Donald Livingston, a philosophy professor at Atlanta-based Emory University and a former member of the pro-secessionist League of the South, which the SPLC lists as a hate group, called the SPLC report reminiscent of McCarthyism.
“The SPLC has a political agenda and they vilify people, that's what they do. There's very little in the way of an empirical examination of groups that might pose a threat to civil order,” he told The Christian Science Monitor. “There's almost nobody left in the Klan, so what they do is they find respectable groups or high-profile people and they say, 'X is linked to Y, who is linked to a hate group.' That's what McCarthy did."
The report's editor Mark Potuk, director of the center's Intelligence Project, told the Monitor that the SPLC doesn't try to squelch free speech.
“We're not in any way suggesting that these groups should be outlawed or free speech should be suppressed ... but it's a kind of calling out the liars, the demonizers, the propagandists,” he said.
♦ Security Management has left the hyperlinked text from the report intact so readers can follow the links the SPLC used to bolster its argument.
♦ Graphic by metoc/Flickr