Friday, September 16, 2022

The road to serfdom is being traveled in California


California Conservatives, Beware: Newsom’s ‘Commission on the State of Hate’ Is More Nefarious Than It Seems 

Gov. Gavin Newsom, D-Calif., on Tuesday announced five appointments to his new Commission on the State of Hate, and they don’t bode well for conservatives in the Golden State. 

According to Newsom’s office, the commission will “assess data on hate crimes in California, provide resources for victims, and make policy recommendations to better protect civil rights.”  

The commission aims to help all Californians, but Newsom has nominated a slate of Democrats and activists—without including a single Republican—to serve on it. Worse, one of the top nominees has a history at the Southern Poverty Law Center

Those four words should send a shiver down the spine of conservatives. While the Southern Poverty Law Center began as a public interest legal nonprofit representing poor people in the South, it has long since morphed into a far-left smear factory, branding mainstream conservative and Christian organizations “hate groups” and placing them on a map alongside the Ku Klux Klan. It brands socially conservative organizations “anti-LGBT hate groups” and national security nonprofits “anti-Muslim hate groups.” 

My 2020 book “Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center” explains why the SPLC should not be trusted when it comes to “hate” in America. I trace the history of the SPLC’s “hate” monitoring, which it initially employed against the Klan and other white supremacist groups, but which it has wielded as a cudgel against ideological opponents in recent decades. Most notoriously, this “hate group” accusation inspired one deranged terrorist to target the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C.  

While the SPLC condemned that attack, it has kept the Family Research Council on its “hate map” ever since. The SPLC also fired its co-founder and had its president resign in 2019 amid claims of sexual harassment and racial discrimination. 

Yet, Newsom enlisted a former SPLC staffer for his Commission on the State of Hate, and not just any former staffer. Newsom chose Brian Levin, who served as associate director of legal affairs at the Klanwatch/Militia Task Force at SPLC—the project that would later become Hatewatch and that manages the reporting on “hate groups” today. 

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