Monday, September 27, 2010


Years ago, I received my issue of "Teaching Tolerance" and stuck to it was another person's copy.

I was thrilled to learn that there was another member of the Southern Poverty Law Center right here in Washington Court House!

I decided to deliver the magazine in person, but she was not at home. I left the magazine with a note of explanation and also quoted Emily Dickinson:

"I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody too?
Then there's a pair of us--don't tell!
They'd banish us, you know."

She called me and we have been friends and allies in causes ever since and we both say how lonely it had been before we were "meant" to meet!


Anonymous said...

I know it won't matter, but you do realize that NOT ONE of the SPLC's top ten, highest paid executives is a minority, right?

According to the SPLC's hometown newspaper, the Montgomery Advertiser, despite being located LITERALLY in the backyard of Dr. Martin Luther King's home church, the SPLC has NEVER hired a person of color to a highly paid position of power.

The SPLC uses its Teaching Tolerance program to promote "Mix It Up Day," encouraging school kids to sit with people of different ethnicity and backgrounds at lunch.

One has to wonder with whom the White millionaires who run the SPLC sit at lunch? The janitorial staff? The groundskeepers?

Sue's News said...

When the SPLC was founded in 1971, Julian Bond became its first President and he remains on the Board of Directors. It was a letter from Julian Bond which caused me to join the SPLC.

I know there are a great number of women and minorities involved with SPLC. Please check the website and you will see that in the TOP SIX staff of SPLC, there are three women and two Jews carrying on the cause with founder Morris Dees.

From the photographs of the TOP SIX, I believe that Lecia Brooks, the Director of Outreach, is a person of color as well as being a woman.

Anonymous said...

In his 1991 autobiography, "A Season for Justice," SPLC founder Morris Dees writes that when he was preparing to send out the first of many, many fund-raising letters in 1971 he knew that the SPLC was a complete unknown to the donors.

"We needed a name that the donors would recognize," wrote Dees, who had made his first millions in the direct-mail business.

Dees and Bond had never met, he writes, but Dees contacted Bond and offered him what he called "the largely HONORARY position" of President.

It would also be naive to think that Mr. Bond would agree to lend his name and reputation to two unknown, White, Alabama lawyers whom he had never heard of for free.

Mr. Bond's "honorary" presidency was a paid celebrity endorsement, nothing more.

In fact, Mr. Bond gets about two and a half paragraphs out of Mr. Dees' 335 page book. That pretty much speaks to Mr. Bond's impact on the day to day running of the SPLC.

Speaking of the SPLC website, if you will return to their home page and look under the "About Us" link, you'll find the SPLC's IRS Form 990.

Pages 7 and 8 of that document list the names and salaries of the top ten, highest paid executives, as well as the Board of Directors.

Even if you really want to stretch the definition of "minorities" to include women in general, and Jewish people in the legal and advertising industries in particular, there are NO people of color on the list of top paid employees.

Lecia Brooks doesn't even come in on the low end of the list. The lowest salary on the list is roughly half of what the next four executives make, so you can guess how highly Ms. Brooks is compensated.

Here is a list of their photos:

Furthermore, that same document reveals that NONE of the highly diverse Board of Directors is paid anything, (with the exception of SPLC co-founder Joe Levin).

If Julian Bond had no impact as the "honorary" President of the SPLC, how much influence do you think he and his cohorts have as honorary directors?

The SPLC really is located in the backyard of Dr. King's home church. The all White millionaires who run the SPLC can see it from their penthouse office windows.

Surely Mr. Dees could find at least ONE person of color to take on a real position of power at the SPLC and accept the six-digit salary that all of the other executives are taking?

I've taken my information directly from the SPLC's web site and Morris Dees' autobiography, which I urge you to read, or its reprint which is titled "A Lawyer's Story".

This information always comes as an unwelcome shock to long-time supporters of Dees and the SPLC, and there are many other ugly facts not mentioned here as well.

It gives me little joy to share these truths, but people ought to know the WHOLE story of the SPLC and then decide for themselves.

Sue's News said...

I know the background of Morris Dees as I first met him when he was working for the McGovern campaign and I'll bet that Julian Bond knew him then. I also know "the WHOLE story" and history of the SPLC and I obviously have decided for myself what my participation will be. There's no "shock" to me.

I don't need to be "urged" to read as I've read my autographed copies of Mr. Dees' books and am fully aware that Mr. Dees MADE CONTACT with Mr. Bond and I appreciate Mr. Dees' honesty about Julian Bond's participation. Mr. Dees could have obfuscated the facts, but did not.

As I also serve (and have served) on Boards, I realize that many not-for-profit organizations board members serve with no compensation and I'm also aware that board members do not participate in the day-to-day running of organizations. I attended the dedication ceremony of the Center and especially wanted to see my "brick" I donated; thus, I know the exact location of the Center. At the ceremony, as a Caucasian woman, I was definitely in the minority!

As a member of SPLC, I receive the yearly information about the IRS filings.

I want my money to go to highly-competent people who will fight for the cause, so I obviously do not object to people being well-compensated for their abilities.

I know that women are not a minority; that's why I wrote "women and minorities"; of course I also know that Jews are not considered a "minority"!


WHY did you capitalize "White" twice ("unknown, White, Alabama lawyers" and "all White millionaires") when "white" clearly should be lower-case? Perhaps I'm "reading" something that was unintentional.


I believe that "cohort" is plural.