PJ Media senior editor Tyler O’Neil joined Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Wednesday to discuss racism at the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Morris Dees, the group’s co-founder, was abruptly fired last week for failing to meet “the mission of the organization and the values we hope to instill in the world,” according to a statement from SPLC President Richard Cohen to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Carlson noted Dees’ firing “under mysterious circumstances” and the irony that a group that often falsely labels others as “racist, sexist bigots” would be accused of those things itself.
“This group has been rotten for years,” said Carlson. “Why are people just now noticing?”
“The story actually is really, really bad,” said O’Neil. “You had 13 black former employees of the SPLC interviewed. Twelve of them said they witnessed racist incidents in their time there and three of them called the organization a plantation for its black workers.”
Dees’ firing was first reported by the Montgomery Advertiser, which included a reference to its 1994 series on racism within the organization and the co-founder’s “near singular control over the organization and its mammoth budget.”
The series, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, revealed a figure seen as heroic by some and single-minded by others. Dees’ critics said he was more concerned with fundraising than litigating.
The series also alleged discriminatory treatment of black employees within the advocacy group, despite its outward efforts to improve the treatment of minorities in the country. Staffers at the time “accused Morris Dees, the center’s driving force, of being a racist and black employees have ‘felt threatened and banded together.'” The organization denied the accusations raised in the series.
O’Neil noted that it wasn’t just the Advertiser, but also former employees who went to Glassdoor.com to “talk about their experiences facing racial discrimination” in 2017. (RELATED: Southern Poverty Law Center Is Not So Poor)
“There are apparently 100 lawyers and advocates of the SPLC,” he noted. “Only five of them are black. Black employees worked there 12 years and yet, none of them were elevated to senior leadership.”
The PJ Media editor added that if the group “hires more black leaders,” since “blacks tend to be more Christian” perhaps they would stop characterizing Christian groups as anti-LGBT.