Does policing hate groups stop hate?


Logan Wetzel

Staff Writer

I am all for fighting hate and reforming different parts of our broken government, but I feel that fighting fire with fire is a poor choice.

Soon on Troy University’s campus, we will have a student group run by the highly publicized Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The SPLC, based in Montgomery, has long been known for “Fighting Hate, Teaching Tolerance, and Seeking Justice,” according to its website.

In 2015, the SPLC listed Donald Trump and his campaign as a hate group because of his views on immigration, according to According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, hate is defined as “an intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury.”

While Trump did have a tough stance on illegal immigration, I do not feel that listing Trump, his campaign and other associated parties as hate groups is reasonable according to this definition.

An article on the SPLC site is even reaching out to readers about removing more than 1,500 Confederate historical monuments nationwide following the horrific acts in Charlottes­ville, Virginia. If these monuments are removed, children four generations away from now will likely lack the ability to have a better understanding of this part of American history.

It is 2017. Our free country has no place for racism, hate or division. Unfortunately, the SPLC takes the fight to the highest level and in the end, stirs up more controversy for both sides through its negative articles toward our leaders and by overstating the number of actual hate groups in our nation.

We need to listen to both sides of well-educated arguments to come together to accomplish great things in our amazing and free nation. This way, we can create a peaceful conclusion instead of having battles inside and outside of the courtroom.

While I respect Morris Dees’ organization and its right to exercise the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, I personally disagree that 1,500 Confederate monuments should be taken down, despite recent events that have seemed to intensify the racial separation.

Donald Trump is our president, and as a nation, we should stand behind our leaders in times of trouble, regardless if you voted for the leader in the previous election or not.

I find it ironic that according to, the SPLC placed Ben Carson, an African-American surgeon and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, on its “Extremist Watch List” because of his views on same-sex marriage. The SPLC has long been in favor of minority equality in politics, and this, in my opinion, should make Carson an ideal African-American political figure to the organization. Later, the SPLC apologized to Carson and removed him from the list.

As for the SPLC’s fight against the Confederate monuments, basketball legend Charles Barkley, a well-recognized African-American, recently told the Independent Journal Review, “I’m not going to waste my time worrying about these Confederate statues—that’s wasted energy. … I’m gonna keep doing great things; I’m gonna keep trying to make a difference.”

I believe Barkley is correct in saying this because the argument applies to our society. Controversial monuments do not make a person’s daily life stop, and we all have bigger and better things to worry about.

In conclusion, I would like to see all students at Troy University be involved with on-campus clubs and organizations, especially if the club is one where the student is able to exercise his or her First Amendment rights. Controversy will happen, and disagreements will be made.

Let’s use these rights to create a more unified Troy University and America by making personal and professional compromises and going to vote for politicians who can help one another by reaching fair conclusions.

Related posts