FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL—Sen. Ted Cruz is raising the alarm about President Joe Biden’s administration partnering with a far-left group demonizing conservatives in its efforts to combat “domestic terrorism.”
“The woke and weaponized bureaucracy of the Biden administration is using the Southern Poverty Law Center’s widely debunked database to target conservatives,” the Texas Republican told The Daily Signal in an exclusive statement.
Cruz was responding to The Daily Signal’s exclusive report that SPLC President Margaret Huang bragged in 2021 that the Biden administration had reached out to her organization in its efforts to combat “the domestic terrorism threat.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center puts mainstream conservative and Christian groups on a “hate map” along with chapters of the Ku Klux Klan. This bias suggests the Biden administration views conservatives as a threat to domestic tranquility, critics say.
“The SPLC is a one-trick pony, and its song-and-dance of labeling conservatives ‘domestic terrorists’ is tired and fraudulent,” Cruz added. “It is incredible that the SPLC has the audacity to label conservatives ‘domestic terrorists’ while one of its own lawyers is currently being prosecuted for charges of actual domestic terrorism.”
Cruz was referring to the case of Thomas Webb Jurgens, an SPLC lawyer who faces domestic terrorism charges for a riot involving Molotov cocktails last March. The SPLC and the National Lawyers Guild claimed Jurgens had been there as a “legal observer,” but did not address whether he dressed in Antifa-style black bloc clothing, nor whether he engaged in any of the violence at the riot.
While the SPLC does not, strictly speaking, label conservatives “domestic terrorists,” it has redirected the program it used to bankrupt Ku Klux Klan organizations to target mainstream conservative and Christian groups like Alliance Defending Freedom, the Center for Immigration Studies, Moms for Liberty, and the Family Research Council. The SPLC insinuates that these groups pose a domestic terrorism threat similar to the 1920s Klan by putting them on a “hate map” alongside KKK chapters.
“Joe Biden’s choice to associate with the SPLC is unacceptable, and I hope that every member of the administration associated with this extremist group is held accountable,” Cruz concluded.
SPLC Head Boasts About Advising Biden
The Daily Signal exclusively reported that Huang, SPLC’s president, appears in a video bragging to donors attending a fall 2021 meeting that many agencies in Biden’s administration had approached the center to craft a domestic terrorism strategy.
“I think there’s no question that we are unparalleled in our abilities to track and monitor the hate and extremist groups in the country, and I can tell you that we’ve had many agencies in the new Biden administration reaching out to solicit our expertise and our knowledge and information to help shape the policies that the new administration is adopting to counter the domestic terrorism threat,” Huang said, according to the video.
The Biden administration’s ties to the SPLC make Huang’s claim credible, and neither the White House nor any of the agencies involved in the administration’s domestic terrorism strategy denied Huang’s assertion.
Biden and his team have hosted SPLC leaders and staff at the White House at least 11 times since Jan. 20, 2021, when Biden became president. Biden nominated an SPLC attorney, Nancy Abudu, to a federal judgeship.
Last year, the FBI’s Richmond, Virginia, office used the SPLC’s “hate group” list to target “radical-traditional Catholics” in a now-infamous memo. According to the SPLC’s logic, critics say, the entire Roman Catholic Church arguably should be listed as a “hate group” because the SPLC cited the Catechism of the Catholic Church in branding the Ruth Institute a “hate group.”
Earlier this month, the White House touted Vice President Kamala Harris’ meeting “with voting rights leaders.” Among the leaders highlighted: Seth Levi, the SPLC’s chief strategy officer.
SPLC’s Lack of Credibility
As I wrote in my book “Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center,” the SPLC has faced numerous hits to its credibility, especially on the issue of domestic terrorism.
In 2012, a terrorist gunman used the SPLC “hate map” to target the Christian nonprofit the Family Research Council. He planned to shoot everyone in the building, but the building manager successfully foiled his plan. Although the SPLC condemned the attack, it kept FRC on its map.
The SPLC also has a long track record of carrying water for Antifa, the violent extremist group involved in the 2020 riots across the country.
Critics on both the Right and the Left long have accused the Southern Poverty Law Center of exaggerating hate in order to scare donors into ponying up cash. In 2019, amid a racial discimination and sexual harassment scandal, a former employee called the SPLC’s “hate” accusations a “highly profitable scam.”
In 2018, the SPLC paid $3.4 million to settle a defamation lawsuit after it branded a Muslim reformer an “anti-Muslim extremist.” The SPLC currently faces another defamation lawsuit for branding an immigration reform organization an “anti-immigrant hate group.”
Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email letters@DailySignal.com, and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the URL or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.