The $PLC Massacre—Purging Pro-Palestinians?
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On June 12, in a shocking development, the Southern Poverty Law Center ($PLC to announced it was laying off 60 employees, one quarter of its staff, and, in an apparent change of direction, closing some entire operations. My inspection of its financial reports reveals no recent funding shortfall (unfortunately). So what is going on?

The $PLC has acquired a very articulate union, which posted a long and vitriolic denunciation thread on Twitter:

Amongst the 13 follow-up posts were

Functionally eliminating the Learning for Justice department leaves educators, students, and caregivers without resources and support in building curricula and orienting classrooms toward justice work

The layoffs of all 16 staff in the Southern Immigrant Freedom Initiative and its office closure will decimate free legal representation to detained immigrants across Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi.

With nearly a billion dollar endowment and Huang earning $500,000 per year, how does abandoning SPLC’s commitments help advance the human rights of all people? Are these the actions of an organization fighting for racial justice in the deep South?


As of this writing, Google News has picked up no reports of this event in the Regime Media. Their extreme interest in and reverence for the SPLC has been put on hold. No doubt they are waiting to be told the Party Line.

Neither has the SPLC deigned to put up a statement on its Press Center website page.

But members of the Dissident Right Media quickly took note. Perhaps the most informative discussion is MELTDOWN: SPLC Terminates a Quarter of Staff, ‘Decimates’ 3 Departments, Union Claims, by Tyler O’Neil, The Daily Signal, June 13, 2024.

O’Neil has the advantage of having written Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. This book’s Amazon accurately says

The Southern Poverty Law Center … has… contributed to a climate of fear and hostility in America. Hotels, web platforms, and credit card companies have blacklisted law-abiding Americans because the SPLC disagrees with their political views … Corporate America, Big Tech, government, and the media are wrong to take the SPLC’s disingenuous tactics at face value.

I must admit this book flew under my radar screen. I plan to buy it: SPLC-watching is getting interesting again.

O’Neil’s account brings one up to date on this curious organization. Among other tidbits

In the wake of the Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel, the SPLC remained silent. The SPLC Union released a statement before the SPLC did, and the union expressed “solidarity with the Palestinian people,” condemning Israel for “the violent imperialist desecration of a people—the beginnings of a genocide.” 

…When the SPLC finally did release a statement about the Oct. 7 attacks, it falsely accused Israel of targeting Palestinian children in Gaza for airstrikes. [Links in original]

This is highly significant.

As Editor Peter Brimelow recounted in The Speech That Launched An SPLC "Hate" Honor, was anathematized by the SPLC in early 2004.

The impact was immediate. Despite there being in those days very few effective spokesmen for patriotic immigration reform, Regime Media inquiries abruptly stopped, as did major Talk Radio invitations.

The SPLC was thus allowed to determine the scope of debate. They have continuously abused this power to harm the Historic American Nation.

In 2009, after an earlier effort, I finally did a deep dive into the $SPLC’s finances: Good News: SPLC loses $50 Million. Bad news: $PLC can afford it.

What I found astonished me. Running huge surpluses from what Peter Brimelow called in his article cited above “a shakedown scam that preys on the elderly, Holocaust-haunted rich,” the SPLC had created for itself what it misleadingly calls an “Endowment Fund.” Normally in charities, this would mean a legally established capital fund from which only the income can be drawn. But the use of the SPLC’s endowment is entirely at the whim of the Directors.

And, instead of being held in convenient liquid form, the great bulk of the assets of the “Endowment Fund” have been committed to hedge funds, private equity managers, and other strange instruments, generally illiquid and in some cases hard to value (like President Trump’s real estate holdings). As of October 31, 2023, 89.6% of the “Endowment Fund” was in this category.

I also discovered (I believe I was the first) that the SPLC has a Cayman Islands bank account. Why a tax-exempt foundation needs banking facilities in a tax haven continues to mystify me.

Turning to their most recent accounts, their Audited Financial Statements of October 31, 2023 [PDF] and their IRS Form 990 [PDF] of the same date, we find:

  • The $PLC had $7.9 million in cash on October 31
  • Their so-called “Endowment Fund” was valued at $662 million then—87.8% of their total assets.
  • They still have a Cayman Islands bank account.
  • They took in no less than $110.9 million from the public in the year.

As I said in a later discussion of this strange phenomenon:

The Southern Poverty Law Center has effectively turned itself into a "Fund of Funds." These are entities that exist to divide resources between a selection of hedge funds, which they monitor… [the SPLC] is really a financial institution with a comparatively small public interest litigation annex attached.

Is The Southern Poverty Law Center ($PLC) The Next Financial Bubble?

Exactly why the SPLC management is going to all this trouble is difficult to see. Perhaps they enjoy running money, but actually benefiting personally from a capital pool lodged in a 501(c)(3) is not easy.

In Will The Southern Poverty Law (And Investing) Center Return Its Madoff Money?, I wondered

So what is the $PLC's mad scramble for enrichment all about?

Does the controlling clique at the Center one day intend to throw off its mask, let fundraising wither, and draw out massive salaries with minimal activity—a pattern not unknown in foundations with inherited endowments?

President Margaret Huang’s action is shutting down marquee programs like the Learning for Justice department and the Southern Immigrant Freedom Initiative, which provided free legal representation to detained immigrants across Georgia, Louisiana' and Mississippi, certainly does suggest a loss of commitment.

Huang, right, was only imported in April 2020, after still unexplained scandals forced the eviction of cofounder Morris Dees and President Richard Cohen. She has absolutely no institutional history with the SPLC and quite possibly no institutional loyalty. Being Chinese may also reduce her interest in black/white conflict.

Furthermore, in note 14 of the financial statements, I read

On December 7, 2023, the Center closed on a 2.5 acre parcel located in Atlanta, Georgia amounting to $10,200,000…The establishment will be the site of the Center’s future Atlanta office.

If the land cost $10.2 million, the whole project must be several times that: big, even for the $PLC. I suspect Huang, who, although raised in East Tennessee' has spent her adult life mainly in New York and Washington, is planning to move the whole outfit from hick Montgomery to cool Atlanta.

And yet, and yet… why was such a wholesale and embarrassing butchery needed?

I think Tyler O’Neil may have uncovered the reason. Since the Hamas October 7 attack, the Left has been falling into civil war. Surprisingly fierce pro-Palestinian forces have activated. These include apparently the SPLC Union.

But it turns out that the “elderly Holocaust-haunted rich,” or more to the point their even richer descendants, have no intention of extending to this faction the political tolerance long claimed for Leftist demonstrators generally.

This is a huge problem for the SPLC because it has long drawn much of its funding from these people (and the entities they influence).

I think, besides the $PLC management’s probable wish to lead a quieter and more elegant life, this was a Stalin-style Purge of Left Deviationists. In fact, it was an act of terrorism. The Union lost five stewards and their “Chair.” Perhaps the departments liquidated were particular strongholds of forbidden opinion.  

For as long as the $PLC remains in Montgomery, this puts the remaining employees in a stressful situation. There are not many communist think tanks in Montgomery.

Many critics have long believed that the SPLC, notwithstanding its pretensions, is simply an instrument for Jewish ethnic interests.

This weekend, more unemployed Montgomery residents may be newly willing to agree.

Email Patrick Cleburne.

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