The highly controversial Southern Poverty Law Center is scheduled to hold continuing education training for Wisconsin law enforcement officers at the Chippewa Valley Technical College. The college doesn’t advertise Southern Poverty Law Center’s involvement on their website, but a brochure of the event posted online says the group will be responsible for the event.
A leftwing organization, the Southern Poverty Law Center lists some mainstream politically conservative organizations side-by-side with neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and remnants of the Klu Klux Klan. Among their listed hate groups in Wisconsin is the Northwoods Patriots, a conservative grassroots group led by a former Republican candidate for state Senate.
When a gunman opened fire in the offices of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. in 2012, he subsequently told investigators that his rampage was inspired by a Southern Poverty Law Center declaration that the conservative Family Research Council was a hate group in the mold of a neo-Nazi organization.
While some of the groups designated as “hate groups” by SPLC are in fact hate groups, by conflating hate groups with political opponents, the SPLC has discredited itself. Foreign Policy Magazine looked at what groups like SPLC do and concluded the, “problem is that the SPLC and the ADL are not objective purveyors of data.”
State Rep. Chris Danou, a Democrat, made news last year when he called two politically conservative groups in Wisconsin “hate groups” because of the work of the SPLC.