On Wednesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that his organization would give $2 million to two “anti-hate” groups, one of which routinely brands Christians and conservatives as “hate groups” on par with the Ku Klux Klan. This hate-mongering organization inspired a terrorist attack in Washington, D.C., in 2012, attacked Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) multiple times, and was “liked” by Scalise’s shooter, James Hodgkinson.
Even so, Apple is teaming up with this organization, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), in the name of fighting “hate.”
“What occurred in Charlottesville has no place in our country. Hate is a cancer, and left unchecked it destroys everything in its path,” Cook said in a memo to employees that he shared with USA Today. “Its scars last generations. History has taught us this time and time again, both in the United States and countries around the world.”
To combat hate, Cook announced that Apple would donate $2 million to the SPLC and the Anti-Defamation League. Apple is also encouraging employees to contribute as well and offering to match their payments by two to one through September 30. As if that weren’t enough, the company is also setting up a system in iTunes software to let consumers directly donate to the SPLC.
Laughably, USA Today reported, “The Montgomery, Alabama based SPLC is one of the leading groups that track the rise of hate groups. Cook is an Alabama native.”
Yes, SPLC tracks the rise of hate groups. They also track the rise of Christian organizations they brand “hate groups.” One instance of their “tracking” a “hate group,” namely the Family Research Council (FRC), inspired a terrorist attack in 2012.
That summer, Floyd Lee Corkins III broke into the FRC armed with a semi-automatic pistol and Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwiches, aiming to kill every person in the building. In February 2013, Corkins pled guilty to committing an act of terrorism and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. During an FBI interrogation, the shooter said he targeted FRC because it was listed as an “anti-gay group” on the SPLC website.
So this “anti-hate group” inspired an act of terrorism. But it gets better. The SPLC repeatedly tarred Steve Scalise over a 2002 speech he gave to a group related to the KKK. While the speech is a black mark on his record, Scalise apologized for it in 2014 and the former KKK leader David Duke even attacked him as a “sellout” who “meets with radical blacks.”
Even so, the SPLC attacked Scalise in July of last year, mentioning his speech at the EURO meeting but failing to mention Scalise’s apology or the fact that Duke now considers him a traitor to the racist white-nationalist movement.
James Hodgkinson, the Bernie Sanders supporter who targeted Republicans at a practice for the Congressional Baseball Game this summer, “liked” the SPLC on Facebook. Hodgkinson may not have made the direct connection, but the connection is notable.
“Over the decades, the SPLC has refined a method of defaming its political opponents that is extremely effective when combined with the massive war chest it can rely upon,” Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William Boykin, FRC’s executive vice president, explained in a letter to senators. “The SPLC targets people using the ‘hate’ or ‘extremist’ label against them seeking to destroy them.”
“The SPLC bullies and dehumanizes many ordinary Americans by calling them names and portraying them grotesquely in terrible photographs and sketches,” the FRC vice president said. Chillingly, he added, “Few people or organizations have the resources to fight back.” With Apple’s backing, SPLC will be stronger than ever.
Laird Wilcox, one of the foremost experts on American political extremism, said the SPLC has “specialized a highly developed and ritualized form of defamation … a way of harming and isolating people by denying their humanity and trying to convert them into something that deserves to be hated and eliminated.”
The SPLC started listing “hate groups” by focusing on white supremacists. It’s “hate list” is damning because it compares conservative and Christian activists and organizations that have nothing to do with white supremacy to the KKK.
This “hate list” wrongfully features Christian organizations like the FRC, Liberty Counsel, the American Family Association (AFA), and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), along with other groups like the American College of Pediatricians and the Center for Immigration Studies. The charity navigation website GuideStar recently adopted this list, marking such non-profits as “hate groups.”
But the SPLC has also attacked Ben Carson in 2014, placing (and later removing) the retired neurosurgeon and author on its “Extremist Watch List,” which features white supremacists. The SPLC attacked Carson because he defined marriage as “between a man and a woman” and made other “anti-gay” remarks. Similar reasons led the group to list FRC, AFA, ADF, and other groups on its “hate map.”
In October of last year, the SPLC attacked Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a women’s rights activist who has focused on the treatment of women in the Islamic world. The group questioned Ali’s harrowing story of female genital mutilation and arranged marriage in Africa. Ali has received many death threats, one of which came from the murderer of Theo van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker she worked with.
Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., Rod Dremer, called Ali “one of the world’s greatest champions of freedom, pluralism and tolerance,” and added that “every self-respecting group that claims to value any of those things should be defending her not defaming her.”
“Yet in an Orwellian version of reality, a woman whose life is threatened every day by extremist Muslims is labeled by the SPLC an anti-Muslim extremist,” Dremer said. “Well, ladies and gentlemen, I don’t stand with the defamers and the blacklisters. I stand with Ayaan Hirsi Ali.”
The cases of Carson, Ali, FRC, and others reveal the true motivations of the SPLC — it intends to blacklist all conservative viewpoints as “hatred” on par with the white supremacy of the KKK. This subversive tactic is disgusting and horrendous, and should not be given air time.
Just last month, ABC and NBC printed headlines declaring ADF to be a “hate group.” ADF Director of Communications Kerri Kupec declared, “For ABC News to essentially cut and paste false charges against Alliance Defending Freedom by a radically left-wing, violence-inciting organization like Southern Poverty Law Center is a discredit to ABC News and to the profession.”
Such “media malpractice” is the very reason Americans are losing faith in the mainstream media, Kupec argued.
For a powerful tech giant like Apple to be bankrolling the SPLC — and enabling donations to the group through iTunes — is terrifying. As PJ Media’s Paula Bolyard pointed out, it is dangerous that GoDaddy and Google effectively wiped the disgusting white supremacist website Daily Stormer off the Internet.
Daily Stormer was disgusting, but the SPLC specializes in branding mainstream conservative and Christian organizations as “hate groups.” Should powerful companies like Google, Apple, and GoDaddy decide to “fight hate” by following the SPLC and abolishing all its “hate groups” from the Internet, the Left would effectively silence the Right overnight.
Ironically, in the name of fighting “hate,” Apple is bankrolling an organization that engenders fear and hatred against conservatives and Christians by tarring them as equal to the KKK. This organization has inspired at least one act of domestic terrorism, possibly two.
Is Tim Cook fighting hate, or incubating it? Americans should protest this action, and Apple’s funding of the SPLC should spark a national outcry.
Even Americans who are not conservative or Christian should speak out against this organization. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, for example, is an atheist. The words of Lutheran minister Martin Niemöller hold an important lesson.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
First they came for The Daily Stormer. Then they came for the Family Research Council. Then they came for Ayaan Hirsi Ali. LGBT activists already speak about “punishing the wicked,” meaning anyone who refuses to take part in a same-sex wedding.
While “fighting hate” starts with the KKK, it will not end there. The SPLC must not be given encouragement by GuideStar, ABC News, or Apple. Americans must speak up, or their views might be next on the blacklist.