Inspiring Hate

SPLC continues to label org targeted for violence as ‘hate’ group

February 6, 2013

Floyd Lee Corkins II pleaded guilty on Wednesday to three criminal counts involving his August 2012 attack on the Washington D.C. headquarters of the Family Research Council (FRC).

Corkins reportedly told the FBI that he picked his target directly from a "hate map" on the website of the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

The FRC still appears on SPLC’s Washington D.C. "hate map," which brands the conservative group as "anti-gay."

Contacted for comment, an SPLC spokesperson would not say whether the organization plans to remove the information from its website.

"We are not commenting" on Corkins’ admission, said the spokesperson, who referred the Washington Free Beacon to a statement released in the wake of the last year’s shooting.

FRC president Tony Perkins blames Corkins for the shooting, but says the SPLC cannot escape some culpability.

"The day after Floyd Corkins came into the FRC headquarter and opened fire wounding one of our team members, I stated that while Corkins was responsible for the shooting, he had been given a license to perpetrate this act of violence by groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has systematically and recklessly labeled every organization with which they disagree as a 'hate group,'" Perkins told the Washington Examiner.

Corkins’ use of an SPLC map to pick his target will likely draw comparisons to the January 2011 shooting in Tucson, Ariz, in which six were killed and another 13, including then-Rep. Gabby Giffords (D., Ariz.), were wounded.

Left-wing commentators immediately blamed former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) for the shooting, as Giffords had appeared on a map of congressional districts targeted for defeat that was created by Palin’s political action committee. Vulnerable members were marked with a crosshair.

However, Jared Lee Loughner, the Tucson shooter, had no mainstream political affiliation and no evidence was presented, then or since, that he had ever seen Palin’s "target map," let alone been driven to kill by it.

Subsequent punditry on the Tucson shooting blamed the "tone" of the national political discourse, which some deemed too heated.

Perkins said his group would not be deterred by the SPLC’s labeling of the organization as a "hate" group.

"Whether the SPLC continues to demonize those who hold to biblical morality or not, the Family Research Council will remain unequivocally committed to our mission of advancing faith, family and freedom," Perkins said.