Guidestar, the nonprofit whose website provides a massive database of information on other nonprofits, has backed down and announced it will no longer flag nonprofits on its site that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) claims are “hate groups.” (Although as of this morning, the flags are still on Guidestar.org entries.)
The SPLC is a radical group that uses its infamous “hate groups” list to lump together genuine racists like the KKK with mainstream conservative groups. Many ordinary Americans consult the Guidestar site before giving donations, so when it recently began plastering “Hate Group” at the top of charities’ entries, it strongly reinforced SPLC’s smear campaign and potentially endangered the revenues of groups SPLC has attacked.
CRC and many other groups criticized Guidestar for its decision to broadcast SPLC’s smears. At first, Guidestar dug in its heels with statements like this gassy claim that “Our task is to take this diversity of sources to offer a multi-dimensional view of nonprofits.”
But soon the uproar over Guidestar’s decision became quite loud. In addition to our critique, Guidestar faced an excellent Wall Street Journal article, a Philanthropy Roundtable exposé, news articles by Breitbart and the Daily Signal, threats of lawsuits, complaints by targeted charities, and more.
In one of the more amazing twists, a Muslim who fights Muslim extremism is now suing SPLC for labeling him a hater, as he explains in this clip on the Bill Maher TV show.
So finally at the end of last week, Guidestar backed down, announcing it would cease using the dishonest SPLC labels. It claimed its decision was motivated by both its “commitment to objectivity” and concerns for its staff’s “wellbeing.”
We certainly hope any “harassment and threats” Guidestar is suffering ends. But we can’t help noticing that SPLC targets like social scientist Charles Murray and the Family Research Council have already received vastly worse harassment—a violent protest and an attempted mass murder, respectively—which is why it was outrageous for Guidestar to pile on SPLC’s innocent victims in the first place.
Capital Research Center has long been a vocal critic of the SPLC’s attempts to defame conservative groups. And we’re proud of the role we’ve played in halting Guidestar’s extension of SPLC’s poisonous smear campaign.