The Southern Poverty Law Center ceased long ago to be a neutral source of information.
As we have documented over the past years, SPLC has used the credibility it earned decades ago fighting the Klan to turn itself not only into a huge money-raising machine, but also to poison the political process:
- The Klan In Rhode Island? SPLC Exaggerates Again
- SPLC’s Democratic Party Mission
- Southern Poverty Law Center Completes Its Descent Into Madness
- Southern Poverty Law Center Still Peddling Lie That Giffords Shooter Was Right-Winger
SPLC’s “Extremist” watch lists are particularly notorious, and in some cases blatantly political.
Most of the people on the list are on it without much controversy, including Klan and neo-Nazi figures. But several critics of political Islam are on the list, as was Rand Paul in 2011 (accused of Electoral Extremism).
Landing on SPLC’s Extremist list can be politically deadly, and also deadly in the real sense. The Family Research Council made the list because of its position on same-sex marriage, inspiring Floyd Lee Corkins to go on a murderous shooting spree at FRC headquarters.
Yesterday I noticed a name I was surprised to see on the list: Ben Carson, listed as “anti-LGBT.”
If you read through the SPLC explanation, it boils down to Carson strongly supporting traditional marriage, and speaking in front of other groups that SPLC does not approve of. The SPLC narrative is highly political (emphasis added):
… Although the book amplified Carson’s name recognition, the breakout incident that made him a sensation in far-right political circles was his audacious public criticism of President Obama, who was sitting nearby at the National Prayer Breakfast in 2013. He lectured Obama on the national debt, called for a tax system along the lines of biblical tithes and touted health savings accounts that could be inherited by family members as a better option than any government plan. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and other right-wing political commentators lavished praise on Carson. The Wall Street Journal headlined a positive review of the speech “Ben Carson for President,” noting that he may not have been politically correct, “but he’s closer to correct than we’ve heard in years.”
In a March 2013 appearance on Fox News’ “Hannity,” Carson bolstered his standing with hardliners by appearing to equate gays who wish to marry with pedophiles and humans who have sex with animals. Although he later apologized for the remark, claiming it was taken out of context and asserting that he loved gay people just as much as straight people, his words triggered an avalanche of protest from faculty colleagues and students at Johns Hopkins. He had been scheduled to deliver the university’s commencement address just two months later but withdrew rather than stoke further controversy. At around the same time, Carson, at age 61, announced his retirement from Johns Hopkins, effective July 1, saying he wanted to leave surgical practice at the top of his game….
Here’s part of the speech SPLC thought so significant a sign of hate that it highlighted it in the report on Carson:
Here’s how Carson explained his most controversial statement, highlighted in the SPLC report:
Is Carson really such an extremist that he deserves to be on the same list as David Duke and neo-Nazi leaders?