Southern Poverty Law Center Is Racist, Employees Say

March 28, 2022

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which is best known for its extensive list of hate groups, is racist, according to its employees.

SPLC Union members protested outside of their employer's office Monday in opposition to the legal advocacy group's plan to require certain employees to return to in-person work. The union, in a statement, claimed the move targets black women because it primarily requires workers in low-level positions to return to the office.

"Staff in more highly regarded job classifications and who are higher-paid employees are being given the flexibility to work remotely, while women, Black, brown, and lower-paid employees are forced back into the office regardless of our work, our needs, and our advocacy for more inclusive treatment," Lisa Wright, a union bargaining committee member, said. "Forcing employees back into the office isn't about collaboration or cooperation—this is about policing and surveillance of SPLC's lowest-paid employees."

The SPLC did not respond to a request for comment on who exactly will be required to return to the office.

The SPLC publishes an annual "hate map" that has attracted controversy for listing conservative organizations as hate groups. A gunman in 2012 entered the Family Research Council, a pro-family advocacy group, in an attempted mass shooting, which he said was inspired by the SPLC labeling the group as anti-gay. SPLC added Ben Carson to its "extremist" watch list in 2014 but backtracked and apologized in response to criticism.

"The [SPLC] mission is committed to eradicating poverty while it denigrates the work of its Black women employees through low wages and forced in person attendance," one organizer tweeted. "Like @SPLCUnion member says FULL MEALS NO SNACKS! #PracticeWhatYouPreach."

The SPLC and its lobbying group have nearly $570 million in net assets.