The Southern Poverty Law Center has reluctantly admitted that that its widely cited report titled “The Trump Effect: The Impact of the 2016 Presidential Election on Our Nation’s Schools” is missing some key data, Paul Sperry of the New York Post reported Monday. The SPLC sent a questionnaire to its 1.6 million mostly Democratic members and found that 40 percent of the more than 10,000 educators who responded to the survey “have heard derogatory language directed at students of color, Muslims, immigrants and people based on gender or sexual orientation.”
Among the “hate rhetoric” reportedly being hurled at minority students is the phrase “build the wall,” which the center counted people using in 467 “incidents of hate.” That gives you a pretty good idea of what these K-12 teachers and administrators (who subscribe to the SPLC’s “Teaching Tolerance” newsletter) consider pro-Trump “hate.”
But what the SPLC neglected to include in its report was the finding that “at least 2,000 educators around the country reported racist slurs and other derogatory language leveled against white students in the first days after Donald Trump was elected president.” That information would have interfered with the narrative that Trump-supporting white kids are harassing minorities at the nation’s schools.
And SPLC’s schools report, along with a broader report on alleged Trump-inspired hate crimes — “Ten Days After: Harassment and Intimidation in the Aftermath of the Election” — sparked breathless coverage in the New York Times, Washington Post and other major media.
The reports also triggered a statement Friday from the US Commission on Civil Rights, which expressed “deep concern” that “prejudice has reared its ugly head in public elementary and secondary schools.” The panel called for more federal funding to prosecute “hate crimes.”
But the SPLC didn’t present the whole story. The Montgomery, Ala.-based nonprofit self-censored results from a key question it asked educators — whether they agree or disagree with the following statement: “I have heard derogatory language or slurs about white students.”
Asked last week to provide the data, SPLC initially said it was having a hard time getting the information “from the researchers.” Pressed, SPLC spokeswoman Kirsten Bokenkamp finally revealed that “about 20 percent answered affirmatively to that question.”
Bokenkamp did not provide an explanation for the absence of such a substantial metric — at least 2,000 bias-related incidents against white students — from the report, which focuses instead on “anti-immigrant sentiment,” “anti-Muslim sentiment” and “slurs about students of color” related to the election.
“They left that result out because it would not fit their ideological narrative,” former Education Department civil rights attorney Hans Bader said. “It was deemed an inconvenient truth.”
Founded in 1971, SPLC claims to be a nonpartisan civil rights law firm. But it receives funding from leftist groups, including ones controlled by billionaire George Soros. And a review of Federal Election Commission records reveals that its board members have contributed more than $13,400 to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns.
Bader says SPLC has an agenda to derail the Trump administration before it starts.
“These flawed SPLC reports will be cited by left-wing special interests to try to block the confirmation of moderate and conservative people to posts such as attorney general by falsely making it look like America’s schools and streets are pervaded by bigotry,” Bader said.
Last week, SPLC held a press conference in Washington to demand Trump “reconsider” his picks for White House advisers and attorney general, and “disavow” his immigration policies.
SPLC President Richard Cohen has been trying to tie Trump to a number of “hate crimes” which he claims will “spike” once he’s inaugurated. The SPLC has recorded a 867 reports of alleged anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, and anti-black hate crimes since Trump’s Nov. 8 win.
But the SPLC acknowledges that it has not independently verified any of the claims. It collected most of them on its website, many anonymously.
The group won’t use its $315 million in assets to investigate the “hate crimes,” or at least help alleged victims file police reports or provide them counseling or other assistance, but it has offered “sympathy.”
“We wrote back to every submission that provided an email address to express sympathy and encourage them to report the incident to local authorities,” Bokenkamp said.
Bader pointed out that most of the anti-minority “hate crimes” and “hate incidents” cited by SPLC do not legally constitute hate crimes, and many involve constitutionally protected speech.
“It is simply ridiculous that SPLC treats ‘build the wall’ as hate rhetoric,” he said. The center counted people mentioning “build the wall” as 467 incidents of hate.
A man who was recently harassed and bullied by liberals for wearing a “Build the Wall” t-shirt at his neighborhood clubhouse in California can thank the execrable SPLC for the shabby way he was treated:
A number of the Trump-inspired “hate crimes” have already been exposed as hoaxes, but it’s nearly impossible to confirm or deny the veracity of the reports cited by the SPLC without actual evidence. As Sperry notes, there are surely legitimate cases of hate crimes against minorities that have been reported since Trump was elected. But hyping incidents before they have been verified is reckless and irresponsible. It “fans the flames of anxiety” among minority communities, and may even be contributing to the backlash against Trump supporters, who continue to be victims of actual violent hate crimes that are being ignored by the mainstream media.