The Republican National Committee will be adopting a new resolution “refuting the legitimacy of the Southern Poverty Law Center to identify hate groups.”
The Republican National Committee is set to approve a resolution at its meeting in Charlotte "Refuting the legitimacy of the Southern Poverty Law Center to identify hate groups," saying the group "puts conservative groups or voices at risk of attack"
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) August 23, 2020
While the resolution denounces the organization as a whole, it specifically focuses on the Obama-Biden administration’s relationship with the group which allowed its leaders to give advice and provide guidance to the Department of Homeland Security. It also highlights an SPLC-inspired shooting at a conservative organization the group labeled as a “designated hate group” over eight years ago.
“RESOLVED, That the SPLC is a radical organization and that the federal government should not view this organization as a legitimate foundation equipped to provide actionable information to DHS or any other government agency,” the resolution concludes.
The SPLC responded to the RNC’s resolution claiming that this is an “attack” on and political ploy orchestrated to gain power.
“This resolution comes at a moment when Trump wants to argue to the American people that he should be trusted to combat bigotry. Our answer to that suggestion is a resounding no. In addition to this resolution giving comfort to hate groups, we have recently seen other evidence of hate groups and extremists making inroads into the Republican Party,” SPLC President and CEO Margaret Huang said.
Despite the SPLC’s insistence that it is devoted to “pushing back against their dehumanizing rhetoric,” there are many examples of its politically motivated actions. Not only are many of the group’s designations politically biased and unfounded, but it is also clear that its rhetoric incites violence.
On August 15, 2012, a man armed with a 9mm handgun, 50 rounds of ammunition, and 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches, arrived at the Family Research Council, a notably conservative group, headquarters in Washington with the intent to “kill as many as possible and smear the Chick-Fil-A sandwiches in victims’ faces, and kill the guard.”
“It’s not about you,” the man told the security guard. “I don’t like these people, and I don’t like what they stand for.”
The shooter was quickly subdued by the security guard, Leonardo Johnson, but not before firing off a few shots.
Later, the shooter clarified his statements to the FBI saying that he was targeting anti-gay organizations as designated by the SPLC. He also incorporated Chick-fil-A in his plan due to their professed stances on the issue.
“Chick-fil-A came out against gay marriage, so I was going to use that as a statement,” he said.
The shooter reportedly found the FRC on the SPLC’s online hate map which claims that the council’s “anti-LGBTQ” ideology is the reason for its designation as a hate group and began forming his plan.
The FRC denounced the shooter and his intentions as well as the SPLC, saying that it gave the shooter “a license to perpetrate this act of violence.”
“The day after Floyd Corkins came into the FRC headquarter and opened fire wounding one of our team members, I stated that while Corkins was responsible for the shooting, he had been given a license to perpetrate this act of violence by groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center which has systematically and recklessly labeled every organization with which they disagree as a ‘hate group,'” FRC President Tony Perkins said.
Corkins was arrested and eventually charged with “three felony charges, including a terrorism offense” for his actions.
Despite the charges, the SPLC still has not removed the FRC from their hate list because they “knowingly spread false and denigrating propaganda about LGBT people.”