The Southern Poverty Law Center is at it again, demonizing free speech and constitutional ideas. On February 23rd, the SPLC released a report entitled, “US Hate Groups Top 1,000” wherein they lump neo-Nazi skinheads, violent extremists and “constitutional patriots” into the same category. The Poverty Center loves to use media buzzwords in order to get their own hate speech heard, using terms like militia, conspiracy theories and ‘radical right’ to whip the pundits into a frenzy.
Mainstream politicians have promoted many of the ideas and conspiracy theories important to these groups. Last April, for example, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed S.B. 1070, the harshest state anti-immigrant law in the country, setting off a flood of proposals for similar laws. State legislators also have offered proposals that would roll back birthright citizenship, bar judges from considering Islamic law in state courtrooms, institute an alternative currency, and even allow a state to disregard federal laws and regulations.
Meanwhile, there are growing signs that the extremist movement is already producing significant acts of terrorism.
-Southern Poverty Law Center, Feb. 23, 2011
While the SPLC consider these ideas to be extreme, conspiratorial or flat out scary, I don’t see much wrong with legally elected legislators fulfilling their job duties. Arizona is suffering a severe budget strain from the illegal immigration issue there. Like it or not, it is the Federal government’s duty to defend the national borders and handle these issues. Arizona is in the interesting position of having a state border that shares a national borderline. When the Federal government fails, what are states supposed to do? Sit back and cross their fingers?
On the topic of barring American courtrooms and judges from considering international law – regardless of origin – I have to really question the SPLC’s own mental stability. In the United States criminal justice system, verdicts, actions and enforcement are based upon a clearly written set of American laws pertinent to that jurisdiction. If it’s illegal to assault your significant other in the state of Nebraska, why would a Nebraska domestic violence judge use any other guidance to render a judgement other than the facts of the case and Nebraska law? But again, the Southern Poverty Law Center is utilizing buzz words, such as “Sharia law” in order to be heard. It makes no difference what other country the law comes from, whether it’s religious in nature or even intended for maritime law – the use of any set of rules other than the laws of that particular jurisdiction in which the offense is committed is frivolous and pointless to discuss. If judges are considering and applying “Sharia law” or British law or even Finnish law in an American court room, they should be removed from the bench. Sadly, some states have to explicitly write bills barring the use of foreign law in their respective courts and the SPLC jumps on this in order to justify their expensive existence.
(Editorial note: The recent outcry over Oklahoma passing a law specifically barring Sharia law has some merit. The bill should have simply barred all foreign laws, religious laws, etc. instead of focusing on Sharia law. It casts a grim cloud over the state and shows the Islamophobia that exists. Sadly, I believe that was the motivation instead of simply correcting an academic and legal problem.)
In regards to alternative currencies, some legislators, economists and scholars say that the only way to save the American economy and way of life is to implement an alternative or competing currency. States like Virginia are writing bills as an insurance policy against the meltdown of the Federal Reserve and the death of the dollar. While not specifically attacking the greenback, Virginia legislators clearly state that their intention is to explore other options as a back-up for their state economy. I find that very sensible. The SPLC considers that to be extreme and radical.
Congressman Ron Paul, a brilliant economist and chairman of the House Monetary Policy Subcommittee, advocates for a variety of competing currencies that could serve to compliment our economy or as a backup plan should the dollar be unhinged as the world’s currency. Furthermore, many local areas already use alternative currencies. In Michigan, for example, the Liberty Dollar is in wide-spread use among private businesses and citizens. In New York, the Ithaca Hour is used as a currency for one hour’s worth of work. It has inspired similar “alternative currencies” in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and elsewhere. A private transaction is just that; private.
And finally, the SPLC considers state’s rights to be null and void in their article. The Tenth Amendment, which is part of the Bill of Rights, was ratified on December 15, 1791. The Tenth Amendment explicitly states the Constitution’s principle of federalismby providing that powers not granted to the federal government nor prohibited to the states by the Constitution are reserved to the states or the people. I fail to remember where the Constitution says that marijuana is illegal and gives the Federal government the authority to imprison those in possession of it. Oh wait, it doesn’t. In fact, the Constitution was written on cannabis paper (hemp). Therefore, that power is reserved for the States to decide. So why does the DEA enforce drug possession laws across the country from the Federal level, sometimes in conflict with state and local laws?
- During 2009, “state sovereignty resolutions” or “10th Amendment Resolutions” were introduced in the legislatures of 37 states; in seven states the resolutions passed (Alaska, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Tennessee).
- During 2010, resolutions were introduced or reintroduced into the legislatures of 21 states; the resolution passed in seven states (Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, Nebraska, South Carolina, Utah, and Wyoming).
- A state sovereignty resolution has been prefiled for the upcoming 2011 session of the Texas Legislature.
- As of March 2010, legislators in seven states have introduced legislation which would seek to nullify federal legal tender laws in the state by authorizing payment in gold and silver or a paper note backed 100% by gold or silver.
- As of March 2010, legislators in seven states have introduced legislation which would permit the Governor of the state to recall any National Guard troops from overseas deployments (such as in Iraq and Afghanistan).
- As of March 2010, legislators in four states have introduced legislation which would nullify federal regulation of commerce and activities which are solely within the boundaries of a state and which do not cross state lines.
- Legislators in three states have introduced legislation which would make it a crime for any federal agent to make an arrest, search or seizure within the state without getting the advance, written permission of the Sheriff of the county in which the event would take place.
- and the list goes on and on regarding intra-state commerce, gun laws and more.
Are these crazy legislators? Are they considered hate groups or extremists for authoring these bills? The Southern Poverty Law Center would have you believe so because they consider patriots to be domestic threats and “already producing significant acts of terrorism.”
Kevin Hayden is a former New Orleans police officer-turned-political activist. He endured Hurricane Katrina’s chaos and societal collapse in the days following and after 5 years in New Orleans, he moved to Oklahoma. Kevin currently runs www.TruthisTreason.net and works on local politics and education about our monetary, food and foreign policies while building an off-grid shipping homestead and helping people become prepared. He can be contacted directly at Contact@TruthisTreason.net.