|Washington Times Editorial -- March 30, 2014
Something called the Southern Poverty Law Center sounds like a harmless do-good organization of idealistic young lawyers out to make life better for poor folks in the South, most of them likely black. Who wouldn’t want to make life better for poor folks?
But looks can be deceiving. The poverty law center, known by its initials SPLC, is actually a money-making scheme --- some have called it a “scam” --- of an Alabama lawyer who set out years ago to get rich on the backs of the poor and the duped.
The lawyer, Morris Dees, once defended Ku Klux Klansmen accused of beating up a black reporter covering the Freedom Riders, later raised money for George Wallace and then for George McGovern, and one day had an epiphany, or at least a profitable idea.
“I felt the anger of a black person for the first time,” he later said of that case, “I vowed then and there that nobody would ever again doubt where I stood.”
Where he stood was a place where he could parlay the good will of the unsuspecting into great riches. Mr. Dees and a partner, Millard Fuller, practiced law and ran a direct-marketing business. He made a good living, but he wanted to get rich.
“Morris and I.... shared the overriding purpose of making a pile of money,” the partner once told Harper’s magazine. “We were not particular about how we did it. We just wanted to be independently rich.” [...]
The director of the Atlanta-based Southern Center for Human Rights, which defends poor defendants in death-penalty cases, once told Mr. Dees he was “a fraud and a con man” because of “your failure to respond to the most desperate needs of the poor and powerless despite your millions upon millions, your fundraising techniques, and the fact that you spend so much, accomplish so little, and promote yourself so shamelessly.”... ABP Note: We were stunned when we read about the sexual deviancy of Morris Dees in this Alabama Court proceeding...