And the Southern Poverty Law Center guards its assets carefully, responding angrily when it is called out for its vicious nonsense.
SPLC “senior fellow” Mark Potok called Perkins’s accusation “outrageous.”
“For more than 40 years, the SPLC has battled against political extremism and political violence,” said Potok. “We have argued consistently that violence is no answer to problems in a democratic society, and we have strongly criticized all those who endorse such violence, whether on the political left or the political right.” [italics added]
This is demonstrably false. The SPLC habitually ignores labor violence. SPLC didn’t care when SEIU thugs beat up black conservative Kenneth Gladney for selling Gadsden flags, the Revolutionary Era flags emblazoned with “Don’t Tread On Me,” outside a town hall meeting.
The SPLC probably believes Gladney brought the attack on himself. According to Potok the Gadsden itself is a symbol of hate that in “contemporary society [is] the flag of the militia movement.” The flag says “Don’t mess with us,” and implies, “Don’t mess with us at the point of a gun.”
SPLC let a powerful Democratic lawmaker off the hook. Left-wing Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, a Democrat who filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and who used to be a paid recruiter for the ultra-violent Ku Klux Klan, got a free pass from the SPLC. Byrd eagerly volunteered for a bit part in the 2003 movie Gods and Generals, portraying Paul Jones Semmes. Semmes wasn’t merely a Confederate brigadier general: he was a slave-owning plantation owner.
Opposed at one time to efforts to racially integrate the military, Byrd wrote he preferred to “die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds!” A spokeswoman for SPLC, which raises millions of dollars each year claiming the nearly extinct Klan somehow poses a mortal threat to society, downplayed Byrd’s KKK ties. “It’s not just Robert Byrd who was touched by this, but many, many people … The fact of the matter is, for many years, the Klan wasn’t very far off the mainstream of American politics,” she said in 2005.
Nothing to see here; move along.
Potok blamed right-wingers when the mentally ill Jared Lee Loughner shot then-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and when Joe Stack flew his plane into an IRS office in Texas.
To the extent that either man had any kind of a discernible belief structure, they sure didn’t seem like conservatives. Loughner listed the Communist Manifesto as one of his favorite books and Stack’s online suicide note ended with “The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.”
We’ll probably never know for sure if the “hate group” designation SPLC slapped on the Family Research Council inspired would-be mass murderer Floyd Lee Corkins II to shoot FRC security employee Leo Johnson.
But we do know that the nasty propagandists of the Southern Poverty Law Center aren’t going to give up on their odious campaign to de-legitimize their opponents any time soon.
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