Fascinating goings-on at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) this week.
It seems that Morris Dees, the groups co-founder and, for many years, its most visible spokesperson, has summarily been fired from the organization.
Now why would the SPLC fire its 82 year old co-founder?
Uh…would you believe #metoo? And a culture of racism within the organization???
While you’re reattaching your jaw to your face, please read the following excerpts from Josh Moon’s article at alreporter.com:
The Southern Poverty Law Center on Thursday announced that it had fired Morris Dees, the center’s co-founder and long-time public face of the civil rights organization, amid undisclosed allegations that Dees failed to meet the standards of the SPLC.
A statement sent by SPLC president Richard Cohen alluded to issues within the organization that made for a working environment that was lacking in “truth, justice, equity and inclusion.”.
The spark that ignited the near-mutiny at SPLC appears to have been the resignation of senior attorney Meredith Horton, and an email she sent to senior leadership. That email noted the hardships women and employees of color faced at SPLC. It was forwarded by Cohen to all staff with a message that there would be a commitment within SPLC to address those concerns.
An email signed by numerous SPLC employees followed shortly thereafter and made numerous demands. It also laid bare many of the problems that employees have faced over the years.
Specifically, the employees’ email alleged multiple instances of sexual harassment by Dees, and it alleges that reports of his conduct were ignored or covered up by SPLC leadership. A subsequent letter from other SPLC employees demands an investigation into the alleged coverup of Dees’ alleged harassment.
The emails noted that multiple female SPLC employees had resigned over the years due to the harassment and/or the subsequent retaliation by SPLC leadership when they reported the incidents.
Wow, and double-wow. An organization ostensibly committed to racial and gender equality is rife with racial and gender equality? And one of the key offenders is its co-founder?
Mr. Dees, not surprisingly, denies the charges. And, of course, we will never know for sure whether his denials are valid or just smoke.
But if you’re into irony, the fact that this issue exists at all is probably a major attention-getter for you.
Incidentally, as a matter of disclosure, I was a member of/contributor to the SPLC for years. But I left it quite a while ago, as it drifted further from being a significant civil rights organization that fought – often very successfully – for racial equality, to a partisan political organization.