News and Commentary

THE PLOT THICKENS: SPLC’s Founder Was Fired Amid Employee Accusations Of Racism, Sexism

We still don’t know the specific reason as to why Morris Dees, co-founder of the discredited “anti-hate” group the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), was fired on Wednesday, but we now have a new clue.

The Los Angeles Times has reported that an internal memo sent to staff regarding Dees’ dismissal said, “although he made unparalleled contributions to our work, no one’s contributions can excuse that person’s inappropriate conduct.”

Dees was reportedly fired at a time when SPLC staff was complaining about alleged racism and sexism within the organization, which purportedly seeks to end hate and discrimination. As the Times reported, the leadership of SPLC is “predominantly white.”

“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,’” the Times reported.

Dees himself appears unsure of why he was fired, though he seems to harbor no ill-will toward the center, telling the Montgomery Advertiser, “It was not my decision, what they did. I wish the center the absolute best. Whatever reasons they had of theirs, I don’t know.”

A week before Dees was fired, a female black attorney for the organization — who has not been named by media outlets — resigned. She sent an internal email suggesting the organization was not inclusive enough.

“As a woman of color, the experiences of staff of color and female staff have been particularly important to me … and we recognize that there is more work to do in the legal department and across the organization to ensure that SPLC is a place where everyone is heard and respected and where the values we are committed to pursuing externally are also being practiced internally,” she wrote, according to the Times.

Another internal email obtained by the Times, this time from SPLC managers, said the organization was “grateful” for the attorney’s work and the issues she raised. Managers said the center was “committed to addressing in an honest and forthright manner,” and would be providing management training for “racial equity, inclusion and results.”

“We’ll be soliciting additional ideas from across the organization on how we can be more diverse, equitable and inclusive,” the email said.

In a statement provided to media outlets on Thursday, SPLC President Richard Cohen said the organization “announced a number of immediate, concrete next steps we’re taking, including bringing in an outside organization to conduct a comprehensive assessment of our internal climate and workplace practices, to ensure that our talented staff is working in the environment that they deserve – one in which all voices are heard and all staff members are respected.”

As The Daily Wire previously reported, SPLC has become a shadow of the organization Dees founded to sue members of the KKK. It now labels anyone who disagrees with its extreme leftist ideology as a “hate group,” and is facing dozens of lawsuits from people who say they were inappropriately included on its various lists. Some who have been featured on the SPLC’s alleged hate lists have been targeted for violence, including the Family Research Council, which had a shooter enter their headquarters after finding their name on the SPLC’s website.