Sleazy left-wing extremist groups are a dime a dozen, but the Southern Poverty Law Center is in a league all its own, as evidenced by its latest indefensible proclamation.
The Washington Free Beacon reports that SPLC, an organization that bills itself as an authority on “hate groups” operating in America, recently refused to label Antifa, the latest group of left-wing thugs on campus, as a hate group in a weekend interview with the Washington Examiner:
“We oppose these groups and what they’re trying to do. We just don’t think anyone should be able to censor someone else’s speech,” [SPLC President Richard] Cohen said. “We think they are contributing to the problem we are seeing. We think it’s likely to lead to other forms of retaliation.”
However, Cohen refused to label antifa a “hate group” since its members do not discriminate on the basis of race, sexual orientation, or other categories protected by anti-discrimination law.
“There might be forms of hate out there that you may consider hateful, but it’s not the type of hate we follow,” he said […]
The SPLC on its website defines the criteria for being designated as a “hate group”:
“All hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.”
Well, last I checked, conservatives were “an entire class of people,” and Antifa categorically hates them plenty. Presumably SPLC apologists’ rejoinder would be that conservative viewpoints aren’t “immutable characteristics,” but SPLC recognizes religious bigotry as the kind of hate they track, and religious beliefs aren’t immutable, either.
More importantly, this excuse rings hollow because SPLC doesn’t abide by its own criteria; in fact, many of the “hate groups” it targets aren’t hateful at all. At the Free Beacon, Juan Leon highlights several recent examples:
Family Research Center (FRC)
In August 2012, a man walked into the Christian pro-family, non-profit Family Research Center’s headquarters with the intention of killing “as many as possible” and smearing “Chick-fil-A sandwiches in victims’ faces.” He found the organization through the SPLC’s online listing of “anti-gay groups, which includes FRC because of its traditional marriage views.
“The SPLC’s reckless labeling has led to devastating consequences,” FRC president Tony Perkins told the Examiner. “Because of its ‘hate group’ lists, a deadly terrorist had a guidemap to FRC and other organizations. Our staff is still reeling from the attack, and the chilling effect this could have on organizations that are simply fighting for their values is outrageous.”
Center for Immigration Studies (CIS)
CIS executive director Mark Krikorian wrote a Washington Post op-ed earlier this year in which he argued against the SPLC’s designation of his Washington, D.C. think tank as a “hate group.”
“The wickedness of the SPLC’s blacklist lies in the fact that it conflates groups that really do preach hatred, such as the Ku Klux Klan and Nation of Islam, with ones that simply do not share the SPLC’s political preferences,” he wrote. “The obvious goal is to marginalize the organizations in this second category by bullying reporters into avoiding them, scaring away writers and researchers from working for them, and limiting invitations for them to discuss their work.”
American College of Pediatricians
The SPLC has accused the socially conservative organization of pediatricians and health care professionals of defaming “gays and lesbians in the name of protecting children.”
Indeed, the David Horowitz Freedom Center has extensively documented SPLC’s radicalism and dishonesty, highlights of which include summarizing the United States as a country “seething” with “racial violence” in which “hate” is a “daily constant,” and inflating their tallies of domestic “hate groups” by including organizations that are either defunct or don’t actually exist.
Why? Because the Southern Poverty Law Center isn’t really interested in fighting hate. However the organization began, its stated mission today is just a front for slandering conservatives.