Friday, August 04, 2006

SPLC Smears Colorado Town With False Ku Klux Klan Designation

The Southern Poverty Law Center is at it again (SPLC boss Morris Dees pictured at left). On the basis of a supposed "post office box", they've designated the town of Olathe, Colorado, as a "hate" town, placing a little white hood on their infamous hate map to designate the existence of a supposed KKK "chapter". Original story in the Denver Post.

She has lived here in the sweet-corn capital of the country for four years. She owns a business in town. Her customers are 90 percent Latino. But no white person has ever cursed her. No one has ever told her to go back to Mexico. She has seen and experienced nothing that she considers racism.

Only now, she won't take a walk at night. Nor will she let her name be published in the newspaper. She is afraid, and the source of her fear is the worst of all curses: You can't prove a negative.

On its national map of hate groups, the Southern Poverty Law Center has branded Olathe with a white hood. The law center says a Ku Klux Klan chapter exists in this tiny western Colorado town.

There's right-wing venom in the Uncompahgre Valley. A John Birch Society "Get the U.S. Out of the U.N." sign stands prominently on U.S. 50, the main road to Olathe. But if the Klan exists in or around town, it has all the potency of a eunuch on downers. "I've gone to school here," said Olathe Mayor Wayne Blair. "I live on property my grandfather bought in 1947. I've never seen anything like that."

Former Mayor John Harold has heard angry, bigoted comments about Mexican immigrants. Going from virtually all white - as Olathe was when Harold arrived in 1969 - to 35 percent Latino, "you're going to have an element rear its ugly, prejudiced head," Harold admitted. But as Harold, clad in coveralls, took a break from work in his corn cooler, he said, "I've seen no evidence of the KKK. I know everybody in the valley. My guess is someone would have said something."

If you have a hate group that no one knows about, that never demonstrates publicly and that law enforcement can tie to no crimes, do you have a hate group?

"There was a real post office box in 2005," said Southern Poverty Law Center spokesman Mark Potok. "Whether they (the KKK) have members there now, I don't know." Local and state police have no evidence of a KKK group in Olathe, except statements by Imperial Wizard Railton Loy and a Klan website (National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan). The supposed holder of the KKK P.O. Box - Brad Larsen - appears to be a pseudonym.

This has left local officials scrambling to prove a negative. That weighed on everyone as they geared up for this weekend's Corn Festival. Last year, it attracted 18,000 people.

Analysis: This perfectly illustrates the perfidy of the SPLC. They didn't even bother to conduct their own investigation, to call the mayor, police chief, or maybe visit the town itself. On the sole basis of an alleged entry on a website, they designated Olathe a Klan center, defaming and smearing the community. By the way, I checked the KKK website in question, and saw no contact information for Olathe, Colorado.

However, the SPLC is capable of much worse tactics, some of which I've discussed in previous posts. Recently, the SPLC addressed supposed "Aryan Nations" activity in Iraq while ignoring street gang activity. They also "stole" former Klan leader Jeff Berry's home through one of their infamous lawsuits. Back in May, I also discussed other forms of SPLC skullduggery, including a smear campaign against the Minutemen. On May 11th, 2006, Bill White, the editor of Libertarian Socialist News and the Commander of the brand new American National Socialist Workers Party (ANSWP), reported that the SPLC faked an e-mail between the Border Guardians and the now-moribund National Socialist Movement to make it appear that immigration reform groups were actively collaborating with "neo-Nazis" (the ANSWP also has a Yahoo discussion group).

The mayor of Olathe should consider a lawsuit against the SPLC to give them a taste of their own tactics. The SPLC's "Klan" designation could be actionable if it causes the town financial loss during their upcoming Corn Festival. However, they probably haven't the resources to pursue this well-heeled, crafty organization. Instead, Colorado's Governor should sic his Attorney General on them, as the state is better-equipped for this task financially. The SPLC cannot be allowed to continuously get away with their terroristic defamation and extortion strategy.

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