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New video: Southern Poverty Law Center and CREDO: Fighting hate, extremism and Trumpism

On September 19, Richard Cohen and Heidi Beirich, the president and director of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), respectively, visited the CREDO office. Over the years, CREDO has contributed more than $100,000 to the SPLC, a September 2016 CREDO Donations recipient, and we will continue to support its critical mission of fighting bigotry and hate.

During their visit, the SPLC reviewed their recent litigation successes of standing up for victims of discrimination and hate and discussed their current efforts to take technical and financial resources out of the hands of hate groups.

Perhaps the most pertinent aspect of their conversation was a discussion of the impact of Donald Trump’s hateful rhetoric during the 2016 election.

“The Southern Poverty Law Center is a nonpartisan 501c3 organization. It doesn’t endorse candidates,” Cohen said. “It doesn’t engage in electioneering … but we have a moral obligation to call out hate in the mainstream when we see it. And the truth of the matter is, we’ve seen a lot of it surrounding the Trump campaign.”

Cohen noted that the SPLC had released a study finding that “one of the most disturbing things is what is happening in our nation’s schools,” as a result of Trump’s rhetoric and anti-immigrant platform.

“67 percent of teachers said that many of the children in their classrooms are living in fear,” Cohen said “‘Am I going to be deported?’”

This is one of the most disheartening facts coming out of this year’s election. “I don’t know if Mr. Trump will win. I don’t know if he will lose. What I do know is that this country’s diversity will continue to change,” Cohen said. “And forms of Trumpism will continue. And it’s up to all of us, all people who believe in our founding documents, to push back against that.”

The mutual feeling of alliance between CREDO and the SPLC and its vital work was clear during the visit. As Cohen noted, we are “aligned in so many struggles that are critical to the future of our country.” We look forward to continuing our partnership with the SPLC to fight hate and extremism in our country.