‘Making hate pay’: NZ’s version of the SPLC is underway

NZ Herald journalist Matt Nippert is off on a moral crusade.
Photoshopped image credit: Pixy

This week President Trump protected free speech on university campuses but here in New Zealand the NZ Herald has teamed up with Canterbury University to stifle free speech and to strike fear into the heart of anyone who does not share their moral world view.

They have created a task force that will be the New Zealand version of the Southern Poverty Law Center. A group dedicated to looking for anything that it can label hateful in order to deplatform and destroy financially its targets. Think of it as a witch hunt with an Orwellian name. You have heard of the Ministry of Truth? Well, these witch hunters have called their label-and-smear team projectlovenz.

In two different articles this week, two American journalists previously employed by the Southern Poverty Law Center have lifted the covers on the organisation. quote.

[…] We were part of the con, and we knew it.
[…] the oppressive security regime, the hyperbolic fund-raising appeals, and the fact that, though the center claimed to be effective in fighting extremism, ?hate? always continued to be on the rise, more dangerous than ever, with each year?s report on hate groups. ?The S.P.L.C.?making hate pay,? we?d say.

[…]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; like most liberals, our view of the S.P.L.C. before we arrived had been shaped by its oft-cited listings of U.S. hate groups, its reputation for winning cases against the Ku Klux Klan and Aryan Nations, and its stream of direct-mail pleas for money to keep the good work going. The mailers, in particular, painted a vivid picture of a scrappy band of intrepid attorneys and hate-group monitors, working under constant threat of death to fight hatred and injustice in the deepest heart of Dixie.

When the S.P.L.C. hired me as a writer, in 2001, I figured I knew what to expect: long hours working with humble resources and a highly diverse bunch of super-dedicated colleagues. I felt self-righteous about the work before I?d even begun it.

The first surprise was the office itself. […] a massive modernist glass-and-steel structure that the social critic James Howard Kunstler would later liken to a ?Darth Vader building? that made social justice ?look despotic.?

It was a cold place inside, too. […] But nothing was more uncomfortable than the racial dynamic that quickly became apparent

?Everything feels so out of whack,? I said. ?Where are the lawyers? Where?s the diversity? What in God?s name is going on here??
?And you call yourself a journalist!? she said, laughing again. ?Clearly you didn?t do your research.?

In the decade or so before I?d arrived, the center?s reputation as a beacon of justice had taken some hits from reporters who?d peered behind the fa?ade.

[…]Ken Silverstein had revealed that the center had accumulated an endowment topping a hundred and twenty million dollars while paying lavish salaries to its highest-ranking staffers and spending far less than most nonprofit groups on the work that it claimed to do.

The great Southern journalist John Egerton, writing for The Progressive, had painted a damning portrait of Dees, the center?s longtime mastermind, as a ?super-salesman and master fundraiser? who viewed civil-rights work mainly as a marketing tool for bilking gullible Northern liberals.

[…]The work could be meaningful and gratifying. But it was hard, for many of us, not to feel like we?d become pawns in what was, in many respects, a highly profitable scam.

[…] The controversy erupted at a moment when the S.P.L.C. had never been more prominent, or more profitable. Donald Trump?s Presidency opened up a gusher of donations […]

The new money pushed the center?s?endowment past four hundred and fifty million dollars, which is more than the?total assets?of the American Civil Liberties Union, and it now employs an all-time high of around three hundred and fifty staffers. But none of that has slackened its constant drive for more money.

?If you?re outraged about the path President Trump is taking, I urge you to join us in the fight against the mainstreaming of hate,? a direct-mail appeal signed by Dees last year read. ?Please join our fight today with a gift of $25, $35, or $100 to help us. Working together, we can push back against these bigots.?

[…] the basic formula perfected in the eighties remained the same. The annual hate-group list, which in 2018 included a thousand and twenty organizations, both small and large, remains a valuable resource for journalists and a masterstroke of Dees?s marketing talents; every year, when the center publishes it, mainstream outlets write about the ?rising tide of hate? discovered by the S.P.L.C.?s researchers, and reporters frequently refer to the list when they write about the groups.

newyorker end quote.

NZ Herald journalist Matt Nippert may be hoping that this is a new gravy train and that the NZ Herald and Canterbury University will be able to find a way to make hate pay.

However, since funding will no doubt be tagged to effectiveness, they will be incentivised to locate and label hate where it does not exist. Much like a kangaroo extermination business in New Zealand, how will their business venture fare if they can’t find any genuine kangaroos in New Zealand to kill? Will they start shooting possums instead while telling us that they are the same thing? I suspect that they will.

An annual hate-group list is a valuable resource for journalists and a great way to get funding by promoting the lie that there is an increasing tide of hate in New Zealand.

Batten down the hatches, dear readers, as every christian organisation, every classical liberal, every conservative/right wing person and every group that stands up for free speech in New Zealand is now in the crosshairs of projectlovenz.

innocent people in the crosshairs