A problem with having to find “hate” wherever you look, and then blog about it in breathless, apocalyptic prose, is publishing a major gaffe. Thus did the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch blog offer this gem on Aug. 20 about conservative activist Larry Klayman, the founder of Judicial Watch:

Right Wing Watch: Larry Klayman wants to rename the White House “the Black House” and start a “race war.”

That would be frightening if true. But alas, SPLC’s hatewatchers mistyped the headline they cribbed from Right Wing Watch, a project of the leftist People for The American Way.

Here is what the headline really says:

Larry Klayman: Obama Wants To Rename The White House “The Black House,” Start A “Race War”

That’s a big difference.

Right Wing Watch called Klayman “unhinged” and twisted the truth a little, of course, but to its credit, mostly let Klayman speak for himself.

Had SPLC’s hatewatchers read enough of Klayman’s column, they would have come across this:

I am not a racist and neither is the majority of Americans. But Obama’s actions are creating a huge unjustified backlash against blacks in general; this is tragic and regrettable. The nation owes much to our black brothers who have enriched our society and fought side by side with whites and others in the name of freedom. But the nation owes nothing to the likes of Obama and Holder, who are low-class, racist hacks who should be removed from office and banished to hell by whatever legal means are appropriate.

The bottom line is this: It is time to speak up and act. Racism is indefensible, whether whites or blacks perpetrate it. But we are a nation of laws, and — as enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, our Constitution and other sacred writings and documents that gave birth to a new nation — all men are created equal.

Three things are going on here. First, SPLC published an error that defames a relatively prominent conservative. No surprise there. It’s “profile” of Klayman identifies his “ideology” as “patriot movement.” Second, Right Wing Watch cites the column as evidence that Klayman is “unhinged,” such language being the left’s latest tactic to delegitimize opposition to its program. Third, and perhaps most disheartening, Klayman felt obliged, in suggesting that the president’s racialist-inspired speech, policies and actions are creating a “backlash against blacks,” to deny he is a racist and aver that “racism is indefensible.”

That Klayman thought he is so obliged reveals how much power the SPLC has accumulated by smearing those with whom it disagrees as “racists” or “haters.” Any conservative who harshly criticizes Obama or writes that Obama is waging racial war on whites (he is), must first deny that he is a racist and denounce racism. SPLC and the left, however, take that as an admission of guilt.

At this writing, SPLC’s mistake remains uncorrected.