January 18, 2018
The State Department has been a thorn in the side of conservatives for years. And despite all President Trump has done to clean up the mess Barack Obama left behind, the liberal holdovers at Rex Tillerson's agency continue to be a huge nuisance where it matters. Just this week, the Washington Free-Beacon exposed part of the deep state at State when it reported that the anti-Christian Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is playing a supporting role in an agency project.
The grant, called "Youth Exchange on Social Cohesion," is a two to three week exchange program run out of the U.S. embassy in London. According to the funding announcement, the point is to show young people the importance of cracking down on "hate crimes." And while SPLC isn't eligible for the money (and to our knowledge, no tax dollars have been doled out to the group connected with at least two incidents of domestic terrorism), its radical ideas are featured as a guiding force for anyone considering the application.
In a surprising turn, the agency lists SPLC as "an organization of interest," along with the radicals at George Soros's Open Society Foundation. Of course, the irony of that designation is that the whole purpose of the grant is to stop "violent extremism" -- the very thing Morris Dees's organization inspired in the shooting at FRC and a Virginia baseball field. Both gunmen, Floyd Corkins and James T. Hodgkinson, were fans of SPLC, Corkins even going so far as to use the group's "hate map" to find us. After being linked to FRC's shooting in federal court, even the Obama government started backing away from Dees's organization. The FBI, U.S. Army, and Obama Justice Department all distanced themselves from the dangerous rhetoric of SPLC.
To see Rex Tillerson's State Department using the group as a resource of any kind is absolutely unconscionable. Let's not forget: SPLC is the one who classified Congressman Steve Scalise (R-La.) an extremist -- a label that may have influenced Hodgkinson to seek out the Republican baseball team and mow down the House Whip, along with others. Imagine the outcry if the State Department listed FRC or another socially conservative entity an "organization of interest?" Liberals would object on purely ideological grounds. With SPLC, it's a lot more than ideology. It's a pattern of inspiring hate and criminal baggage that ought to disqualify it from every government partnership -- let alone this administration's!
More importantly, why would Congress appropriate money for a project that connects people to the same group that helped inspire a shooting on its own members? If the State Department wants to end violent extremism, here's an idea: stop promoting the people who encourage it!
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.