Posted on October 19, 2015

DOJ Official Praises the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Work in Combating Domestic Terrorism

Lauretta Brown, CNS News, October 15, 2015

John Carlin, the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) assistant attorney general for National Security, announced on Wednesday that the DOJ is creating a new position of domestic terrorism counsel to combat the “real and present threat” of domestic extremism. Carlin praised groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) “that dedicate themselves to examining what the threat is, observing it, and reporting on it,” adding that the work of the SPLC was “very important.”

“Homegrown violent extremists can be motivated by any viewpoint on the full spectrum of hate–anti-government views, racism, bigotry, anarchy and other despicable beliefs,” Carlin said in his speech at George Washington University in a discussion co-hosted by the SPLC. “When it comes to hate and intolerance, no single ideology governs.”

Carlin was asked about the value of the SPLC’s work in helping the DOJ deal with the threat of domestic terrorist extremism.

“I can say based on our briefings that, as I said in my opening remarks, we very much think that the domestic terrorism threat is a real and present threat that demands to be addressed in new, creative ways,” he said, emphasizing that “Southern Poverty Law Center and other groups in this space are very important.”


SPLC’s Intelligence Project Director, Heidi Beirich, participated with Carlin in GW’s discussion of domestic terrorism. asked Beirich about their designation of the Family Research Council as a hate group.

“I think there’s a common misunderstanding about the way you get on our Hate List. We post groups on the basis of ideology, not whether they’re violent or not,” she replied.

“Of course, some of the groups are particularly violent, the Skinheads, Neo-Nazis, and what not,” she continued.  “Others are simply pushing propaganda that we consider hateful. For example, there’s an organization called American Renaissance, it puts out reams and reams of information about why black people are inferior. It lies, basically, so black people are dumber, they’re psychopathic, they’re more violent.”

“In the same way groups like the Family Research Council and the American Family Association do that but what they’re putting out is anti-gay material, so gay people are pedophiles, or molesters, or whatever the case may be, and that’s why they’re on the list and that’s the direct analogy,” she said.


[Editor’s Note: Heidi Beirich declined to respond to a request from American Renaissance to provide examples of our “lies.”]