Since the election of President Donald Trump, the Montgomery-based nonprofit that tracks hate groups and crimes across the country has found itself “back into the center of the national conversation, giving the group the kind of potent foil it hasn’t had since the Klan,” reads the article.
According to Politico, since the election, the SPLC says it has more than doubled its Twitter following and has seen its Facebook following move from 650,000 to over a million.
But as Politico points out, the group has a dueling reputation. Many view the SPLC as just another way to earn a buck off of America’s most pressing issues.
“These are the twin legacies of Montgomery’s most famous nonprofit: Since 1971, the SPLC has fought racial discrimination in the South and established itself as the nation’s most prominent hate-group watchdog, most notably winning legal fights that put some of the last nails in the coffin of the Ku Klux Klan. It has also built itself into a civil rights behemoth with a glossy headquarters and a nine-figure endowment, inviting charges that it oversells the threats posed by Klansmen and neo-Nazis to keep donations flowing in from wealthy liberals,” states the article.
The glossy headquarters the article references is a striking structure in Alabama’s capital city — “a six-story postmodern edifice that could be the outhouse for Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao” — filled with over 250 staffers and offices in four states.
The group is largely funded by a massive $200 million endowment. According to the SPLC website, at the end of the past fiscal year, the endowment stood at $302.8 million.
Politico simplifies its point — “fighting racism can be very good business.”