Editors' note: To join us in our Stop the Blacklist Now campaign, CLICK HERE.
In Berkeley and Boston, in Portland and San Francisco, leftwing vigilantes organized under banners like Antifa, By Any Means Necessary, and Refuse Fascism, have violently shut down peaceful protests, beating anyone in their path with clubs and truncheons with the express purpose of “denying platforms” to ideas they don’t like. These violent attacks on free speech have been augmented by an equally similar trend pioneered by the Southern Poverty Law Center – a notorious leftwing smear site – and by groups such as the radical BloodMoney.org, which has appropriated the SPLC “hate group” list, re-categorized them as “White Supremacist” groups and targeted the funding sources of dozens of respected conservative organizations in an effort to suppress them
Collectively, these attacks pose the greatest threat to American freedoms in our lifetime.
Confronting and stopping the violent assaults on free speech in the streets or on university quads is a matter for law enforcement. The threat posed by blacklists is different. It requires a vigorous and determined public response. We at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, who are one of the targets of these efforts to suppress conservative viewpoints by stigmatizing them as “hate”, are today launching a campaign to Stop the Blacklist Now designed to rally public opinion and persuade the corporate business interests, the credit card companies who have been targeted by the blacklist organizations, the CEOs of Apple, Google, and JP Morgan who have donated millions of dollars to finance them, to have second thoughts about what they are supporting and to stop doing it.
In a saner time, the effort to equate mainstream conservative organizations with hate led by the Southern Poverty Law Center would be dismissed as the slanders of a nasty fringe operation. But in today’s inflamed political atmosphere where fake news has replaced the real thing, the SPLC blacklist of “hateful” conservative groups has been accepted by credulous liberal media outlets like CNN, by social media sites such as Facebook, and even by Google, all of which have posted the SPLC’s “hate maps” as though they came from a respectable non-partisan authority.
Allegations of “hate” have been used to try to convince PayPal to stop taking donations for conservative organizations such as the Freedom Center and to sway Guidestar, a premier rating site for non profits, into designating us as a “hate group” to scare off donors. Just last week a leftist site called bloodmoney.org announced a campaign to force Visa and Mastercard to stop processing funds for 100 “hateful” conservative groups, us included.
This is serious. The Left is using the “hate” libel to remove the Freedom Center and other conservative groups from the national political conversation and to smother free speech in America. This new and sinister tactic will succeed if we don’t act now.
That’s why the Freedom Center is launching the campaign to Stop the Blacklist Now.
• This campaign will work with other conservative organizations smeared as hate groups and threatened with financial extinction to form a national coalition to fight back against this threat to the survival of conservatism and of free speech in America.
• It will take the fight to the legal arena. Already our attorneys have gotten Guidestar and PayPal to rethink their participation in this Blacklist and have put CNN, Google and Facebook on notice of our intention to fight this smear campaign.
• It will demand that the federal government designate Antifa, and other violent masked brownshirts who function as the paramilitary arm for the effort to snuff out the free speech rights of conservatives and conservative organizations, as a criminal gang and apply all the law enforcement sanctions that go with this designation.
• It will publish a series of “Common Sense” tracts revealing exactly how this hate libel against conservative organizations has been deployed by the Southern Poverty Law Center to strangle conservatism. As one of SPLC’s own executives, Mark Potock, admitted in an unguarded moment, “Our criteria for a ‘hate group’ has nothing to do with criminality or violence… It’s strictly ideological.”
And in fact no organization in America has spewed more hate than the SPLC itself. In 2012, after reading about the Family Research Council on the SPLC website, a man named Floyd Lee Corkins walked into the FRC headquarters with an automatic pistol to “kill as many of them as possible.” And just a few weeks ago, a man named James Hodgkin stalked and shot Congressman Steve Scalise a Congressional baseball practice because he had read that Scalise was a racist on the SPLC Facebook page.
SPLC’s slanders have real consequences.
The Freedom Center’s campaign to Stop the Blacklist Now must succeed in rousing a ferocious opposition to this leftist threat. If it doesn't then there will be only one voice in America, that of the radicals. Free speech, already on life support in our university “safe spaces,” will pass away. The Antifa and other leftwing storm troopers will control our streets. We will find ourselves living in a country we no longer recognize as home.
This cannot be allowed to happen. We must fight back against this effort to silence conservatism and strangle free speech. Please join us in this crucial campaign to Stop the Blacklist Now.
David Horowitz is the founder of the David Horowitz Freedom Center and the author of Big Agenda: President Trump's Plan to Save America, now in its tenth week on The New York Times’ best-seller list.