Around seven months ago Floyd Lee Corkins II entered the Family Research Council headquarters and opened fire. Corkins told the FBI that he was inspired by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s hate lists published online. The SPLC designates groups with which it disagrees as “hate groups.” Despite having served as the inspiration for one tragedy, the SPLC is once again pushing its ironic “hate lists” in the spring issue of their publication.
The number of conspiracy-minded antigovernment “Patriot” groups on the American radical right reached an all-time high in 2012, the fourth consecutive year of powerful growth by a movement that is becoming increasingly militant as President Obama enters his second term and Congress debates gun control measures, according to a report issued today by the SPLC.
When the Tucson massacre occurred Sarah Palin and the tea party were blamed. Palin’s cross hairs map (the DSCC published an identical map months prior, showcasing vulnerable districts, but facts are pesky things) was hounded until she removed her map from her Facebook page. Tea partiers in Tucson were hounded by the media and even threatened with their lives on national television. Months after the shooting I visited with Tucson tea partiers and attended an event organized to support them after they were ruthlessly persecuted by Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik. Dupnik blamed the tragedy on their dissent with the administration, despite no relation with Jared Lee Loughner to any conservative movement, or Palin.
The same individuals who perpetuated this association were silent when it was discovered that the Southern Poverty Law Center’s smear lists did inspire the criminal behind the FRC shooting. There have been no calls for the SPLC to cease publishing it’s hateful lists or even pull the past lists which inspired Corkins. Are we to expect more tragedies based on the SPLC “hate lists?” Will SPLC even apologize for pushing hyper-inaccurate which have already endangered the lives of one group’s members?