Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement that the Justice Department has created a new “religious liberty task force,” has been met with a mixture of praise and skepticism from conservatives. In question is the Bureau’s decision to resume its partnership with the controversial Southern Poverty Law Center.
Republican Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida says the government should have nothing to do with the SPLC. In a letter to acting assistant director of Congressional Affairs Jill Tyson, Gaetz called the news: “surprising and worrisome as the SPLC is known to use its platform in order to denigrate and disparage certain groups by labeling them ‘hate groups.’”
He added, “The SPLC’s conflation of mainstream political advocacy groups with legitimate hate groups and domestic terror groups is absurd, frequently indiscriminate and dangerous.”
Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William G. “Jerry” Boykin has been vocal for a while about the bias of the SPLC and he use of it as a reference by many in the government and media. Boykin, the executive vice president of the Family Research Council (FRC) said the SPLC is an “arm of the extreme Left. This hate labeling is totally illegitimate. It’s contrived and totally for political purposes.”
In the past the SPCL has labeled both the Family Research Council and US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson as extremist and racist. True to form Carson was name by the Council which then recanted the label after the damage had already been done. The only proof that Carson is racist was that he said: “Marriage is between a man and a woman; it’s a well-established pillar of society.”
Fox News reporter Tucker Carlson said, “As you already know if you’ve been paying any attention at all, the Southern Poverty Law Center is a fraudulent enterprise. It’s a left-wing political group that uses ‘hate crime’ designations to target its ideological enemies and to crush people.”
The news analyst was once targeted himself by the SPLC himself.
According to Carlson, the FBI has refused to comment on its relationship with the SPLC in spite of being asked repeatedly to at least “explain why it continues to work with a group like that.”
Though always leftist, most on both sides of the aisle once viewed the SPLC as a legitimate legal advocate. Now it isn’t just conservatives who see the group as a political activist front organization that uses its past accomplishments to rake in millions of dollars.
Liberal law professor at Cornell William Jacobson is a frequent critic of the SPLC. He says the group wraps itself in the mantle of the civil rights struggle to engage in partisan political crusading. He said, “ Time and again, I see the SPLC using the reputation it gained decades ago fighting the Klan as a tool to bludgeon mainstream politically conservative opponents … For groups that do not threaten violence, the use of SPLC ‘hate group’ or ‘extremist’ designations frequently are exploited as an excuse to silence speech and speakers.”
Ironically, the left wing SPCL has targeted some of the strongest advocates for justice in the world. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born women’s rights activist was also on the SPLC’s hate list. Ali, a victim of female genital mutilation, is a vocal advocate against the practice and has won a number of awards as a human rights activist. Her nonprofit, the AHA Foundation, works to protect women both from genital mutilation and forced marriage but according a now deleted SPLC list Ali is an “anti-Muslim extremist.” Though they removed her name, Ali says she has yet to receive an apology and the SPLC has not made an official retraction.
The SPLC’s influence reaches deep into Silicon Valley as well with working partnerships with Google, Facebook, Amazon and Twitter. The tech companies all consult the SPLC in policing their platforms for “hate speech” and “hate groups.”
A Department of Justice spokesman said such relationships are being reevaluated to “ensure the FBI does not partner with any group that discriminates.
Boykin says he is encouraged by the news and “if the FBI will follow through on that, I think it’s a great day in America.”
While the FBI may be pulling back, at least publicly, from the group, its “Intelligence Project” has all but cornered the market on tracking and identifying “hate groups.” Nothing has stopped the mainstream media yet from citing the SPLC as the authoritative source for go-to experts on hate crimes “hate thought.”
~ American Liberty Report