The institutional left suffered a significant blow on Friday when nonprofit and charity tracker GuideStar withdrew inaccurate labels placed on conservative groups on its website—labels that were pushed by the far left-wing organization, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
“We acknowledge there is a deep, nuanced conversation to be had with Americans of all political, cultural, and religious backgrounds regarding how we address — and identify — hate groups,” GuideStar said in its statement announcing the withdrawal of SPLC labels from its website, a move that will come next week, according to the Associated Press.
GuideStar is an organization that presents itself as objective in rating and providing information about charities and nonprofits that the government and major donors use to make donation and grant and funding decisions. But when it recently made the decision to include inaccurate SPLC data falsely labeling many mainstream organizations, like the Family Research Council (FRC) as hate groups, it came under intense criticism from top leaders of the conservative movement.
The move to use SPLC’s inaccurate information led to GuideStar’s inaccurate smearing of dozens of mainstream conservative organizations as “hate groups” and sparked fierce criticism from top conservatives. The goal of the left in taking such action is to continue to build organizations that push their progressive leftist agenda. They want to also destroy organizations that challenge that leftist agenda while supporting an America First ideology that furthers the goals of Republicans and President Donald Trump.
“The nation’s leading source of information on U.S. charities faces mounting criticism for using a controversial ‘hate group’ designation in listings for some well-known and broadly supported conservative nonprofits,” Rachel del Guidice wrote in the Daily Signal, a Heritage Foundation news publication, this week. “GuideStar, which calls itself a ‘neutral’ aggregator of tax data on charities, recently incorporated ‘hate group’ labels produced by the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center.”
The Daily Signal report included a letter from 41 conservative leaders to GuideStar President and CEO Jacob Harold, detailing the ramifications of his use of inaccurate information:
We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, write to express our strong disagreement with GuideStar’s newly implemented policy that labels 46 American organizations as “hate groups.” Your designations are based on determinations made by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a hard-left activist organization. As such, SPLC’s aggressive political agenda pervades the construction of its “hate group” listings.
The letter continued by demonstrating how the SPLC’s information was inaccurate.
“The SPLC has no bona fides to make such determinations,” the conservative leaders’ letter reads.
It is not a governmental organization using a rigorous criteria to create its lists, and it is not a scientifically oriented organization. The SPLC is merely another “progressive” political organization. It gained credibility attacking Klansmen, neo-Nazis, and skinheads–many of whom were engaged in violence. The SPLC is now trying to export the same tactics into areas of mainstream political discourse including debates about immigration and sexual-identity politics. The “hate group” list is nothing more than a political weapon targeting people it deems to be its political enemies. The list is ad hoc, partisan, and agenda-driven.
The letter also notes that the SPLC allows the left’s violent groups, like “antifa,” to skate by with no criticism.
“The SPLC doesn’t even pretend to identify groups on the political left that engage in ‘hate,’” the conservative leaders’ letter continues, adding:
Mosques or Islamist groups that promote radical speech inciting anti-Semitism and actual violence are not listed by the SPLC even though many have been publicly identified after terrorist attacks. Radical, violent leftist environmentalists or speech suppressing thugs–like the rioting “antifa” movement–receive no mention from the SPLC.
It turns out, according to the Daily Signal, that GuideStar’s CEO Harold is a hard leftist activist who has marched in rallies to protest President Donald Trump, including the “Women’s March” the day after his inauguration. Harold’s biography on GuideStar even describes him as a “social change strategist”:
— Jacob Harold (@jacobcharold) January 23, 2017
“Prior to joining GuideStar, Harold worked for the Hewlett Foundation’s philanthropy program as a ‘climate change campaigner’ for Rainforest Action Network and Greenpeace USA, and as an organizing director at Citizen Works,” del Guidice wrote in the Daily Signal.
So even as GuideStar withdraws its misplaced usage of the SPLC’s inaccurate labeling of mainstream organizations as “hate groups,” the organization that self-proclaims objectivity finds itself under its own level of scrutiny. As such, GuideStar, in its statement to the Associated Press, noted that the criticism it has received makes it concerned for the “wellbeing” of its staff—and it believes criticism of its questionable claims of objectivity are “threats.”
“Dismayingly, a significant amount of the feedback we’ve received in recent days has shifted from constructive criticism to harassment and threats directed at our staff and leadership,” GuideStar said.
Sources close to this matter tell Breitbart News that the fight is just beginning and to expect many more major developments on this front soon.