Penny Starr, CNS News, February 10, 2014
A coalition of pro-family and traditional values groups sent a letter yesterday to Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director James Comey asking that the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigations to stop using the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a resource and authority on hate crimes.
The letter was written by Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William Boykin, former commander of U.S. Special Forces Command, and now executive vice president of the Family Research Council (FRC). It was co-signed by representatives of like-minded organizations, including the National Organization for Marriage, the Traditional Values Coalition, and the American Family Association.
The FBI, for example, uses SPLC as a “resource” on its hate crimes website.
“The presentation of SPLC to the public as a trusted source of information on the serious matter of hate crimes is completely unacceptable,” said the letter.
“The SPLC is a heavily politicized organization producing biased and inaccurate data on ‘hate groups’–not hate crimes,” the letter stated. “Moreover, the SPLC findings are not consistent with trends found in the FBI statistics.
“The FBI states that there has been a decrease in hate crimes of 24.3% from 1996 to 2010,” the letter stated. “During that period racial hate crimes decreased by 41.9%.
“However, the SPLC claims that since 2000, the number of hate groups has increased by 67.3%. Something is not right here.”
The letter notes the SPLC is linked to the first conviction for domestic terrorism under a 2002 District of Columbia law after Floyd Lee Corkins II was found guilty of that charge and other felonies for shooting a security guard at FRC in August 2012.
Corkins, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison, admitted to investigators and in federal court that he targeted FRC based on a “hate map” on SPLC’s website that listed the organization as a “hate group” because of its support of traditional marriage and opposition to same-sex marriage.
“We appreciate the work the FBI does every day, but we cannot allow the SPLC to be listed in official FBI resources as a friend of civil rights and law enforcement when the organization has become one of the biggest bullies in America.”
The letter concluded that it is “completely inappropriate” for the DOJ to use SPLC’s data and called for links to the organization on its website to be “taken down immediately.”