There are dangerous hate groups in America. So a group called the Southern Poverty Law Center promises to warn us about them. They release an annual list of hate groups in America.
The media cover it, but John Stossel says they shouldn't. It's a scam.
The Southern Poverty Law Center lists Ayaan Hirsi Ali — who grew up Muslim in Somalia and suffered female genital mutilation — as an "anti-Muslim extremist." Just because she now speaks out against radical Islam.
They also list the conservative Family Research Council as a "hate group."
That listing led a man to go to the Council's office to try to gun down their workers. The shooter later told law enforcement that he picked the group because he saw they were on the Southern Poverty Law Center's hate map and he wanted to fight bigots.
Stossel disagrees with the Family Research Council on many issues. But he says they don't deserve to be called haters. The group's Executive Vice President, Jerry Boykin, tells him: "I don't hate gay people, and I know gay people, and I have worked with gay people."
Another group that the Southern Poverty Law Center smears is the Ruth Institute. The group argues that gays shouldn't have the same rights to adopt. But does that make them haters? No, says founder Jennifer Morse: "I have no problem with gay people. That's not the issue."
Other reporters, such as Megyn McArdle at Bloomberg, have also pointed out that the group is an odd fit for a "hate" list.
There are many non-hateful groups on the Southern Poverty Law Center's hate list. But Antifa, which clearly is a hate group, is not on the list.
The Southern Poverty Law Center wouldn't talk to Stossel about their listings. Stossel says screaming "hate!" brings in money.
Morris Dees, the Center's founder, pays himself nearly half a million dollars a year. Although Dees once promised that when the Center's endowment reached $50 million, he'd stop fundraising, he didn't stop. Now the Center has $320 million dollars stashed away -- much of it in the Cayman Islands. It's all in their tax returns.
Stossel notes that they still con people into giving them even more money. Apple gave them $1 million last year.
He says the Southern Poverty Law Center has become a hate group itself. It is now a left-wing, money grabbing, slander machine.
Produced by Maxim Lott. Edited by Joshua Swain.