The Southern Poverty Law Center, which has a long history of unfairly labeling right-of-center groups as “hate organizations,” has reportedly been removed from the FBI’s “resources” section on the agency’s Hate Crime Web page.
The FBI didn’t comment on the removal, which also included the scrubbing of a link to the Anti-Defamation League. But the timing suggests that a letter recently sent to Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director James Comey by a coalition of family groups had something to do with the removal.
The family rights groups, which included the Family Research Council (FRC) and American Family Association (AFA), contended in the letter that SPLC was responsible for inspiring a domestic terror attack on FRC’s Washington, D.C., headquarters.
Personal Liberty Digest™ reported on the investigation of the attack last April:
The Southern Poverty Law Center has built a legacy around pointing out instances of hate and dangerous extremism in the United States. As times change, however, so do those examples of hate and extremism; but many people have suggested in recent years that the SPLC has lost its way in keeping up with those changes and simply moved to cry “hate” in the direction of any group out of line with its left-leaning philosophy.
The validity of such criticism is perhaps more evident than ever in the case of domestic terrorist Floyd Corkins II, which has been largely ignored by the mainstream media.
Corkins carried out a shooting attack on the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the conservative Family Research Council last year. Upon entering the building posing as an intern, the man opened fire on security guards, wounding one, before being wrestled to the ground. Had his plan not been thwarted early on, a much grislier scene would have unraveled, as the perpetrator reportedly planned to maim and kill as many people in the building as possible before smearing their faces with Chic-fil-A sandwiches he carried with him as a political statement.
Corkins has since pleaded guilty to an act of armed terrorism and assault with intent to kill.
Earlier this year, it was reported that Corkins made the decision to attack FRC based on their designation as an anti-gay hate group by the SPLC. The report was largely disregarded by mainstream media outlets and bears mention again because the FBI released video of the interrogation that revealed the connection for the first time this week.
“Southern Poverty Law lists, uh, anti-gay groups,” Corkins told agents who asked how he found the organization. “I found them online — did a little research, went to the website, stuff like that.”
In an interview with Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard, FRC President Tony Perkins said he was pleased by the removal.
“We commend the FBI for removing website links to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that not only dispenses erroneous data but has been linked to domestic terrorism in federal court. We hope this means the FBI leadership will avoid any kind of partnership with the SPLC,” Perkins said.
“The Southern Poverty Law Center’s mission to push anti-Christian propaganda is inconsistent with the mission of both the military and the FBI, which is to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States,” he added.
AFA President Tom Wildmon said that the SPLC’s work defending the civil rights of minorities provided for the common good. But added that the organization’s attacks on Christians who disagree with the LGBT community indicates that the organization has “lost their reason to exist” and is trying to find hate where there is none.
“To have the FBI disassociate itself with the Southern Poverty Law Center is an excellent move on their part,” he said. “American Family Association, [along with] the Family Research Council, has been slandered, quite frankly, by this SPLC group as a hate organization.”
“We have strong stands on moral issues, including marriage and life and those kinds of things, but we are not and never have been a hate group,” Wildmon added. “We’ve been unfairly labeled that by the Southern Poverty Law Center.”