Mr. King,

Having read your article twice I feel I am in the position to answer your question, ie: who are these guys? I’ll tell you something about "these guys":

Elijah Coleman I am proud to count as a friend. He is 100% Georgian and like thousands of others in Georgia he has seen a governor going on the campaign trail claiming he’d defend the ’56 Flag. He and his compatriots supported that governor, only to have that same governor turn his back on them and change Georgia’s flag without giving the people of Georgia a fair vote. Perdue is bought and paid for by Atlanta’s big business. It seems that the slogan "Invest In Ameria, Buy A Politician" is true in Georgia after all. The referendum that was offered to Georgians did NOT include the original flag which a majority of Georgians wishes to fly over Georgia. If you doubt that, just look at the results of the Mississippi flag referendum.

Regardless of how you feel about the Battle Flag that is part of the ’56 Georgia Flag, the disgraceful and undemocratic manner in which the flag was changed is hardly an example of good government in America.

Yes, of course the SPLC has to come in. I have news for you Mr. King: The SPLC is not Southern, not Poor, it doesn’t engage in too much "Legal" business and neither is very "Centered". It is an excuse for Morris Dees to get even richer using today’s "political correctness" as a money cow. As a "journalist" you should be able to verify the following information regarding the SPLC:

The SPLC’s fundraising practices have provoked the disapproval of watchdog groups that monitor charities: In 1993, the American Institute of Philanthropy assigned the SPLC a ‘D’ grade on a scale of A to F.

[American Institute of Philanthropy xxxx 1993 Charity Watchdog Report]

"By frequently mailing out such persuasive appeals, Dees and his associates have drawn financial support from about half a million Americans [by 1988.]

The number of contributors and the amount they have given are probably greater than any left-of-center group has recorded in a comparable period in the history of American philanthropy." [The Progressive>, July 1988.]

"The SPLC is already the wealthiest civil rights group in America…Back in 1978, when the Center had less than $10 million, Dees promised that his organization would quit fund-raising and live off interest as soon as its endowment hit $55 million. But as it approached that figure, the SPLC upped the bar to $100 million, a sum that, one 1989 newsletter promised, would allow the Center ‘to cease the costly and often unreliable task of fund raising.’ Today, the SPLC’s treasury bulges with $120 million, and it spends twice as much on fund-raising-$5.76 million last year-as it does on legal services for victims of civil rights abuses. The American Institute of Philanthropy gives the Center one of the worst ratings of any group it monitors, estimating that the SPLC could operate for 4.6 years without making another tax-exempt nickel from its investments or raising another tax-deductible cent from well-meaning ‘people like you.’" [The Church of Morris Dees – Harper’s, November 2000]

"What is the Southern Poverty Law Center doing…? Mostly making money…In 1999 it spent $2.4 million on litigation and $5.7′ million on fundraising, meanwhile taking in more than $44 million–$27 million from fundraising, the rest from investments…On the subject of ‘hate groups’ …No one has been more assiduous in inflating the profile of such groups than the center’s millionaire huckster, Morris Dees, who in 1999 began a begging letter, ‘Dear Friend, The danger presented by the Klan is greater now than at any time in the past ten years.”…With…a salary close to $300,000 putting him among the top 2 percent of Americans, Dees needn’t worry about ‘fitting in’ with the masses of Montgomery [SPLC headquarters]. Naturally, he’d erect a multimillion-dollar office building that’s a monstrosity. ‘I hate it,’ a security guard across the street told me, as the sun’s hot rays bounced off the building’s vast brushed-stainless-steel-clad southern exposure and onto his face, making him sweat, roasting his skin while he stood watch for the militia nuts Dees would have his donors believe are lurking around every corner." [JoAnn Wypijewski in The Nation, February 26, 2001, as quoted in FrontPage Magazine.]

Randall Williams who formed Klanwatch in 1981 as part of the SPLC’s said in 1988: "We were sharing information with the FBI, the police, undercover agents. Instead of defending clients and victims we were more of a super snoop outfit, an arm of law enforcement. Randall and four staff attorney’s resigned from the Center in 1986. [The Progressive>, July 1988.]

In 1994 the Montgomery Advertiser won a journalism award for a series of incisive and penetrating investigative articles exposing the unethical fundraising practices of Dees and the Southern Poverty Law Center including:

Since August 1, 1984, the Law Center has taken in about $62 million in contributions and yet only spent about $21 million on actual programs, according to federal tax records.

In a series of fund-raising letters the Law Center implied it forced the United Klan’s of American to pay $7 million to the mother of lynching victim Michael Donald in 1987. Beulah Mae Donald actually received only $51,874.70 from the Klansmen. The Law Center collected millions as the result of fund-raising letters about the case. —

The SPLC sounds like a pretty sound and reliable source of information if you ask me, doesn’t it? As to the League of the South, I know many members in the group and I have yet to meet one who believes in re-instating slavery. It made me smile that you simply copied what the SPLC feeds you – like some starved dog – without even thinking one second. This is probably the essence of modern-day American journalism, ie "copy/paste".

It is true that the League harbors shady characters and without doubt the occasional white supremacist, however this doesn’t go for the majority of the membership and goes for almost any organisation. I myself am no member of the League of the South for several reasons nor am I a white supremacist by any stretch of the imagination. By the way, I would check how many blacks & minorities work in the SPLC – you’d be amazed!

To get back to the "these guys": they are hard-working middle class Southerners who devote their energy, time and money into honoring their ancestors and defending their heritage and culture. All you can do is belittle them. As for myself, I am proud to be counted as a friend of Elijah Coleman and the Georgia Flaggers!


Reinout Temmerman
Oudenaarde, Flanders