FBI: We’ve Not Made ‘An Endorsement’ of Southern Poverty Law Center

Penny Starr, CNS News, December 5, 2013

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) says listing the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a resource on its “Hate Crimes” website page and linking to the organization is “not an endorsement” of the group or its research materials on hate crimes.

“The Resource link to SPLC is for informational purposes and not an endorsement of the organization or the information on their website,” an FBI spokesman told CNSNews.com.

On the FBI’s “Hate Crimes” page, it gives a general description of hate crimes and then includes a section headlined “In Depth,” which includes a prominent sub-head, “Resources.” Listed there under the Resources with a hyperlink is “Southern Poverty Law Center.”

CNSNews.com asked about the link to the SPLC because the man convicted of domestic terrorism this year for the shooting attack at the Family Research Council (FRC) told FBI investigators that he targeted the FRC after finding their name on the SPLC’s own “Hate Map,” where the pro-family and Christian organization is labeled as “anti-gay.”

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In a 2010 interview with The Social Contract, researcher Laird Wilcox, founder of the Wilcox Collection on Contemporary Political Movements at the University of Kansas’s Kenneth Spencer Research Library, was critical of SPLC and its ties to the government and law enforcement.

“The SPLC has managed to engage police and government agencies to assist them, interfacing informational resources about personal circumstances, vulnerability, and any opportunities for prosecution,” Wilcox said. “They have even counseled the military in stigmatization and defamation procedures.”

“The rules and procedures that still pertain to law enforcement and criminal justice agencies don’t apply to the SPLC because they’re private, unsupervised, and unaccountable to anyone,” Wilcox said.

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