Until now, I have had no quarrel with the Southern Poverty Law Center.
However, to put Michael Boldin at the Tenth Amendment Center and my friend Jason Rink (Foundation for a Free Society) on the Hatewatch list is... is... well, there is no word to convey just how ridiculous this is. The Hatewatch site also watches "anti-government" and militia sites, and is associating the TAC and Mr. Rink with them.
I have always been careful about the people I associate with in the liberty movement -- and there is no question in my mind that neither of them deserve this kind of treatment. They are not racists, and they have never advocated overthrow of the United States government by any means. To my knowledge, neither Mr. Boldin nor Mr. Rink are even secessionist.
The SPLC's modus operandi seems to be to find people with whom they disagree and to contrive a series of arguments and guilt-by-association tricks to persuade their followers that such people are dangerous racists or neo-Nazis.
I agree that some organizations on the Hatewatch list do indeed need to be watched. The SPLC likes to deride the John Birch Society for looking for Communists behind every bush, while ignoring the fact that they themselves are desperately searching for racists behind every bush. But to go after people who seek to change our country through lawful and peaceful means suggests that the SPLC is pursuing an agenda that is not limited to identifying hate groups, and the way they link those who favor lawful means to nullify federal laws to highly marginal militia groups ought to expose them to a libel suit. Or at least draw some hard questions from contributors who are concerned with the genuine hate groups.
Update May 3: Jason Rink comments with wit and style in The Liberty Voice.