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Thu Mar 14, 2019, 04:59 PM

Southern Poverty Law Center fires co-founder, declines to say what he's alleged to have done

Source: Washington Post

The Southern Poverty Law Center terminated its co-founder and chief litigator Morris Dees on Wednesday, the civil rights organization announced.

In a Thursday statement, SPLC President Richard Cohen stressed the importance of "ensuring that the conduct of our staff reflects the mission of the organization and the values we hope to instill in the world.”

“When one of our own fails to meet those standards, no matter his or her role in the organization, we take it seriously and must take appropriate action," Cohen wrote. The statement did not offer specifics on the circumstances behind Dees’s termination. When pressed for more details on the decision, a spokesman for SPLC said he "can’t comment on the details of individual personnel” and did not anticipate any further statements on the matter.

In its story on the firing, the Montgomery Advertiser cited its 1994 investigation into the advocacy group, in which staffers accused Dees of being a racist and alleged “discriminatory treatment of black employees." The SPLC denied claims of racism raised in the series, the Advertiser reports.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/03/14/southern-poverty-law-center-fires-co-founder-declines-say-what-hes-alleged-have-done/?utm_term=.bcf4cc94273b

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Reply Southern Poverty Law Center fires co-founder, declines to say what he's alleged to have done (Original post)
brooklynite Mar 2019 OP
hlthe2b Mar 2019 #1
Hoyt Mar 2019 #2
Hortensis Mar 2019 #3
Jimbo S Mar 2019 #4
DRoseDARs Mar 2019 #5
Lithos Mar 2019 #7
Haggis for Breakfast Mar 2019 #8
DRoseDARs Mar 2019 #10
Haggis for Breakfast Mar 2019 #15
elleng Mar 2019 #6
amywalk Mar 2019 #9
DRoseDARs Mar 2019 #11
Delphinus Mar 2019 #14
orleans Mar 2019 #12
FM123 Mar 2019 #13

Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Thu Mar 14, 2019, 05:02 PM

1. that is sad. He was largely responsible for defanging the KKK in the 70s.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 14, 2019, 05:07 PM

2. Exactly. Assume the SPLC considered what's best for organization. Dees is 82.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 14, 2019, 05:17 PM

3. It is a sad end. His bio's already removed from their site, even.

Whatever he's done, now and in the past, he leaves a great organization.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Thu Mar 14, 2019, 05:22 PM

4. Just wow

Began being a regular contributor the last few years.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Thu Mar 14, 2019, 05:31 PM

5. I'm calling it, they dug up blackface.

 

If the report from 1994 was factual, how would a racist scumfuck still manage to stay in this organization until 2019? They can't help themselves, the incidents would have continued and his ass would be gone before now. I think they dug up something worse from earlier in life that the earlier report didn't catch.

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Response to DRoseDARs (Reply #5)

Thu Mar 14, 2019, 10:07 PM

7. I will say misogyny

n/t

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Response to DRoseDARs (Reply #5)

Thu Mar 14, 2019, 11:19 PM

8. Until the reason is public, please, PLEASE don't speculate.

Morris Dees has dedicated his life to the SPLC and its mission. He has had more 100 death threats placed on him in the last FIVE YEARS alone. Because of white supremacists, the security for all of the staff at the SPLC has been quadrupled. Dees (and Richard Cohen) had to go the route of body guards and personal security. Most people would have walked away from that. Dees never even considered it.

This is shocking to me. But, I NEED to hear an official announcement before I think awful things about this man. He has been an inspiration to so many people. His book should be required reading for law students everywhere.

But please, let's not cast a net of hateful scenarios.

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Response to Haggis for Breakfast (Reply #8)

Fri Mar 15, 2019, 01:57 AM

10. That the SPLC is scrubbing this man from their organization's existance is very telling...

 

You can clap your hands for Tinkerbell if you like, but one needs only look at how the SPLC handled this and the words they used to know whatever they have on him it's bad. I trust the SPLC and the work they do. If they say Morris Dees is bad news, despite his public years of service, I believe them.

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Response to DRoseDARs (Reply #10)

Fri Mar 15, 2019, 09:44 PM

15. And in the end that may all be true.

I'm just saying that until this becomes public, please let's not jump to any hasty conclusions.

A lot of people are going to be deeply affected by this.

I have been an active supporter of SPLC for over three decades. I have participated in their public events, even attending one of their anniversary gatherings by personal invitation. This is devastating to me.

It sounds like something has gone horribly awry, but, it will come out and, I am sure it will be documented internally and validated thoroughly. The SPLC has always been very public, accessible, and in a case like this, there will be transparency.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Thu Mar 14, 2019, 06:35 PM

6. Received this e.mail today:

You may see in the news today that our founder, Morris Dees, is no longer working at the SPLC.

Morris has made incredible contributions to the fight against racial injustice in our country.

But our work is about the cause, not the person. We’re committed to ensuring that our workplace embodies the values we espouse – truth, justice, equity, and inclusion.

When one of our own fails to meet those standards, no matter his or her role in the organization, we take it seriously and must take appropriate action.

Today, we have a wonderful staff, some 350 people in offices spanning five Southern states who are all dedicated to fighting every day for justice and equality. Right now, our work couldn’t be more critical.

The SPLC is in good hands for many years to come. Thank you for being part of our family.

Richard Cohen
President

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri Mar 15, 2019, 12:48 AM

9. Wow. I'm completely gobsmacked by this news.

I know him. He and my father did some work together in Montgomery during the 60’s. I knew his second wife and went to their wedding. Julian Bond was his best man. It was very exciting and I idolized him. If I had to guess, it would be woman trouble, but I don’t think they would scrub his bio from their website for that. I’m fearful it must be something a lot worse. ☹️

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Response to amywalk (Reply #9)

Fri Mar 15, 2019, 01:59 AM

11. I concur. You don't "unperson" someone, and certainly not your co-founder, for simple matters. nt

 

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Response to amywalk (Reply #9)

Fri Mar 15, 2019, 07:55 AM

14. {{hugs}}

It hits harder when you know them.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri Mar 15, 2019, 04:14 AM

12. i am shocked and saddened to hear about this n/t

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri Mar 15, 2019, 07:52 AM

13. Wow. This is such unexpected & shocking news.

While they decline to name the reason why Dees has been removed, it is hard to believe that someone that has devoted his life to the cause would have done something terribly racist. But then again, Northam and his blackface took me by surprise too.

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