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Southern Poverty Law Center Backtracks on Ben Carson 'Extremist' Claim


Southern Poverty Law Center has taken Dr. Ben Carson down from its “Extremist” watch list after an embarrassing report by Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly showed how ridiculous the claims are.

They are running like rodents in the kitchen when the light is turned on.

Southern Poverty Law Center has taken Dr. Ben Carson down from its “Extremist” watch list after an embarrassing report by Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly showed how ridiculous the center's claims are.

On February 11, The O’Reilly Factor exposed the center as a politically-driven, leftist organization that has lost its usefulness. At one time, the center sought to highlight radical groups, like the KKK and the Nazis, but today the group apparently seeks to raise capital from left wing supporters by labeling conservatives who have a traditional view of marriage as “extreme.”

WASHINGTON - FEBRUARY 7:  Dr. Benjamin Carson speaks during the National Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton February 7, 2013 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Barack Obama reportedly used the occasion to call for unity and common ground Washington politics. Credit: Getty Images Dr. Benjamin Carson speaks during the National Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton February 7, 2013 in Washington, DC. Credit: Getty Images

The center looked incredibly foolish as it was revealed that they had included Dr. Ben Carson in their “Extremist” list because of his views on marriage. That’s right; Dr. Carson got lumped in with the KKK and the Nazis for saying this:

"Marriage is between a man and a woman. It’s a well-established pillar of society and no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA [North American Man/Boy Association, a group advocating pedophilia], be they people who believe in bestiality—it doesn’t matter what they are, they don’t get to change the definition."

There is, of course, nothing extreme about that statement.

There is nothing extreme about holding a traditional view of marriage. There is nothing wrong with respectfully opposing the legalization of same-sex marriage. In fact, a recent AP-GfK Poll showed the country is still much divided on the issue.

But the center has apparently discovered it can raise considerable money by exploiting the issue and has put Christian groups like the Family Research Council on its list of dangerous people.

The sham has worked, and people who don’t know conservative groups have been fooled.

On Aug. 15, 2012, a confessed terrorist attacked the Family Research Council's offices, shooting and injuring the building’s security guard, Leo Johnson. After the incident, the FBI released a video of the terrorist’s interrogation where he confessed to using the center's “Extremist” list map to find out where the councils' offices where.

The council reported the incident, but the center has tried to get away with its irresponsible behavior by staying in the shadows.

This time, however, they took on someone who is actually exploring a run for the office of president of the United States, and the most-watched cable news program in the country has now shone light on their shady operation.

The public knows Dr. Carson, especially the Fox News audience, where he has been featured numerous times. Anyone who has heard him can see what an honorable, kind, charitable, and serious person he is.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that within hours, the center issued a poor attempt at an apology to Dr. Carson, while still trying to save face with its extreme supporters of its leftist agenda. Here is the statement, in part:

In October 2014, we posted an 'Extremist File' of Dr. Ben Carson. This week, as we've come under intense criticism for doing so, we've reviewed our profile and have concluded that it did not meet our standards, so we have taken it down and apologize to Dr. Carson for having posted it.

We've also come to the conclusion that the question of whether a better-researched profile of Dr. Carson should or should not be included in our 'Extremist Files' is taking attention from the fact that Dr. Carson has, in fact, made a number of statements that express views that we believe most people would conclude are extreme. They are described below.

We laud Dr. Carson for his many contributions to medicine and his philanthropic work, and we, like so many others, are inspired by his personal story. Nevertheless, particularly because Dr. Carson is such a prominent person, we believe that his views should be closely examined.

What a joke! The center is basically saying, “We got caught and now people are criticizing us instead of Dr. Carson, so we will remove him; although, he’s still dangerous.”

Notice the group posted this file on Dr. Carson in October 2014, but only now do they “see the light.”

The center simply cannot be taken seriously, which is perhaps the most troubling part of this story because many in government do take them seriously. Up until recently, the FBI “officially” used center information to identify domestic threats; however, even after much criticism, they continue to use them, just not “officially.”

This episode should show every legislator and government agency that Southern Poverty Law Center should not be trusted with such serious matters. At least for today, the center is not a serious group, and they should not be given the legitimacy that comes from working with our honorable men and women in law enforcement.

They are welcome to continue the promoting of radical, left-wing ideas, but they should be treated accordingly as the leftist political mouthpiece they have become.

Mario Diaz, Esq. is Legal Counsel at Concerned Women for America, the nation's largest public policy women's organization. Follow him @legalblurbblog.

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