Nov. 12, 2009 Dear Friend, Last night, CNN anchor Lou Dobbs announced his departure from the network. As you know, we've been highly critical of Dobbs because he has used his platform to spread myths and propaganda — poisoning the debate over immigration reform and inciting fear and hate against Latinos. The SPLC was one of the first groups to bring public attention to Dobbs' use of false information provided by racist hate groups. With your support, we exposed his wildly inaccurate reporting about immigrants — such as his insistence that immigrants had brought thousands of new cases of leprosy to the United States during a recent three-year period. And we condemned his reliance on the Federation for American Immigration Reform as an authority on immigration issues. This is an organization we have named a hate group with longtime ties to white supremacists. This past July, we called on CNN executives to fire Dobbs after he relentlessly promoted the racist and utterly baseless idea that President Obama is not a native-born American citizen. Soon thereafter, a number of other organizations joined our call. Immigration reform is an important and complex issue, one that should be debated honestly. We hope that Dobbs' resignation sends a message to other commentators that the airwaves shouldn't be used to vent extremist rhetoric and fan the flames of hate. Doing so has serious and sometimes violent consequences, as illustrated by the rise in hate crimes against Latinos and the unprecedented number of threats against Obama. We are committed to exposing those who disseminate misinformation that foments hate. Together, we took a stand, and our actions made a difference. Thank you for everything you do to combat bigotry and intolerance. Richard Cohen photo Thank you for your support, Richard Cohen J. Richard Cohen President, Southern Poverty Law Center Have you noticed they never want to discuss the facts involved but label anything that opposes them as racist or some other social evil. I know I've said this before but every argument the left comes up with is designed to nullify your ability to speak such as declaring ideas as racist. This has the effect to silence others or, since it has been labeled racist, to steer people's natural thinking process away from the debate believing such ideas are immoral.