The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) Fired Its Founder Amid Allegations of Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has fired Morris Dees, 82, its co-founder and former chief litigator, for alleged unspecified ‘misconduct’. Several SPLC employees reportedly wrote a joint email after a senior attorney resigned and accused Dees of sexual harassment and the SPLC of cover-ups and retaliation. The SPLC is widely known as an anti-Christian, anti-conservative, and anti-free-speech hate group and is embroiled in at least three lawsuits. Many of the Internet’s largest social-networking sites and search engines rely on the SPLC as the authority of what is considered “hate speech” in America while the law firm expands its definitions of hate groups and extremists. Recent tax filings show the SPLC with more than $450 million in assets.

For fair-minded observers, this has been a bad week for the
credibility of the two most aggressive (and punitive) “watchdogs” of the
right — Media Matters and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Thanks to
Peter Hasson at the Daily Caller News Foundation, we discovered the stunning hypocrisy
of Media Matters president Angelo Carusone. The man who helms an
organization that combs through the past of every conservative public
figure looking for evidence of hate and bigotry has his own history of hateful posts.

And now the SPLC faces its own internal challenge. Yesterday, the SPLC fired its legendary co-founder,
Morris Dees, for unspecified “inappropriate conduct” and then hired an
“outside organization” to conduct a “comprehensive assessment” of its
“internal climate and workplace practices.” According to the Los Angeles Times, the SPLC just might have a tolerance problem:

The Times has also learned that the organization, whose
leadership is predominantly white, has been wrestling with complaints of
workplace mistreatment of women and people of color. It was not
immediately clear whether those issues were connected to the firing of
Dees, who is 82.

Also Thursday, employees sent correspondence to management demanding
reforms, expressing concerns about the resignation last week of a highly
respected black attorney at the organization and criticizing the
organization’s work culture.

A letter signed by about two dozen employees — and sent to management
and the board of directors before news broke of Dees’ firing — said
they were concerned that internal “allegations of mistreatment, sexual
harassment, gender discrimination, and racism threaten the moral
authority of this organization and our integrity along with it.”

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