The second anonymous writer responded again through email. I may have to come up with a descriptive phrase as a name. He replied to my posting about the increase in hate groups and has interesting and important points, which I'll summarize:
* The report talked about the number of groups, but is group membership growing? Is it growing faster or slower than the national population as a whole? The report doesn't say.
* Is it fair to list each chapter of such organizations as the Klan as a separate hate group?
* Anecdotes of recent activity (such as arresting a man at a Dearborn mosque with a trunk load of explosives) do not provide evidence of whether such incidents are increasing.
Yes, some of these groups spout scary words. But the SPLC report doesn't tell the whole story.
Another person replied directly to my blog. He essentially said the sole purpose of the SPLC is to raise money. To keep the bucks rolling in the level of threat has to increase. Odd, gays say the same thing about many anti-gay groups. He added the term hate group is meaningless, so much so the FBI doesn't use the term. The original is attached to the posting, link above.
I won't agree the term hate group is meaningless. The SPLC defined it quite well in the articles I've seen about it. I just took a look at the SPLC website and didn't find it, though the definition might be in one of their publications. The definition is something like this: A hate group is an organization that uses false or misleading information to demonize a particular class of people.
As a gay man I am quite aware of the many organizations that use false information to demonize gays. I'm pleased that an outside group (meaning non-gay) is able to make the case that several anti-gay organizations fit the definition of a hate group. We can't do it ourselves because those claims would simply be dismissed. When the SPLC designations came out many gay blogs noted the various anti-gay groups mentioned did not refute what the SPLC said. They only tried to discredit the SPLC.
The author of that comment to my blog is not anonymous -- his name is included in the comment. I don't know him. His name provided a link to his own blog. I am not at all surprised that every post on the main page, going back to last August, is a criticism of SPLC.
As I said, I don't know this writer. I have no way to judge the veracity of his claims. I do know that a lot of people who work to demonize me also work to discredit the SPLC.