June 15, 2017
Is the Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) hate labeling actually dangerous? There's a House leader lying in a hospital bed with a gunshot wound who might say yes. Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) is still in critical condition after a fan of the SPLC tried to kill as many Republican members as possible at a congressional baseball practice. Although the FBI hasn't confirmed a motive for the shooter, his Facebook profile would certainly seem to suggest one: outrage at conservatives. And while no one knows whether James Hodgkinson targeted Scalise, my friend and former legislative colleague is still prominently featured on the SPLC's website.
That hits especially close to home for FRC, which came dangerously close to a massacre itself when a gunman inspired by SPLC opened fire in our lobby. A federal court later linked SPLC to that first case of domestic terrorism in D.C. Now, five years later, SPLC is still fanning the flames that leads to violent acts like Hodgkinson. "We're aware that the SPLC was among hundreds of groups that the man identified as the shooter 'liked' on Facebook," the organization's president admitted yesterday. "I want to be as clear as I can possibly be: The SPLC condemns all forms of violence. We have worked for decades to combat domestic terrorism and violence based on hate."
But SPLC's rhetoric can't cover up their record as Mark Hemingway tweeted, "Southern Poverty Law Center, which has made quite a lot of hay unfairly accusing right of instigating violence, has to eat crow today." Over at the Daily Caller, Mark Steyn didn't mince words. "The Left wants to denormalize and dehumanize, to use your words, its political opposition... They don't have a debate in which they demolish [a conservative's] arguments. They don't want to win the debate. They want to prevent the debate from taking place... If you have people like the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has become fabulously wealthy by labeling everyone they disagree with as a hate group, if you keep calling everybody a hater, and in fact, if your organization calls people haters, you are the hater."
Mark Tapson at Truth Revolt couldn't help but note the irony. "So the Southern Poverty Law Center has no problem painting right-wingers as racist [or homophobic] scum but claims innocence when those right-wingers are targeted for death."
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.