Over 60 organizations are currently considering legal action against the Southern Policy Law Center (SPLC) over the falsely applied “hate group” designation. However, the most recent available financial documents show Bank of America has increased its financial support for SPLC in recent years.
The Bank of America Foundation is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization that serves as Bank of America’s charitable giving arm. The foundation’s 2017 Form 990 reports $20,518 in contributions to SPLC for the purpose of “program/operating support” in that year.
Similar contributions for previous years fall with the range of $2,000 to $5,000.
The spike in funding corresponds with an increase of corporate partnerships with SPLC beginning in 2017. Corporations like Guidestar, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Google, and Paypal have implemented SPLC’s “hate” designation as an authority for excluding or labeling organizations on their platforms. Companies like Apple specifically solicited donations for SPLC from their customers and CNN republished SPLC’s data to create a list of alleged “hate groups” without explaining the origin until called out by conservative groups.
However, recent events suggest SPLC’s operations have less to do with fighting “hate,” and more to do creating political animosity for the purpose of fundraising. Conservative groups like the Family Research Council, Alliance Defending Freedom, the American Family Association, and more have all been tagged as “hate groups” for simply upholding traditional marriage in accordance with Judeo-Christian values. Yet, entering 2017, SPLC reported nearly $450,000,000 in net assets.
Jeremy Tedesco, an attorney with ADF, told PJ Media:
Today’s SPLC has zero credibility and its ‘making hate pay’ business model should be rejected. Whether or not this opens the SPLC to future lawsuits, it is clear this group has defrauded the public for long enough.
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Today’s SPLC is a corrupt fundraising scheme that capitalizes on fear by mixing legitimate societal concerns with baseless allegations against its ideological opponents. The media commits journalistic malpractice when it cuts and pastes the SPLC’s unfounded allegations and lies as fact.
Given that Bank of America has pumped tens of thousands of dollars into SPLC’s coffers, shouldn’t stockholders be concerned a “zero credibility” organization that has “defrauded the public” is receiving corporate funds? Bank of America customers should certainly be offended that a portion of their banking fees and return on investment is being used to prop up a “corrupt fundraising scheme.”
Customers and investors should contact corporate offices immediately and demand Bank of America change its charitable giving policies. Remember, Bank of America’s annual meeting is on April 24th—shouldn’t these activities be addressed?
EDITORS NOTE: This 2ndVote column is republished with permission.