Southern Poverty Law Center Hate Map a Licence to Kill?

The Southern Poverty Law Center and its Hate Map is being called a “licence to kill” by Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council (FRC).

David Ariosto from CNN notes, “Founded on the heels of America’s civil rights movement, the Southern Poverty Law Center burnished its name with legal wins over white-supremist groups and helped integrate institutions like the Alabama State Police. But it has also stoked anger with the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian policy group that lashed out this week after a 28-year-old gunman stormed their downtown Washington headquarters and opened fire.”

Ariosto quotes Perkins as saying, “Let me be clear that Floyd Corkins was responsible for firing the shot yesterday. But Corkins was given a license to shoot an unarmed man by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center that have been reckless in labeling organizations hate groups because they disagree with them on public policy.”

Ed Vitagliano from One News Now reports:

“As SPLC spokesman Mark Potok explained in a column for the Huffington Post, the hate group watchdog had listed both [American Family Association] AFA and FRC as ‘hate groups’ on its Web site, along with militia groups and white supremacist groups like the KKK.

Just what did AFA and FRC do to warrant such infamy? Potok said it was because the two groups ‘regularly spew vicious lies about the LGBT community.’ Thus, they are hate groups.

What vicious lies are those? The views specifically cited by the SPLC included the belief that children fare better if they have both their biological mother and father in the home, rather than same-sex parents; that environmental factors – such as childhood sexual abuse or deficiencies in relationships with parents – can play a significant role in whether or not someone becomes homosexual; and that hate crime laws may eventually lead to the prosecution of pastors who dare to speak out publicly against homosexuality.

Obviously, the SPLC disagrees with AFA on these matters. Does that automatically make AFA wrong, however? And even if AFA were wrong, does that make AFA a hate group? Is it hateful to be wrong?”

SPLC lists fifty-five groups in Florida. Among them is The United West, an organization of academic activists, which according to its website, “is dedicated to defending and advancing Western Civilization against the kinetic and cultural onslaught of Shariah Islam, so that America remains a land of freedom, justice and opportunity grounded in the principles of our Constitutional Republic…Specifically, TUW educates and activates freedom minded people, wherever they may live, to effectively develop strategies and tactics which propagate the exceptionalism of Western Civilization over the totalitarian choke-hold of shariah Islam.”

Tom Trento, President of TUW, asks, “How did we get on this list? We expose hate and tyranny. It would seem that the SPLC has it backwards, we are the good guys exposing the bad guys. It baffles me that we are on the Hate Map in Florida. We are patriots dedicated to stopping the hateful treatment of women, minorities and oppression of people in shariah Islamic countries like Syria and Iran. We stand against honor killings, forced marriages and attacks against those who leave Islam like Noni Darwish,  who is sentenced to death. If that gets us on the Hate Map so be it. We will continue to expose hate and oppression where ever we find it.”

Laird Wilcox calls what the SPLC does “ritual defamation.” Wilcox is the founder of the Wilcox Collection on Contemporary Political Movements at the University of Kansas Kenneth Spencer Research Library. One News Now reports, “Wilcox said that with every new ‘hate group’ the SPLC puts on its list, the power of the SPLC only grows. ‘They have everything to gain: fundraising goes up, they get more media exposure, their credibility increases, and their political usefulness to the far left surges.”

The SPLC does not distinguish between the wheat and the chaff and this can be very dangerous, even deadly.


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