Coalition Urges Media to Stop Citing False SPLC

Sep 7, 2017

Leaders of 47 nonprofits sent an open letter to the media warning that the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) list of so-called "hate groups" that includes peaceful organizations is false and lacks any semblance of credibility.

The letter states the SPLC is "a discredited, left-wing, political activist organization that seeks to silence its political opponents with a 'hate group' label of its own invention and application that is not only false and defamatory, but that also endangers the lives of those targeted with it."

The leaders cited both political and media figures debunking the SPLC and highlighted the FBI’s removal of the SPLC as a “trusted source” for Hate Crimes in 2014. The letter further states:

"On August 15, 2012, Floyd Lee Corkins II entered the Family Research Council offices in Washington, D.C. and shot and badly wounded its building manager, Leo Johnson, who stopped his intended killing spree. According to his own statements to the FBI, Corkins intended to kill everyone in the building, and then go on to terrorize additional organizations. We believe the media outlets that have cited the SPLC in recent days have not intended to target mainstream political groups for violent attack, but by recklessly linking the Charlottesville melee to the mainstream groups named on the SPLC website and we are left to wonder if another Floyd Lee Corkins will soon be incited to violence.”

Corkins pled guilty under the Domestic Terrorism Act and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. During an FBI interrogation, Corkins admitted he targeted the FRC because of the SPLC "hate map."

The SPLC, which is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt “charitable” organization, also transfers millions of dollars in cash to foreign accounts in the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands and Bermuda, according to The Washington Free Beacon. The SPLC states it has a staff of 75 lawyers who practice in the area of children's rights, economic justice, immigrant justice, LGBT rights, and criminal justice reform, but reported spending only $61,000 on legal services in 2015. 


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