June 24, 2017

GuideStar’s Slanderous ‘Hate Group’ Designation

Leading informational source for U.S. charities recently adopted the Southern Poverty Law Center’s labeling.

The nation’s leading and supposedly “neutral” informational source on U.S. charitable groups, GuideStar, has found itself in hot water for adopting the leftist organization Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) label of “hate group” into its own designation delimiters. Not surprisingly, several conservative nonprofits objected and sent a letter to GuideStar pointing out the biased nature of the SPLC’s slanderous designation. The letter, addressed to GuideStar CEO Jacob Harold and signed by 41 conservative leaders, states in part:

> 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, a hard-left activist organization. As such, SPLC’s aggressive political agenda pervades the construction of its “hate group” listing.

Among the conservative charitable organizations listed by GuideStar as “hate groups” is the Family Research Council (FRC). (As a side note, a leftist wacko attacked FRC headquarters in 2012 intending “to kill as many people as possible” because the SPLC designated FRC as a “hate group.”) FRC President Tony Perkins, whose columns are a regular feature on our site, points to what was likely the motivating factor behind GuideStar’s recent controversial decision — politics. It turns out that the CEO of GuideStar is quite the leftist activist himself. Perkins notes that Harold has worked for both Greenpeace and the Rainforest Action Network. He has also written for the Huffington Post and he hosted a NARAL Pro-Choice DC men’s event in 2014. His wife is a pro-abortion advocate and he marched in the “Women’s March” this past January, where he held a sign protesting Donald Trump. And he has donated to Democrats. Needless to say, Harold is hardly the poster boy for objectivity.

Fortunately, GuideStar saw the light. Sort of. GuideStar released a statement on its website declaring that it is backing off its controversial use of the SPLC’s ‘hate group’ designation, at least for the immediate future. The statement reads in part, “We have decided to remove the SPLC annotations from these 46 organizations for the time being. This change will be implemented during the week of June 26, 2017. In the meantime, we will make this information available to any user on request.” Apparently, the negative media attention and the thought of losing its credibility created a little needed introspection.


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