Conservative critics of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) have long argued that the group, which claims to be an organization “that combats hate, intolerance, and discrimination,” operates as a far-left group that seeks to advance its agenda by attempting to silence and delegitimize opponents of its worldview.
In a Thursday piece, the Associated Press highlights the voices of constitutionalists who contend, the AP argues, that the SPLC is “actually focused on silencing conservative viewpoints — sometimes with serious consequences.”
The piece tells the story about two police officers who were fired after they were found to be members of a group defined by the SPLC as a “racist, neo-Confederate organization.” One of the officers, Josh Doggrell, strongly contests those charges.
He alleged the SPLC officials “have got an opinion like everybody else does and that’s all it is, is an opinion about ideology.”
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson succeeded where Doggrell failed, receiving an apology from the group for being labeled an “extremist.” The article on Carson, the SPLC later said in a statement, “did not meet our standards, so we have taken it down and apologize [sic] to Dr. Carson for having posted it.” The AP suggests the mounting accusations against the group may indicate this sort of error is increasingly common on the part of the SPLC, citing the Carson incident as evidence even the SPLC is aware “its labels aren’t always foolproof.”
The Associated Press report appears shortly after the SPLC’s decision to designate the Center for Security Policy (CSP), a national security think-tank in Washington, D.C. that has long been on the frontlines in the fight against radical Islam, a “hate group.” The SPLC has begun to blame the rise of jihadi terrorism in America on alleged anti-Muslim talking points from Republican presidential candidates and groups like the CSP, who track jihadist organizations operating against the United States. The candidates almost unanimously agree that the United States should not be taking in refugees from the civil war in Syria, due to the fact that there is no way to screen them out from being potential Islamic State members. The SPLC has labeled their concerns over the safety of Americans “anti-Muslim,” the AP says.
Frank Gaffney, the President and Founder of CSP, firmly rejects the SPLC’s labeling of his defense think tank.
“For 25 years, the Center has worked to secure freedom against those who hate it, including Islamic supremacists, who explicitly seek to suppress free speech and ultimately destroy our constitutional republic and every form of government other than sharia law,” Gaffney told Breitbart News.