60 layoffs show the SPLC has overplayed its hand. Will the rest of the left learn from it?

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One of the most notorious far-left groups in the nation just handed 60 employees their pink slips.

It’s not the first time the Southern Poverty Law Center has seen a mass exodus from its workforce, but this round of layoffs may signal an important shift in the political winds just as the national election cycle begins to heat up.

As an erstwhile staffer claimed on X, formerly known as Twitter, the SPLC’s recent downsizing comes even while the non-profit is ‘hoarding’ over $1 billion of donor funds in reserves. While that assertion dwarfs much more reliable reporting tabbing the number just north of $160 million, what would appear to be a gross exaggeration actually provides a perfect window to understand the shell game the SPLC has been playing on the American people for the last four decades.

After all, exaggeration and outright lies have been the common currency at the SPLC for decades.

After gaining a reputation for successfully bringing to an end what was left of the Ku Klux Klan through lawsuits in the early 1980s, the SPLC shifted into full-time fundraising mode under its co-founder, Morris Dees.

A member of the Direct Marketing Association’s Hall of Fame, Dees was unceremoniously booted from the SPLC in 2019 while longtime president Richard Cohen resigned in disgrace amid swirling allegations of racism and sexism at company headquarters—a lavish facility employees have dubbed ‘The Poverty Palace.’

And don’t kid yourself into thinking that anything has changed. In 2021, one ex-SPLC staff member wrote at The Daily Beast that even the follow-up efforts to address this toxic culture were designed to ‘protect the reputation of SPLC and not to enact or recommend changes that would benefit staff—changes that were desperately needed.’

Apparently sniffing out the fact that the con was on decades earlier, the entire legal department resigned in protest. This was a group that could read the writing on the wall. As one former employee, Bob Moser, put it in a 2019 article for The New Yorker, ‘It was hard, for many of us, not to feel like we’d become pawns in what was, in many respects, a highly profitable scam.’

Of course, pawns only have value if they can remove an opponent’s pieces from the board. The key to that goal has been the SPLC’s absurd ‘Hate Map,’ which for years has lumped together KKK holdouts with mainstream conservatives and conservative organizations—including my employer, Alliance Defending Freedom—in a blatant attempt to push us to the margins of American life.

That hasn’t slowed us down. Since 2011, ADF has been blessed to argue and win 15 cases at the U.S. Supreme Court and hundreds more in lower courts. As the high court was deciding one of those cases, protecting donor privacy, the SPLC launched its ‘Hate Free Philanthropy’ campaign, which gives a not-too-subtle go at bypassing the ruling by urging private companies to dox our donors anyway.

Tellingly, the SPLC’s round of layoffs comes just days after releasing its annual update to the laughable ‘hate group’ document, which one federal judge—an Obama appointee—deemed ‘entirely subjective.’ Included on the list were grassroots parental rights groups like Moms for Liberty and physician groups who oppose experimenting with transgender medical interventions like cross-sex puberty hormones on children.

That’s wildly out of step with most of the country. Polling reported by The Washington Post shows that most Americans agree with the position of doctors on the SPLC’s hate list that the law should protect minors from harmful puberty-blocking regimens.

Meanwhile, the SPLC’s animus toward peaceful, religious Americans prompted the Federal Bureau of Investigation to issue a field memo targeting Roman Catholics who celebrate the Latin Mass. The blowback caused the FBI to retract the memo and spurred a congressional investigation.

The SPLC has overplayed its hand with the American people. Disagreement is not discrimination or hate. We’re tired of seeing our neighbors slandered as bigots and bullied from polite society simply because they have the nerve to say what everyone else is thinking.

The only question remains: Will the political left more broadly learn this lesson, or will it be left to ex-SPLC staffers to think things over in the unemployment line?

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