What should we make of the Southern Poverty Law Center, now that it has started labeling traditionalist and Christian groups as “hate groups?” Peter Wood of the National Association of Scholars offers an opinion.
The culture wars impinge ever closer on efforts to describe accurately and critique fairly American education. There is no avoiding this and no reason to run from it, but it is important to understand that SPLC is an active partisan in these matters. SPLC continues to benefit from a reputation as an honest arbiter of the character and motives of extremist groups in American life, but over the decades since its founding in 1971, it has devolved into a body that affixes that label to many mainstream groups simply because they espouse policy views at odds with progressive orthodoxy. Some thought SPLC hit bottom when it put the Family Research Council on its hate group list along with the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.