Sever Ties with SPLC

Jun 21, 2018

ORLANDO, FL – Liberty Counsel joined a coalition of 47 other conservative leaders and organizations in releasing an open letter to government agencies, news organizations, corporations and social media platforms to sever their ties with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and its ongoing effort to defame and slander mainstream conservative organizations. The SPLC grossly misrepresents and labels Liberty Counsel and other pro-family and conservative organizations as so-called “hate groups.”

The letter from the 48 organizations read in part:

“We, the undersigned, are among the organizations, groups and individuals that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has maligned, defamed and otherwise harmed by falsely describing as ‘haters,’ ‘bigots,’ ‘Islamophobes’ and/or other groundless epithets. We are gratified that the SPLC has today formally acknowledged that it has engaged in such misrepresentations… Editors, CEOs, shareholders and consumers alike are on notice: anyone relying upon and repeating its misrepresentations is complicit in the SPLC’s harmful defamation of large numbers of American citizens who, like the undersigned, have been vilified simply for working to protect our country and freedoms. With this significant piece of evidence in mind, we call on government agencies, journalists, corporations, social media providers and web platforms (i.e., Google, Twitter, YouTube and Amazon) that have relied upon this discredited organization to dissociate themselves from the Southern Poverty Law Center and its ongoing effort to defame and vilify mainstream conservative organizations.” 

The SPLC’s lack of credibility has been evidenced by this week’s defamation settlement with Islamic reformer Maajid Nawaz and the Quilliam Foundation. The SPLC agreed to pay a $3.375 million settlement as the result of a demand from Nawaz and his organization for the inclusion on the SPLC’s now-defunct “anti-Muslim extremists” list published in December 2016. In a video and a written statement on its website, SPLC president Richard Cohen issued an apology which includes, “The Southern Poverty Law Center was wrong to include Maajid Nawaz and the Quilliam Foundation in our Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists. Since we published the Field Guide, we have taken the time to do more research and have consulted with human rights advocates we respect… We would like to extend our sincerest apologies to Mr. Nawaz, Quilliam, and our readers for the error, and we wish Mr. Nawaz and Quilliam all the best.”

“Liberty Counsel has joined other leaders and organizations to urge all reputable news organizations, government agencies, corporations, and social media to immediately stop citing the Southern Poverty Law Center’s discredited and dangerous propaganda as a reliable source,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “The SPLC’s stated motivation is to ‘destroy’ groups with which it disagrees and it accomplishes this objective by falsely labeling nonviolent organizations as ‘hate groups.’ This label is false, defamatory and dangerous and the SPLC and those who rely upon the false label must stop,” said Staver.

Find more information that exposes the truth about the Southern Poverty Law Center here.

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.