The Home Depot generally leans conservative. In 2018, The Home Depot Political Action Committee gave $1.3 million to Republicans and $742,680 to Democrats. 2ndVote, a right-leaning nonprofit that ranks companies by ideology, rates Home Depot between “neutral” and “leans conservative.” Yet the Home Depot Foundation partnered with the Georgia Center for Nonprofits in sponsoring a “diversity” resource hub that pushes the idea of systemic racism, supports the “1619 Project” curriculum, and endorses the accusation that mainstream conservative and Christian nonprofits are really “hate groups” to be listed alongside the Ku Klux Klan.
The Georgia Center for Nonprofits has launched a “resource hub” providing “Diversity, equity, and inclusiveness resources for nonprofits.” The Home Depot branding on the page is hardly subtle.
“Correcting systemic racism and unconscious bias can’t happen without practical solutions, sustained practice, and every one of us – in each organization and across the sector – working together. It’s our hope that the information we’ve curated here can contribute meaningfully to your own efforts and, ultimately, to sector-wide progress,” the hub web page explains.
The idea of “systemic racism” traces back to Marxist critical race theory. Critical race theory teaches that any racial disparities must ipso facto be proof of some hidden racial bias or discrimination, regardless of civil rights laws explicitly forbidding such discrimination.
Marxist critical race theory inspired much of the destruction of the Black Lives Matter and antifa riots over the summer. While protesters rightly expressed outrage at the treatment of George Floyd, many of the protests devolved into looting, vandalism, and arson in which lawless thugs — acting in the name of fighting racism — destroyed black lives, black livelihoods, and black monuments. Civil rights leader Robert Woodson has warned that “low-income blacks are the collateral damage” of the so-called”anti-racist” narrative.
The resource hub includes a link for “Training and Popular Education” that directs users to a Racial Equity Tools web page. That page links to articles and projects such as “Abolish Columbus Day: Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples: Resources and Tools” from the Zinn Project; a “Black Lives Matter at School” curriculum; a “Personal Privilege Profile” suggesting that white skin color gives people social “privilege;” and the curriculum based on The New York Times‘ “1619 Project.”
The 1619 Project has undergone a series of embarrassing corrections, revealing the fact that its central contention — that the arrival of the first slaves into what would become the United States in 1619 (which is not even the right date) represents America’s true founding, not the Declaration of Independence in 1776 — is patently false. Scholars have demanded that the Pulitzer board revoke the 1619 Project’s Pulitzer Prize due to the “glaring historical fallacy” at the project’s heart.
States across the country are considering laws to prevent public schools from using the 1619 Project curriculum, yet this Home Depot Foundation-sponsored resources hub indirectly endorses it.
Yet arguably the worst aspect of the Home Depot-sponsored resource hub involves the demonization of conservative and Christian organizations as “hate groups.” Under the heading marked “Data,” the web page links to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) “hate map” for Georgia.
This endorsement of the SPLC’s “hate map” should ring alarm bells for conservatives. The SPLC is notorious for branding mainstream conservative and Christian nonprofits “hate groups” and plotting them on a “hate map” with true hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan. The SPLC demonizes these organizations for disagreeing with its far-Left agenda, especially on issues like immigration, same-sex marriage, transgenderism, and radical Islam.
On Wednesday, the SPLC’s executive director apparently felt the need to insist that her organization “is not anti-Christian at all.”
In 2012, a deranged man targeted the conservative Christian nonprofit the Family Research Council (FRC) for a mass shooting, aiming to kill everyone in the building and place a Chick-fil-A sandwich by his victims’ heads. He told the FBI he targeted FRC because of the SPLC list. While the SPLC condemned the attack, it continues to place FRC on the map of “hate groups.”
As I reported both here at PJ Media and in my book Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the SPLC fired its co-founder, Morris Dees, amid a decades-long sexual harassment and racial discrimination scandal. After Dees was fired, former employees came forward, admitting their complicity in the “con.” The SPLC’s “hate group” list not only exaggerates the number of “hate groups” by listing defunct or essentially non-existent groups along with the KKK, but it also tars the reputations of law-abiding mainstream conservative and Christian organizations like the Family Research Council (FRC), Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), and ACT for America.
Former SPLC spokesman Mark Potok has declared that his organization’s “aim in life is to destroy these groups, completely destroy them.”
“You are able to destroy these groups sometimes by the things you publish,” Potok said. “It’s not so much that they will bring down the police or the federal agents on their head, it’s that you can sometimes so mortally embarrass these groups that they will be destroyed” (emphasis added). He essentially confessed to a long-running defamation smear campaign.
The SPLC has settled multiple defamation lawsuits. It paid $3.375 million to Muslim reformer Maajid Nawaz after it branded him an “anti-Islamic extremist.” The SPLC faces multiple defamation lawsuits, including one from D. James Kennedy Ministries, which sued the SPLC for branding it an “anti-LGBT hate group.”
Home Depot did not respond to multiple requests for comment regarding its sponsorship of this “resource hub.” PJ Media asked how Home Depot would respond to critics of critical race theory and to the SPLC’s many scandals, but the company did not deign to respond.
Sadly, many companies have embraced dangerous “woke” ideology, and the Home Depot Foundation is no exception. Even this right-leaning company’s foundation has given its seal of approval to the SPLC’s defamation and fundraising “hate group” scam — a smear campaign that inspired a terrorist attack.
Conservatives must speak out and demand answers from Home Depot.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.