Southern Poverty Law Center: Not Murderers, Just Hypocrites

Last August, a Virginia man named Floyd Corkins set out for the offices of the Family Research Council, a conservative group with a history of opposing gay causes, where he intended to shoot the people who work there and smear Chick-fil-A sandwiches in their corpses' faces. He wounded a guard who then disarmed and subdued him, stopping the massacre before it could begin. After Corkins' arrest, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins declared that the would-be killer had been "given a license" to conduct his crime by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which had labeled his organization a hate group.

This week Corkins pled guilty to a series of charges stemming from the attack. As The Washington Examiner reported, Corkins told the FBI "that he identified the FRC as an anti-gay organization on the website for the Southern Poverty Law Center." Specifically, he saw the council on the SPLC's "hate map."

Does that mean the SPLC gave Corkins a license to kill? Not by any standard I'd accept: Speakers should not be held responsible for the ways a deranged listener might choose to use their speech. By the SPLC's standards, on the other hand, Perkins had a point. As I wrote after Corkins' arrest last year,

When [Byron] Williams targeted [the] Tides [Foundation], the [SPLC] proclaimed that the "rhetoric that helped inspire Williams to pack his car with guns and ammo and head toward San Francisco finds echo throughout the rightwing media world." After an assassin attempted to kill Rep. Gabrielle Giffords -- and did kill six others -- the SPLC ran an editorial headlined "Expert: Political Rhetoric Likely a Factor in Arizona Shooting," complete with an echo of those inane attempts to link the crime to Sarah Palin's target map.

Needless to say, there are differences between these three cases. I'd say the attempt to tar Palin with the Giffords shooting is the worst of the trio, since the killer there wasn't even a Palinite. But the things they have in common are more important than the ways they differ. The SPLC says it's "outrageous" to blame it for Corkins' attempted murders. And I agree. But it would be nice if the group would attempt to explain why its reactions to the Tides plot and the Giffords shooting deserve any less outrage.

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  • Doctor Whom||

    It's different when we do it because, well, it just is.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "it just is."

    I don't understand why it's so difficult for Jesse not to get that. I mean come on.

  • MJGreen||

    Because Experts didn't say the SPLC is responsible. Duh!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "But it would be nice if the group would attempt to explain why its reactions to the Tides plot and the Giffords shooting deserve any less outrage."

    So glad you asked.

    Fuck you, that's why.

  • ||

    The only people responsible for nutjob attacks are the nutjobs, no matter what stupid mendacious fucks like the SPLC or the FRC say. In fact, they should be utterly ignored because they're partisan fucks.

  • SugarFree||

    I think we should make going on a killing spree illegal.

  • Hugh Akston||

    If only the Murder lobby didn't have such a huge influence in Washington.

  • Almanian!||

    Fucking rent seeking pricks

  • Killazontherun||

    Sometimes I wonder if Big Crime and certain gun control advocates are indeed in cahoots.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "killing spree illegal"

    Can you wait until after this weekend?

    Dear DHS, FBI, CIA, BATFMA, DEA, FDA, FEMA, NFL and BO, That was a joke.

  • Way Of The Crane||

    OOOOOHHHH I'm telling!

  • tarran||

    I think we should make going on a killing spree illegal.

    Without specific training teaching us how to do our jobs without going on killing sprees, any law will be meaningless and can't be used to prosecute anyone.

  • ||

    Agreed, plus if killing sprees are illegal then only criminals will go on killing sprees.

  • Proprietist||

    They should set up a program where we can turn in our killing sprees for cash.

  • ||

    We need to finally start having a national conversation about common sense restrictions on mass killings!

  • SugarFree||

    Murder: License and Tax It!

  • ||

    It could fix all our economic woes!

  • Killazontherun||

    100 Imperials in excise for every writ!

  • Way Of The Crane||

    It's the Southern Poverty Law Center. Why do you hate poor people Jesse?

  • WTF||

    Also, RACIST!!11!!!

  • Almanian!||

    What is "Poverty Law" anyway? And why don't we hear about Centers in the North, East or West? What about the Midwest? Is that a region, too? I suppose there's poverty there. Do they not have Law Centers? Maybe the coasts have Rich Law Centers since LA and New York are filled with rich actors and Wall Street types.

    Why is that?

    /Andy fucking Rooney

  • Zeb||

    I think that the SPLC actually had something to do with Southern Poverty and actually did some good in its early days. It has unfortunately become intensely partisan and, like many other advocacy organizations, its primary purpose is now to justify its own existence.

  • John||

    It basically worked itself out of business. It is just not 1968 anymore. As business got worse and worst, they made increasingly angry and bizarre appeals to their donors.

  • ChrisO||

    There's a lot of profit to be made in being a non-profit.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Tides is a nonprofit organization located in San Francisco's Presidio and in New York City. Tides works with individuals and institutions in the areas of grantmaking, fiscal sponsorship, nonprofit management, nonprofit real estate services, consulting, international grants, philanthropic investing, advocacy, and administrative services. (Wiki)

    Why would anyone target the Tides Foundation?

  • Almanian!||

    Turf war ith the Prince of Tides Foundation.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I thought it was a Clorox/All comspiracy.

  • Almanian!||

    I suppose it will all come out in the wash.

  • Hopfiend||

    Inspired!

  • wareagle||

    same reason this guy targeted the FRC. Being a non-profit does not insulate you from the causes your funding supports and potential backlash. Not advocating attacks on this group or any other, but let's not pretend it's some benign organization dealing with starving orphans in Sri Landa.

  • SugarFree||

    wikiwiki-ay

    Williams chose the Tides Foundation as a target because he believed that American billionaire philanthropist George Soros "has the Tides Foundation and the Tides fund," which he uses "for all kinds of nefarious activities."[7]
  • Palin's Buttplug||

    More lies from who else? The Beckerhead.

  • SIV||

    If the Tides Foundation is so apolitical why don't they prove it by eating at Chick-fil-A?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I eat at Chick-fil-A so that makes me apolitical.

    Of course they are everywhere in Georgia.

  • ||

    I went to a Chic-fil-a last week for the first time in probably a decade just to see what all the fuss was about. As fast food goes, 10/10 would eat there again.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    FRC and SPLC actually demonize other people. Tides does not.

  • wareagle||

    bullshit. of course, Tides demonizes political opponents and the group is quite political.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    So you are a Beck fan too? Figures.

    Tides was founded and led by Drummond Pike, not Soros.

    http://www.tides.org/about/history/drummond-pike/

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Palin's Buttwipe,

    Tides was founded and led by Drummond Pike, not Soros.


    You didn't address wareagle's assertion that Tides is far from being apolitical.

    I don't see anything that one can use as evidence that Tides demonizes their opponents. However, the type of issues they focus on (especially the economics-illiterate ones, those that violate individual rights and those that require stealing from others - i'll tell you which in a second) does not make the foundation apolitical at all.

    Issues:

    Disability Rights [???]
    Economic Justice [????]
    Environmental Sustainability [???]
    Health Services/Healthcare Reform [???]
    Housing/Homelessness [???]
    Racial Justice [WTF ???]
    Reproductive Justice [WTF???] & Health
    Youth Development & Organizing [?????]

    You catch my drift, Obama's cabana boy?

  • Way Of The Crane||

    Regarding the picture: Why is a bicycle cop escorting the suspect away? Did he have to ride on the handlebars on the way to the station?

  • Almanian!||

    Good eye.

  • SugarFree||

    That's not a bicycle helmet. He wears that all the time. He's being mainstreamed.

  • AlmightyJB||

    His mom makes him wear it. I see he's not wearing his jacket. No dessert for him.

  • Hugh Akston||

    She also accompanies him to the bathroom and breastfeeds him twice a day.

  • Almanian!||

    Man, that guy's life RULES!

  • Way Of The Crane||

    If that's the reason, shouldn't all DC cops be wearing them? They're all pretty retarded special.

  • SugarFree||

    You haven't be written up for at least 3 bumped noggins. After that you get the helmet and no juice box if you are caught without it.

  • SugarFree||

    *You have to be* Fingers fall down go boom.

  • Enough About Palin||

    "Specifically, he saw the council on the SPLC's "hate map."

    Does that mean the SPLC gave Corkins a license to kill?"

    Depends. Were the hate groups on the map represented with crosshairs?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    If only the Family Research Council had rejected the NRA's hysteria and refused to hire armed guards. They could have simply declared themselves a gun-free zone. Crazed gunmen would have been ashamed to attack!

  • Jesse Walker||

    The guard was unarmed, actually. And he had been shot in the arm when he took Corkins' gun away. Pretty impressive.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    That *is* awesome.

    If only the gunman had listened to the Brady Campaign, and realized that his own gun could have been used against him!

    Wasn't there an earlier link to someone who denied that the shooter intended mass murder? In the plea deal, the guy says he "intended to kill as many people as possible."

  • Way Of The Crane||

    Wasn't there an earlier link to someone who denied that the shooter intended mass murder? In the plea deal, the guy says he "intended to kill as many people as possible."

    Maybe he meant one at a time and not all at once... hence it's not mass murder.

  • Zeb||

    Then it would be serial murder, which doesn't wound much better.

    Who's worse, mass killers or serial killers?

  • Way Of The Crane||

    I think serial killers get more groupies.

  • Virginian||

    Sounds like that basement dwelling sack of fat doesn't know how to use a gun. He probably wanted to see the fear in his victim's eyes, get that little thrill of power for once in his miserable life.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I suspect that there are people who would have preferred that this have been a mass shooting. They could have concern-trolled about the need for more gun control, and anyway weren't the FRC bringing in on themselves?

  • Paul.||

    The guard was unarmed, actually. And he had been shot in the arm when he took Corkins' gun away. Pretty impressive

    In Massachussetts, the guard had a duty to flee.

  • Way Of The Crane||

    In Massachussetts, the guard had a duty to flee.

    So we should rob banks in Massachusetts?

  • Paul.||

    In Massachusetts, once the criminal engages in the criminal act, he has a right to complete the criminal act, unhindered by the victim, or until licensed law enforcement arrives to intervene.

  • John||

    Please tell me you are kidding. Sadly that is believable.

  • ||

    Observe and report! You had one job to do! But nooooo, this asshole wanted to play Dirty Harry. Hey everyone, look! It's Dirty Effing Harry!

  • Loki||

    And he had been shot in the arm when he took Corkins' gun away. Pretty impressive.

    Or Corkins is a fat pussy with bad aim.

  • ||

    Disarming a fat pussy with bad aim while getting shot is still pretty impressive.

  • Paul.||

    Speakers should not be held responsible for the ways a deranged listener might choose to use their speech.

    But Rush Limbaugh and Fox News!

  • Hugh Akston||

    Speakers should not be held responsible for the ways a deranged listener might choose to use their speech.

    See? Obama's not responsible for the drone deaths after all!

  • Loki||

    But in Obama's case wouldn't he be both the speaker and the deranged listener?

  • ||

    The deranged listener is the drone pilot who blows up a house based on his crazed inference of the President's statement: "Blow up that house"

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    By their very own definition, the SPLC is an out-and-out hate group.

  • Loki||

    SPLC: "It's different when we do it."

  • Bardas Phocas||

    NO!
    It was the fried chicken.
    It's always the fried chicken's fault.

  • Loki||

    RACIST!!!!111!!

  • AlmightyJB||

    Damn, now I want fried chicken.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    That's how it starts.
    You crave the fried chicken. But you know it's filled with hate and murder.
    Then you can't get the idea of fried chicken out of your head.
    The only solution is to kill people.

    ... or buy some fried chicken.

  • AlmightyJB||

    That's a pretty hard choice.

  • ||

    Wait, you can choose between them?

  • DrAwkward||

    The bike helmet really undermines that cop's air of authority.

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