UPDATE: Amid controversy, the Southern Poverty Law Center has apologized and removed Dr. Ben Carson’s “extremist files” profile. Read the press release here.
Famed neurosurgeon and potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson has been granted many honors, but his latest designation is anything but flattering.
Carson has been added to a list of “extremists” being populated and compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based group “dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society.”
It’s Carson’s apparent “anti-LBGT” views that have landed him in the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “extremist files,” where he is listed among other individuals in categories such as “anti-Muslim,” “Ku Klux Klan” and “Neo-Nazi.”
“Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson rapidly ascended as a far-right political star after publicly scolding President Obama, whom he sat a few feet away from, at a National Prayer Breakfast in February 2013,” reads the group’s profile on the noted neurosurgeon. “Carson’s reproach of Obama for his health care and tax policies went viral, unleashing a flood of adulation from right-wing media and hate groups.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center claims that Carson began speaking soon after that event to “right wing and hate group gatherings,” claiming that he linked gays to pedophiles and endorsed “biblical economic practices for 21st century America.” The latter is likely a reference to Carson’s comparison of the traditional church tithe to a flat tax system.
The profile includes a list of quotes from Carson’s media appearances and writings seen by the Southern Poverty Law Center as being anti-gay — or for being, at the least, egregious. Here are just a few of those quotes:
“Obamacare is really the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery. And … in a way, it is slavery.” —Values Voter Summit, Washington, D.C., Oct. 11, 2013
“I mean [our government and institutions] are very much like Nazi Germany. … You know, you had a government using its tools to intimidate the population. We now live in a society where people are afraid to say what they really believe.” —Quoted by Breitbart News, March 12, 2014
“What we need to do is come up with something simple. And when I pick up by Bible, you know what I see? I see the first individual in the universe, God, and he’s given us a system. It’s called a tithe.” —Endorsing a flat tax for all Americans, White House Prayer Breakfast, Feb. 7, 2013
You can read Carson’s Southern Poverty Law Center profile in its entirety here.
This is not the first time the Southern Poverty Law Center has added a well-known conservative to one of its lists, as historian David Barton has been among those targeted by the group.
And it’s no secret that the Southern Poverty Law Center has come under fire from conservatives for its liberal inclinations in the past. The group was removed from the FBI’s hate crime web page last year after conservative groups protested its initial inclusion there.
As TheBlaze previously reported, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “hate map” targets groups with “beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.” The hate map is “compiled using hate group publications and websites, citizen and law enforcement reports, field sources and news reports,” its website states.
The Southern Poverty Law Center includes Ku Klux Klan and New Black Panther Party groups on its “hate map,” as well as organizations like the Family Research Council, a socially conservative organization. A man who was convicted of opening fire at the Family Research Council’s Washington, D.C. headquarters in 2012 acknowledged that he used the “hate map” to target the organization.
(H/T: Daily Caller)