A right-wing “news organization,” CNSNews, recently attempted to confront Morris Dees, head of the Southern Poverty Law Center, in an attempt to yet again exploit the awful shooting which happened last year at the headquarters of the Family Research Council.
Last August, 28-year-old Floyd Corkins attempted a mass shooting at FRC headquarters. Corkins was armed with handgun, a box of ammunition and 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches. He was stopped by a security guard who suffered minor injuries.
Since the time of the shooting, FRC has blamed the Southern Poverty Law Center for Corkins’ actions. SPLC had labeled FRC and several religious right organizations as hate groups due to the inaccurate things they have said about the lgbt community, including the claim gay men molest children at a high level.
FRC president Tony Perkins said the Southern Poverty Law Center had given Corkins a “license to kill” by classifying his organization as a hate group. The SPLC stood by that designation, saying the FRC also had spread false propaganda about gays.
Other conservative and right religious right groups and spokespeople also got into the act of attacking SPLC with embarrassing results. On a youtube video, Janet Porter of Faith2Action falsely claimed that SPLC also named Concerned Women for America as a hate group, published the address of CWA’s president, and encouraged people to “pay her a visit.”
In regards to its confrontation with Dees, CNS News attempted to make it seem that Dees was flustered, however it appears to me that Dees did well for himself when the new group asked about SPLC’s “hate map”:
CNSNews.com questioned Dees about the Hate Map when he was in Washington, D.C., last week, asking whether his group has ever considered removing the FRC since the revelation from Corkins.
“Well, first of all, having a group on our Hate Map doesn’t cause anybody to attack them anymore than they attacked us for one thing or another,” Dees said. “This group that says gay people—statements attributed to their people said that gay people caused the Holocaust.
Demonstrably false things they say about gay people. “It’s not on our Hate Map because they’re against gay people—and many, the Catholic Church is against people who are gay, so as others—it’s because of the demonstrably false things they say about people that are just total lies that demean gay people, they cause people to attack gay people,” he said.
Part of the claim against SPLC lies with a video posted by FRC months after the shooting which showed Corkins talking to the police afterwards. SPLC had earlier addressed this video:
The centerpiece . . . is a video published by the Family Research Council (FRC) last week that shows a man who wounded a security guard at its headquarters telling investigators that he got the FRC’s name from the SPLC list of hate groups as it appears on our website. That is apparently true, although it is false, as some on the religious right have claimed, that the shooter, Floyd Lee Corkins, found the street address of FRC on our website before carrying out the Aug. 15, 2012, attack. In fact, we never publish addresses of the groups we criticize.
As you can tell, we are fast coming on the anniversary of the FRC shooting, which means we can expect FRC and other conservative and religious right groups to raise as much fuss about it as possible. However, what FRC will most likely NOT do – just like CNSNews didn’t do in its article – is to address the claims made by SPLC regarding FRC’s negative propaganda against the lgbt community
Corkins’ attempt to carry out an attack on FRC headquarters was justifiably condemned by those on the left and right of the political spectrum. But let’s be clear about something. No matter how many times FRC blames SPLC for the near tragedy at its headquarters, it is a distraction and a lie
And it is one which FRC will continue to exploit in order to NOT address the false claims it makes about the lgbt community.
Photo courtesy of the Southern Poverty Law Center