Southern Poverty Law Center uses tech giants to bully conservatives
The hate business may not be what it used to be — at least on the government level.
The Defense Department has become the latest federal agency to sever ties with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an Alabama-based, hard-left group whose “hate map” is being used against Christian groups.
Well, bully for the Pentagon for showing that bully the door.
The Pentagon’s pullback from the SPLC was reported by the Daily Caller, which said that a Justice Department attorney stated in an email that the DOD “removed any and all references to the SPLC in training materials used by the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI).”
In 2014, the FBI dropped the SPLC from its resources page after congressional staff, acting on behalf of the Family Research Council (FrC) and other Christian groups on the “hate map,” met with FBI officials to discuss their concerns, according to the Daily Caller.
Once hailed for tracking the Ku Klux Klan and other extremists, the SPLC has in recent years been wielded against mainstream Christian organizations over their defense of biblical sexual morality and marriage.
If you say out loud that men are different from women, you just took a big step toward the “hate map.” If you say that marriage necessarily involves both sexes, bingo. And if you say that it’s not loving to steer boys into identifying as girls, you might earn an SPLC mention alongside skinheads and Neo-Nazis.
The SPLC also targets those who oppose illegal immigration and those who believe Islamic expansionism is a threat to freedom. All in all, the SPLC might want to consider changing its name to Hate, Inc.
In 2015, the SPLC placed presidential candidate Ben Carson, who now heads the Department of Housing and Urban Development, on an “extremist” hate watch list. After taking considerable flak, the SPLC removed the citation and apologized to Dr. Carson.
But this guilt-by-association ploy is having a huge effect in Silicon Valley, where cyber giants who fancy themselves do-gooders look to the SPLC for guidance.
“Right now, [the SPLC is] cutting off hate groups from sources of financing by pushing digital companies like Amazon not to allow hate groups to use their services,” said SPLC’s founder, direct-mail wizard Morris Dees.
Google, Facebook and Twitter are under congressional scrutiny for allegedly “shadow banning” conservative and religious postings.
“The most dangerous aspect of this high-tech offensive on pro-faith groups and individuals is buried deep in the algorithms of these gatekeepers for the new economy,” said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel.
Google now supports a “hate news” database that links to articles referencing Liberty Counsel and other Christian groups on the SPLC “hate” list. The SPLC’s smears have led Amazon Smile, a charity donation program run by Jeff Bezos’ Amazon company, to ban pro-family Christian groups.
Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced a $1 million Apple donation to the SPLC and added a portal so iTunes buyers could donate directly. Big Tech, meet Big Hate.
The SPLC’s perfidy has led to “hate” labels on Christian groups listed in GuideStar, the charity group database, which removed some labels after a public outcry. Discover/Diners Club is now blocking transactions with some pro-family groups, according to Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver.
Making false accusations of hate is profoundly hateful, but it’s also lucrative. The SPLC, which has raised millions since its 1971 founding, has fattened its endowment to more than $477 million, according to its latest Form 990.
In August 2017, D. James Kennedy Ministries, for which I have written several books, finally had had enough and filed a defamation lawsuit against the SPLC in Alabama and also sued GuideStar and Amazon.com, Inc. The ministry withdrew the GuideStar suit but continued the other litigation. Liberty Counsel also sued GuideStar, but that suit was thrown out last January by U.S. District Judge Raymond Jackson, a Bill Clinton appointee.
In August 2012, Leo Johnson, the building manager at FRC headquarters in Washington, D.C., was shot while preventing an attempted mass murder by a man who said he was inspired by FRC’s presence on the SPLC’s “hate map.”
The shooter, Floyd Lee Corkins II, planned to kill as many people as possible and jam Chick-fil-A sandwiches into their faces to protest Chick-fil-A’s and FRC’s support for natural marriage. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison in September 2013 for committing an act of terrorism while armed and other offenses.
Apparently, the SPLC did not find this compelling enough to remove the FRC from its “hate map,” where it remained until very recently. However, the FRC — along with D. James Kennedy Ministries, the American Family Association, Alliance Defending Freedom, the Ruth Institute, the American College of Pediatricians and many other reputable Christian groups, along with the Jewish-led parents group MassResistance — is still listed on the SPLC’s “Hate Watch” page.
For pro-family activists, it’s become a badge of honor.
• Robert Knight is a contributor to The Washington Times. His latest book is “A Nation Worth Saving: 10 Steps to Restore Freedom” (djkm.org, 2018).
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