The Reckoning of Morris Dees and the SPLC
May 20, 2019
Stephen Bright, a Yale law professor and former director of the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, told the Times that SPLC’s fundraising is “fraudulent,” and called Dees a “flimflam man and he’s managed to flimflam his way along for many years raising money by telling people about the Ku Klux Klan and hate groups,” he said. “He sort of goes to whatever will sell and has, of course, brought in millions and millions and millions of dollars.”
The flim-flam man’s career is officially over, and Moser offers a few insights that open with an amusing but telling vignette:
I’ve been thinking about the jokes my S.P.L.C. colleagues and I used to tell to keep ourselves sane. Walking to lunch past the center’s Maya Lin-designed memorial to civil-rights martyrs, we’d cast a glance at the inscription from Martin Luther King, Jr., etched into the black marble — “Until justice rolls down like waters”— and intone, in our deepest voices, “Until justice rolls down like dollars.” The Law Center had a way of turning idealists into cynics.
Working in a building that “made social justice ‘look despotic,’” the earnest young leftist quickly learned that fighting hate involved a lot of hypocrisy and a lot more money.