. He subtly but skillfully exploits this fear, and our compliant media goes along with the charade. It’s all about the fear of and hatred of Muslims.
David Petraeus. Not content with the role he played in the deaths of thousands of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, David Petraeus has now turned his attention to a more clandestine form of hate crime, namely that practiced by the Central Intelligence Agency.
Senator Bernie Sanders. Not unlike most other so-called political liberals in Congress, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has always “supported the troops” in Iraq and Afghanistan by voting to fund these nasty little wars. He always shows up at the Burlington Airport whenever Vermont National Guard troops are deployed overseas or return home. He is an unabashed apologist for Israel and its atrocities against the Palestinians. His cozy relationship with weapons of mass destruction manufacturer Sandia Corporation and Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defense contractor, have not gone unnoticed.
Wall Street. Just as Wall Street bankers played both ends against the middle during World War II by helping finance the war efforts of both the Nazis and the Allies, so too are they fully engaged in promoting and financing the war on terror worldwide. The term “hate crime” is not even in their vocabulary. It’s all about money, power, and greed.
Corporate America. Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, IBM, and General Electric are but a handful of the major corporations who provide the equipment and military hardware to support the Empire’s crimes against humanity. They provide the high tech killing machines to wage the war on terrorism against Islam.
Israel. In spite of its economic and military might, there is one exception to American exceptionalism. And that is tiny Israel. In the eyes of the US government, only Israel stands above the United Nations, the World Court, international law, and global public opinion. It is free to inflict harm on any of its neighbors anytime it feels inclined to do so, regardless of the consequences, and regardless of the validity of its rationale for aggression. To Israel the Empire pledges its unconditional economic and military support.
Whatever Israel wants from the United States, Israel usually gets. Israel has supported the war on terror against Muslims, two wars against Iraq, and the NATO attack on Libya. And since it is the “exceptional” nation in the Middle East only Israel is entitled to have nuclear weapons, and thus Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons project must be taken out.
National Guard. The fifty state National Guard units are essentially teams of trained killers on call awaiting orders from Washington to travel anywhere in the world to kill or be killed in the name of the Empire.
R.O.T.C. Nearly ever university in the country now has an R.O.T.C. program. In R.O.T.C. future military officers are trained in the art and science of warfare. To motivate young cadets to kill on behalf of the State, college R.O.T.C. programs must instill in them some combination of fear, hatred, and patriotism. How is it possible that some of our most prestigious universities have allowed themselves to be used to legitimize crimes against humanity? Why should universities be given a free pass by hate crime police?
Military Academies. And, of course, West Point, Annapolis, and the Air Force Academy are more of the same.
With its sophisticated legal team, CIA-like tactics, and penchant for media attention, the Southern Poverty Law Center is uniquely qualified to confront the White House, Congress, the Pentagon, Wall Street, Israel, and the Academy on their racism, hate crimes, and crimes against humanity. As the nation’s foremost hate crime police force, the SPLC could help raise the level of awareness of ordinary American citizens as to the evils perpetrated by our government and our corporations in the name of freedom.
Lastly, the SPLC could initiate impeachment proceedings against some of our fearless leaders.
One can only hope and pray that SPLC will rise to the challenge!
Thomas H. Naylor
July 11, 2012
Founder of the Second Vermont Republic and Professor Emeritus of Economics at Duke University; co-author ofAffluenza, Downsizing the USA, and The Search for Meaning.
This entry is filed under Essays.