FBI: We've Not Made 'An Endorsement' of Southern Poverty Law Center

By Penny Starr | December 5, 2013 | 3:38pm EST

The FBI's 'Hate Crimes' web page, which includes under 'Resources' the 'Southern Poverty Law Center." (Web screenshot.)

(CNSNews.com) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) says listing the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a resource on its “Hate Crimes” website page and linking to the organization is "not an endorsement” of the group or its research materials on hate crimes.

"The Resource link to SPLC is for informational purposes and not an endorsement of the organization or the information on their website,” an FBI spokesman told CNSNews.com.

On the FBI's "Hate Crimes" page, it gives a general description of hate crimes and then includes a section headlined "In Depth," which includes a prominent sub-head, "Resources." Listed there under the Resources with a hyperlink is "Southern Poverty Law Center."

CNSNews.com asked about the link to the SPLC because the man convicted of domestic terrorism this year for the shooting attack at the Family Research Council (FRC) told FBI investigators that he targeted the FRC after finding their name on the SPLC’s own “Hate Map,” where the pro-family and Christian organization is labeled as “anti-gay."

“I find it incredible that a federal agency charged with protecting the American people allows itself to be connected to a group that was certified in court as the source that inspired an act of terrorism,” Lt. Gen Jerry Boykin, executive vice president of FRC, told CNSNews.com.

Boykin said the FRC’s longstanding support for marriage as the union between one man and one woman is based on what it believes is Biblical truth and does not reflect any kind of hateful ideology against homosexuals.

Boykin said the FBI linking to SPLC “sanctions them as a credible source” on the subject of hate crimes.

But “they are not a credible source,” he said.

Floyd Lee Corkins ll, 29, shot a security guard on Aug. 15, 2012 before the victim subdued him. In September 2013, Corkins was convicted of domestic terrorism and other felonies and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

A pre-trial interview of Corkins by FBI agents revealed that he had located the Family research Council through the SPLC’s “Hate Map.”  The interrogation went as follows:

FBI INTERROGATOR: “Now how did you, did this building, this organization, did you, did you, how did you find it earlier? Did you, like, look it up online? Or, how did you—“

FLOYD CORKINS: “It was, uh, a Southern Poverty Law lists, uh, anti-gay groups. I found them online.”


CORKINS: “I did a little bit of research, I went to the website, stuff like that.”


Family Researh Council employee Leo Johnson who was shot by Floyd Lee Corkins but still managed to subdue the shooter on Aug. 15, 2012, in the lobby of the conservative organization's building in Washington, D.C.

CNSNews.com gave the SPLC the opportunity to respond to the FBI's statement that it does nto endorse them or their website content, but none of the inquires to the SPLC were answered.

In a 2010 interview with The Social Contract, researcher Laird Wilcox, founder of the Wilcox Collection on Contemporary Political Movements at the University of Kansas’s Kenneth Spencer Research Library, was critical of SPLC and its ties to the government and law enforcement.

“The SPLC has managed to engage police and government agencies to assist them, interfacing informational resources about personal circumstances, vulnerability, and any opportunities for prosecution,” Wilcox said. “They have even counseled the military in stigmatization and defamation procedures.”

“The rules and procedures that still pertain to law enforcement and criminal justice agencies don’t apply to the SPLC because they’re private, unsupervised, and unaccountable to anyone,” Wilcox said.

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