FBI Removes Link to Southern Law Poverty Center Page as Source for ‘Hate Group’ Info
American Family Association Says Severing of SPLC Ties by Federal Agencies Is Long Overdue
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is no longer linking to the Southern
Poverty Law Center (SPLC) web site from parts of the hate crimes section of
FBI.gov. The controversial group was formerly linked as a resource and partner.
SPLC lists American Family Association (AFA, www.afa.net) on its “Hate Map” and as
“Anti-LGBT.” AFA President Tim Wildmon said the SPLC has
targeted individuals and organizations that support family values and traditional
marriage, adding that the time has come for the FBI and other federal agencies
to completely sever ties with the harmful SPLC.
“While it is a positive development that the FBI is no longer linking
to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s web site,” Wildmon said, “we hope that the
next step is to completely remove all references to the SPLC on the FBI web
site, especially in referring to this group as a ‘partner,’ and no longer rely
on the SPLC as a resource of any kind. SPLC is a harmful entity that purposefully
shines a negative light on groups who have differing political, social and
religious views on hot-button societal issue.”
Although the direct link to SPLC is no longer featured on the FBI “Hate
Crimes” page, the group is still referred to as a partner in public outreach as
of noon on March 27 on the “Hate
Crimes Overview” page, which states under a “Public Outreach” bullet: “The
FBI has forged partnerships nationally and locally with many civil rights
organizations to establish rapport, share information, address concerns, and
cooperate in solving problems. These groups include such organizations as the
NAACP, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Anti-Defamation League, the
National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium, the National Organization for
Women, the Human Rights Campaign, and the National Disability Rights Network.”
FBI.gov also still links to SPLC on the “Outreach
Partners” page of the government site.
The SPLC has labeled several Washington, D.C.-based family organizations as
“hate groups” for favoring traditional marriage, including Family Research
Council (FRC), which sent a letter last month to Attorney General Eric Holder
and FBI Director James Comey, calling for the removal of references to the SPLC
as a source or partner from the “Hate Crimes” portion of the FBI’s web site.
The letter was also signed by 14 other conservative and Christian leaders,
“We commend the FBI for removing website links to the Southern Poverty Law
Center, an organization that not only dispenses erroneous data but has been
linked to domestic terrorism in federal court. We hope this means the FBI
leadership will avoid any kind of partnership with the SPLC,” said FRC
President Tony Perkins.
In recent years, Christian groups have been concerned about their inclusion
on SPLC’s hate lists, as well as the use of the list by FBI as a resource—a
practice that is unfair and even dangerous to the civil liberties of the
groups’ members, employees and leaders.
Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William G. Boykin, Executive Vice President of the Family Research
Council, drafted the letter to Holder and Comey, stating that the FBI’s
association with the SPLC is “completely unacceptable.” The letter also called
SPLC “a heavily politicized organization producing inaccurate and biased data
on ‘hate groups’—not hate crimes” and accused the SPLC of “providing findings
that are not consistent with trends found in the FBI statistics.”
For example, where the FBI has found hate crimes and hate groups declining
significantly in the past 10 years, SPLC claims hate groups have increased 67.3
percent since 2000. Where once SPLC’s hate list was reserved for groups like
the Aryan Nation and the Ku Klux Klan, in 2010 SPLC started citing as hate
groups Christian organizations that oppose same-sex marriage, believe homosexuality
is not inborn or are otherwise critical of homosexuality.
The letter concluded that “it is completely inappropriate for the Department
of Justice to recommend public reliance on the SPLC hate group lists and data”
and demanded that all ties between the FBI and SPLC be severed.
A critical analysis published by Professor George Yancey of North
Texas University concluded that SPLC targets only those groups its leaders
disagree with politically while leaving liberal groups who use extreme language
alone. A 2013 article in Foreign Policy also concluded that
SPLC exaggerates the hate crimes threat, saying SPLC is not an “objective
purveyor of data,” instead calling the group “anti-hate activists” and
suggesting that their reports need to be “weighed more carefully by news
outlets that cover their pronouncements.”
For more information on American Family Association, visit www.afa.net.
To interview a representative from American
Family Association, contact Deborah Hamilton at email@example.com,
215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096.
American Family Association (AFA) a non-profit 501(c3) organization
was founded in 1977 by Donald E. Wildmon, who was pastoring First
United Methodist Church in Southaven, Mississippi, at the time. Since
1977, AFA has been on the frontlines of America’s culture war. The original
name of the ministry was National Federation for Decency but was changed to
American Family Association in 1988. Today, AFA is one of the largest and most
effective pro-family organizations in the country with more than one million
online supporters and approximately 180,000 paid subscribers to the AFA Journal, the ministry’s monthly magazine. In addition,
AFA owns and operates nearly 200 radio stations across the country under
the American Family Radio banner.
Other divisions of AFA include American Family Radio, the AFA Foundation
and OneNewsNow.com, an online news provider that is syndicated
around the world. AFA maintains activist web sites such as OneMillionMoms.com that rally Christian activists to
contact companies asking them to drop their advertising from objectionable TV
shows. AFA websites average over 6 million unique visitors and 44 million hits
per year. AFA uses all these means to communicate an outspoken, resolute,
Christian voice throughout America.