In an interview with The Washington Post Southern Poverty Law President, Richard Cohen called the Federation for Immigration Reform and The Family Research Center more dangerous than the KKK.
Richard Cohen, president of the SPLC, decries Corkins’s assault on the FRC when I ask him about it in his office, with its view of King’s church. But he says the SPLC’s hate list — which doesn’t include the FRC’s address or any call for violence — shouldn’t be held responsible. “Labeling people hate groups is an effort to hold them accountable for their rhetoric and the ideas they are pushing,” says Cohen, who is dressed in a polo shirt, khakis and running shoes.
“Obviously the hate label is a blunt one,” Cohen concedes when I ask whether advocates like the FRC, or proponents of less immigration like the Federation for American Immigration Reform, or conservative legal stalwarts like the Alliance Defending Freedom, really have so much in common with neo-Nazis and the Klan that they belong in the same bucket of shame. “It’s one of the things that gives it power, and it’s one of the things that can make it controversial. Someone might say, ‘Oh, it’s without nuance.’ … But we’ve always thought that hate in the mainstream is much more dangerous than hate outside of it. The fact that a group like the FRC or a group like FAIR can have congressional allies and can testify before congressional committees, the fact that a group like ADF can get in front of the Supreme Court — to me that makes them more dangerous, not less so. … It’s the hate in the business suit that is a greater danger to our country than the hate in a Klan robe.”
Now, there are a few things to look at here. The first is that Cohen is half right regarding the KKK. Closet radicals in power, who wear nice suits are far more dangerous than the ones out in the open. In fact, the KKK used this exact ploy when they had power. They secretly paid people in power to do their bidding.
Now, we can move onto where his comments are disgraceful. FAIR and FRC are not racist or bigoted groups. On the SPLC’s own website we see them use quotes from the 90’s as a way to demonize them. Nothing recent, according to even the SPLC has been worthy to make their website.
The SPLC has long been known to be a leftist smear group and it continues to drag its own reputation through the mud.