WASHINGTON, August 25, 2020 – In response to a resolution adopted by the Republican National Committee “refuting the legitimacy of the Southern Poverty Law Center to identify hate groups,” and saying that “the federal government should not view [SPLC] as a legitimate foundation equipped to provide actionable information,” 25 civil rights groups issued the following statement:
“Hate crimes and incidents terrorize entire communities and we are seeing an unprecedented increase in them. These acts of hate cause people devastating harm and undermine our democracy as people fear for their lives. Yet during this ongoing crisis, the RNC is condemning an organization for doing work that helps community leaders, law enforcement, and state and local governments combat hate.
“The Southern Poverty Law Center’s research and analysis on hate groups has long provided critical data to help local leaders protect people targeted for hate violence. That research documented a 50 percent increase in the number of white nationalist hate groups last year. This year, when the FBI elevated racist violent extremists to a national threat priority, the Director of the FBI acknowledged that most racist attacks are fueled by some type of white supremacy. Offering research and data that helps people understand the source of violent threats so we can all combat hate and keep our communities safe is part of a commitment to making our country safe for all to thrive.
“This resolution seeks to undermine the truth and enable white nationalists and hate groups like QAnon to continue targeting hate against the communities we represent and serve alongside. We condemn this resolution that only seeks to hide evidence of the damage this administration and its supporters have wrought on our communities and our country. Until we reckon with the many ways that white nationalism and hate groups continue to devastate our country, we cannot keep people safe nor come closer to realizing a country as good as its ideals.”
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This statement is endorsed by the following organizations:
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Human Rights Campaign
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
Andrew Goodman Foundation
Arab American Institute
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism-California State University, San Bernardino
End Citizens United//Let America Vote Action Fund
Equal Justice Society
Juvenile Law Center
League of Women Voters of the United States
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
National Association of Social Workers
National Black Justice Coalition
The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA)
National Health Law Program
National Partnership for Women & Families
Voices for Progress
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 220 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.