According to a September FOIA response, a Defense Department office has ceased using material from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the extraordinarily well-funded left-wing non-profit.
The Department of Defense’s (DOD) Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity, the congressionally mandated diversity office originally known as the Defense Race Relations Institute, once included citations to the SPLC in its “training materials on hate groups or hate crimes” but has ceased doing so.
The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Jonah Bennett obtained an email, originally written in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from the Immigration Reform Law Institute, by Brian J. Field, an assistant U.S. attorney from the civil division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.
The September 2017 email confirms:
The DEOMI [Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute] office informed me that, based on a previous FOIA request, DEOMI records concerning, regarding, or related to the preparation and presentation of training materials on hate groups or hate crimes were forwarded … That 133-page document did reference the SPLC; however, based upon guidance from the Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity, all references to the SPLC have been removed from any current training.
In 2014, DOD told CNS News that it stopped including the SPLC’s “hate lists” but that it would continue to cite their data. That appears to no longer be the case as the DEOMI joins the FBI, which dropped links to the SPLC in 2014 and again in 2017, as a federal agency that no longer cites the “anti-hate” group.
As recently as 2013, the DEOMI used SPLC material extensively in a training manual, despite concerns from Christians groups. It appears the same 133-page manual at issue then is among those from which reference to the SPLC has been removed.
While still quoted uncritically by many mainstream media outlets, the SPLC has been under ever-increasing scrutiny since 2012, when domestic terrorist Floyd Lee Corkins used their so-called “Hate Map” to find the offices of the Family Research Council, a Washington, DC-based, Christian non-profit. The SPLC considers the FRC a “hate group” because it opposed the legalization of homosexual marriage and takes other stances the SPLC considers “anti-gay” hate. Corkins, looking for “anti-gays” to kill, walked into the FRC’s offices with more than 100 rounds of ammunition and opened fire. Miraculously, only one man, building manager Leo Johnson, was shot before Johnson personally subdued and disarmed Corkins.
In June, the largest online charity rating site stopped including SPLC determinations on conservative non-profits, such as the Center for Immigration Studies, the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), and IRLI, the group responsible for the FOIA above.
Another blow to the group’s credibility came with revelations that the SPLC was stashing some of its reported $300 million endowment in off-shore accounts.
The SPLC did not respond to Breitbart News’s request for confirmation of DEOMI’s decision.