Media conveniently omits important detail.
A North Carolina man named Craig Hicks murdered three young Muslims last week over what appears to be a parking dispute.
Some liberals in the media have consulted the Southern Poverty Law Center on the subject—but have failed to point out that Mr. Hicks is an apparent fan of SPLC.
The Killer, the Reporter, and the Southern Poverty Law Center
No, I don’t think the SPLC deserves any blame for the crime. That would be ridiculous. But the SPLC itself has a long history of throwing around blame in precisely that ridiculous way, so it would have been nice to hear how Potok reacts when an event like this lands in his own backyard. Double standards deserve to be challenged, right?
By the way: While the AlterNet piece doesn’t mention Hicks’ apparent fondness for the SPLC, it does mention the fact that his Facebook likes lean liberal. But it dismisses this as unimportant, telling us the significant thing is that Hicks “appears to fit the psychological profile of violent extremists—regardless of their ideological stripes.”
Patrick Poole of PJ Media recently made this observation:
A review of the Facebook page of the man charged in these murders, Craig Hicks, shows a consistent theme of anti-religion and progressive causes. Included in his many Facebook “likes” are the Huffington Post, Rachel Maddow, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Freedom from Religion Foundation, Bill Nye “The Science Guy,” Neil deGrasse Tyson, gay marriage groups, and a host of anti-conservative/Tea Party pages.
Remarkably, one of the four Facebook groups he had joined was “Religious Tolerance.”
In an ironic twist, Gillian Mohney of ABC News published a report yesterday which is specifically about the shooter’s social media likes, and while the article cites the Southern Poverty Law Center as an authority, it fails to mention the shooter’s fondness for the organization:
Chapel Hill Shooting: Social Media Provides a Glimpse of Alleged Killer
Little is known about the alleged shooter, but his social media activity may help to fill in some of the blanks.
Craig Stephen Hicks identified himself on Facebook as an atheist and ridiculed different religions, including Christianity and Islam. He also put up a post in which he appeared to identify as an ally of the LGBTQ community.
He also posted a picture last month appearing to show his loaded hand gun. Hicks had a concealed weapons permit, according to the Associated Press…
While both a local and federal investigation is ongoing, it might be difficult for authorities to prove the killings were a hate crime, experts say.
Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, explains that a hate crime is defined as a pre-existing crime that “has been motivated in whole or in part by a hatred of a particular group.”
Potok notes that not all states cover the same groups, for example some states will not prosecute a hate crime based on sexual orientation, but under a 2009 law, the federal government can also investigate or prosecute a hate crime
Potok said it is generally dfficult [sic] to prove a hate crime, because motive and state of mind can often be murky things to get a handle on. Potok said, for example, if someone gets into a fistfight because he or she is angry over somethiing [sic] and then uses a racial slur, it may not mean they committed a hate crime.
The fact that such a seemingly important detail could be left out of these reports can only be explained in one of two ways; ignorance or bias.
Most reporters have also failed to point out that this is the second shooter in recent years who is a fan of the SPLC, the first being Floyd Lee Corkins, who cited a “hate map” from the SPLC website as his inspiration for opening fire in the offices of the Family Research Council.
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