Not So Fast: FBI May Still Be Utilizing Southern Poverty Law Center

Southern Poverty Law Center logo

Southern Poverty Law Center logo

Over the past week, a number of conservative news outlets trumpeted the fact that the FBI scrubbed references to the Southern Poverty Law Center from their website. The SPLC is a left-wing group, who along with the Anti-Defamation League, has designated a number of conservative groups and Christian groups as “hate groups”. Certainly, the idea of the FBI utilizing the SPLC when considering domestic threats from hate groups is troubling.

As Dustin Siggins from LifeSiteNews points out, however, the removal of a few links from a website does not a break-up make:

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 27, 2014 ( – Apparently bowing to pressure from pro-family organizations, the FBI and the U.S. Army have removed the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a “hate crimes” resource on their websites. However, comments from the FBI indicate they may continue using SPLC as a resource.

An FBI spokesperson told LifeSiteNews that their Civil Rights program now “only provides links to resources within the federal government.”

“While we appreciate the tremendous support we receive from a variety of organizations, we have elected not to identify those groups on the civil rights page,” the spokesperson added.

As the article goes on to note, the Family Research Council joined with numerous other groups in decrying the partnership between the FBI and the SPLC. This is particularly consequential because the FRC was targeted by a gunman in 2012 because of their SPLC “hate group” designation.

As much as I’d like to declare victory, the facts simply don’t add up. The Daily Caller said that the FBI “severed ties”, Breitbart News claimed that SPLC was “dumped” and The Blaze even said that SPLC felt “the sting of backlash”. All of these accounts fail to note that the FBI has not officially ended any sort of relationship, and only made a public relations change on their website.

We should not be so quick to assume that the Obama Department of Justice isn’t continuing to work with radical left-wing outlets like SPLC. Removing a few links from a website is a good start, but this battle is not over until our government stops the blatant assault on conservative and Christian groups. That means a formal end to the SPLC having input on what constitutes “hate” in the United States. There is no evidence that their input has been mitigated.