Southern Poverty Law Center Facing ‘New Reality,’ Calls Trump Advisers ‘Far-Right Extremists’

Lauretta Brown | November 10, 2016 | 2:43pm EST
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President-elect Donald Trump (AP Photo)

( – The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an organization that has been praised by Obama’s Justice Department for combating “domestic extremism” and designates groups on a “Hate Map” including some controversial listings of conservative groups, reacted Wednesday to the news of President-elect Donald Trump’s win calling it a “new reality.”

“Today, we’re facing a new reality – a president-elect who has denigrated people because of their race, their religion, their ethnicity, their gender, and more,” SPLC President Richard Cohen wrote. “Our mission is to hold Donald Trump to what he is saying now – that he will be a president for all Americans and that he will work to bind the wounds of division, wounds that his own words have caused.”

“During his campaign, Mr. Trump named far-right extremists as advisers,” Cohen claimed, linking to an article calling Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) a “key politician in the anti-Muslim movement” and citing Sessions’ opposition of President Obama’s plan to resettle Syrian refugees as a reason for this label.

Cohen also claimed that Trump “re-circulated racist and anti-Semitic tweets, gave press credentials to a white supremacist radio host, and refused for months to disavow David Duke after the neo-Nazi endorsed him.”

“Tomorrow, and every day in the future, we’ll fight for the rights of the most vulnerable people in America – those victimized by bigotry and discrimination,” Cohen wrote. “We hope Mr. Trump truly means what he says about reaching out to all Americans. But there is one group we hope he disappoints – the extremists who flocked to his candidacy and found in him a voice for their bigotry.”

The statement also cited post-election resources the SPLC is providing to teachers, including that teachers prepare “to engage in difficult conversations surrounding the various topics—racism, civil rights, immigration and so forth—that the election has raised.”

“Now, white nationalists and the alt-right are celebrating his victory,” Cohen concluded. “If he means what he says, Mr. Trump must make absolutely clear to them that neither their ideas nor anyone affiliated with them will have any influence or voice in his administration. That is the first thing he must do to begin binding the wounds of division that his campaign has caused.”

The SPLC’s Hate Map lists the conservative Family Research Council (FRC) as a “hate group” because of its opposition to same-sex marriage. The “hate map” was cited by convicted domestic terrorist Floyd Lee Corkins as the way he found the FRC in his 2012 attack on the FRC in when he shot and wounded a security guard before being subdued.

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