Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has listed the conservative, Christian-themed Family Research Council on the map, defended his organization’s exclusion of Antifa, despite the fact that the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI have designated members of the organization domestic terrorists.
As reported by The Washington Times, Cohen appeared last week to provide testimony before the House Homeland Security Committee. During questioning, he was asked why Antifa was not included on the SPLC’s infamous Hate Map.
“If you are familiar with our work, we write about Antifa often,” he said. “We condemn their tactics — I’ve said so publicly and we do so always — but Antifa is not a group that vilifies people on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion and the like.”
And the like… What about political persecution, Mr. Cohen? Because Antifa is all about committing violence against conservatives and supporters of President Donald J. Trump. In fact, that’s what got the group its domestic terrorist designation. (Related: Antifa Should Be Declared A Domestic Terrorism Organization.)
As Politico reported in September, DHS and the FBI made the distinction more than a year earlier, as the Trump campaign emerged. “It was in that period that we really became aware of them,” a senior law enforcement official tracking domestic extremists told the online news site. “These Antifa guys were showing up with weapons, shields and bike helmets and just beating the sh*t out of people… They’re using Molotov cocktails, they’re starting fires, they’re throwing bombs and smashing windows.”
And again, all of their political violence that was being directed against Trump supporters was driven by — wait for it — hate.
But not according to Cohen and the SPLC.
Though he had shown up to testify about domestic terrorism, Cohen wound up sparring with Republicans on the panel who wanted to know more about his organization’s extensive offshore financial holdings, its help in teaming with Google to create a “hate news index,” and the political objectives behind its Hate Map.
In particular, Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., said by failing to include Antifa as a hate organization, the SPLC was reducing its “credibility.” He also said that the group picks and chooses its targets not based on empirical data but “only your opinion.”
“So you’re okay with Antifa as long as they don’t say things that you don’t agree with, but it’s okay if they hit people on the head with a bike lock or set things on fire or riot and flout the law by wearing face masks and incite riots—you’re okay with that?” Perry asked.
“We condemn groups like Antifa [which stands for anti-fascist], we write about them often,” Cohen responded. “We don’t list them as hate groups.”
When asked to clarify why the Family Research Council — which battles foes ideologically, not violently — was listed on SPLC’s Hate Map, Cohen said that was because it “relentlessly vilifies” the LGBT community.
“Our listing of hate groups doesn’t necessarily mean that they engage in violence, although we think that the anti-LGBT propaganda is one of the factors that makes the LGBT community in our country the most likely to be victimized by hate crimes,” Cohen said.
To be sure, the FRC doesn’t “vilify” the LGBT community; as a Christian-based organization, it merely advocates for traditional sexual and relationship values, which — under the First Amendment — it has every right to do. The fact that Cohen characterized the FRC’s advocacy as “vilification” of another group proves Perry’s point that the SPLC is arbitrary and political motivated in its “hate” designations.
Cohen’s group is nothing more than a Left-wing attack machine, which is why Antifa isn’t on its “list” — because Antifa members use violence against the ‘right’ people.
Find more news on the cult of the political Left at LeftCult.com.
J.D. Heyes is editor of The National Sentinel and a senior writer for Natural News and News Target.