Letter to the editor: SPLC is honorable

To the editor:

Having been a member of the Southern Poverty Law Center (formerly the Southern Poverty Leadership Council) for decades, it is amazing to me that columnist Marc Thiessen could possibly describe the SPLC as “losing credibility” because of one example of changing circumstances. (One individual who was a former Islamic radical and had been listed by SPLC on its List of Extremists had changed his tune and brought a lawsuit, which he won.)

The SPLC quarterly reports, as well as its publications, “Teaching Tolerance” and “Intelligence Report,” have documented thousands of dangerous extremists and hate groups that threaten communities all over this country, resulting in many criminal indictments. People should go to Montgomery, Ala., like I did in 2005, and rub their hands over the names of the civil rights martyrs on the Civil Rights Memorial at SPLC Headquarters, just two blocks from the Alabama State Capitol, where Gov. George Wallace stood on the steps and preached his racism. You would be one block from Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was pastor during the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955-56. And today, the Southern Poverty Law Center often stands alone as a bulwark and a safeguard against all those who encourage violence and seek to take away the freedoms our ancestors have fought for!


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