News & Politics

White Nationalist Says His Relationship with SPLC Is 'Symbiotic'

Southern Poverty Law Center President Richard Cohen discusses a SPLC federal lawsuit against the Alabama Accountability Act during a press conference in Montgomery, Ala., Monday, Aug. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

On Wednesday, PJ Media’s Tyler O’Neil broke the story about an explosive new lawsuit against the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). While researching the claims in that lawsuit, he spoke with Will Williams, the current chairman of the white nationalist group the National Alliance (NA). Williams argued that the SPLC “needs” organizations like his, so they can profit off of demonizing them.

“It’s kind of symbiotic. The SPLC needs us and we kind of need them,” Williams told PJ Media on Wednesday. (He later clarified that the National Alliance “does not need SPLC,” save perhaps for some publicity.) He noted that the far-Left group consistently reports on his organization’s every move in an attempt to destroy its reputation — and boost the SPLC’s profile as a “hate group” watchdog.

The SPLC earned its reputation by taking the Ku Klux Klan to court, but its mission has expanded in recent decades. The organization claims to monitor the “radical Right,” along with racist groups. To its credit, the SPLC has included liberal anti-Semitic groups like Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam on its “hate group” list, but it also attacks mainstream conservative and Christian groups on that list, ranking them along with the KKK.

As for the National Alliance, Williams’ group traffics in conspiracy theories about secret Jewish control and advocates for white identity politics. NA’s late founder, William Pierce, wrote a book that may have inspired Timothy McVeigh in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing (although Pierce denied the connection). When Williams took over in 2014, the organization was in shambles, and it is constantly struggling, thanks in part to the SPLC’s attacks.

“People support us, but they’re scared spit-less that they’ll be on the list, that they’ll be doxxed,” Williams confided to PJ Media. He told a horror story about a young woman connected with NA whom the SPLC mercilessly attacked.

“They called the parents, asking if they knew who their daughter was having a relationship with. Then they call her employee, and then they call her grandmother,” Williams said.

“They want to get rid of us, where we don’t have jobs, where we don’t have careers, where we don’t even have family,” he said. “They want to destroy any organizations like ours.”

“We call it ‘lawfare,’ where they file civil suits, where they tie you up, cost you a lot of money, and try to wear you down,” Williams explained. “It cost me over $50,000.”

He said former employees who had been turned by the SPLC falsely accused him of murder, rape, embezzling, assault, and more. He was convicted of assault in August.

The SPLC has good reasons to attack Williams and the NA. In defending his ideas to PJ Media, the chairman favorably quoted Louis Farrakhan.

“You cannot have any connection to anything pro-white, that’s Nazi, that’s what they say,” he insisted. He rejected the idea that “we’re haters and Nazis and anti-Semites,” but then added, “I’m not anti-Semite. I’m like Farrakhan, I’m anti-termite.”

While the National Alliance has truly disgusting views, the SPLC’s business model relies upon suggesting that white nationalist groups like this one are somehow mainstream.

Williams recalled the SPLC reporting that an NA member was arrested while distributing white nationalist flyers. Glen Keith Allen, a Baltimore lawyer, is suing the SPLC for allegedly publishing and paying for confidential documents stolen from the NA.

Screeching headlines about “hate group” activities allow the SPLC to justify its existence, making the far-Left group oddly reliant on the existence of the very “hate” it aims to stamp out.

Should NA and other white nationalist groups fold, however, the SPLC has already expanded its “hate group” list to include: Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the Family Research Council (FRC), the Ruth Institute, D. James Kennedy Ministries, and many more. The far-Left group paid $3.375 million to settle a defamation lawsuit involving Maajid Nawaz, a Muslim reformer the SPLC branded an “anti-Islamic extremist.” This settlement encouraged about 60 organizations to consider separate defamation lawsuits.

The smear group has also artificially inflated “hate group” numbers, choosing to list each chapter of ACT for America (an organization dedicated to fighting the excesses of Sharia, Islamic law) separately and claim that “anti-Muslim hate groups” have expanded in the wake of Trump’s election.

The SPLC’s strategy has proven remarkably successful in the wake of the white nationalist riots in Charlottesville, Va. CNN published the group’s “hate map” — a document that inspired a terrorist attack in 2012 — Apple teamed up with the group, and Amazon exiled ADF and D. James Kennedy Ministries from its charity program Amazon Smile.

The “poverty” law center also has a tremendous amount of money. According to Charity Navigator, its net assets come to nearly $450 million. This does not include its Cayman Islands accounts, to which it transferred more than $4 million in 2015, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

The SPLC racks up its money and influence by salaciously reporting on white nationalist groups like the National Alliance (insinuating that these groups endorse violence, which many of them do not) and demonizing mainstream groups as if they were equally “hateful.”

Ironically, the far-Left smear group needs disgusting organizations like the National Alliance, as they provide the SPLC a reason for existence, and a basis with which to falsely smear more mainstream groups as hateful.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.