Tragedy in Arizona

01/10/2011

A year ago, we introduced a new school curriculum, Civil Discourse in the Classroom and Beyond, with this urgent call: "There is a pressing need to change the tenor of public debate from shouts and slurs to something more reasoned." The tragedy in Tucson this weekend reminds us that it's a call that politicians and pundits would do well to heed.

Is Jared Lee Loughner, the alleged mass murderer who shot U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, a right-wing extremist?

A look back at some of the work done by SPLC in 2010.

A guest on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” on Dec. 21 made a number of inaccurate references to recent articles published by the Southern Poverty Law Center on the activities of organizations opposed to the equal-rights efforts of gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender Americans. Unfortunately, those statements were allowed to stand unchallenged. I would like to set the record straight.

Florida can save tens of millions of taxpayer dollars and enhance public safety by shifting resources from expensive residential facilities to more effective and efficient community-based programs and sanctions.

The Family Research Council (FRC), a hate group that spreads demonizing lies about gay men and lesbians, claims that it’s simply a pro-family organization. But don’t gay men and lesbians have families, too? 

Congressional repeal of the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy, which will allow gay men and lesbians to serve in the armed forces without having to hide their orientation, has set off waves of condemnation among anti-gay opponents who predict all measure of doom and disaster for the military and America. Yet it serves us well to recall a decision that put an end to another unjust policy steeped in fear and prejudice rather than fact and logic.

The Family Research Council, which was recently designated as a hate group by the SPLC because of its dissemination of false and demonizing propaganda about gays and lesbians, has launched a campaign against the SPLC that includes an advertisement in two Washington newspapers.

Last week Superintendant Paul Pastorek responded to our new report, "Access Denied," which documents the experiences of New Orleans public school students and their families and exposes numerous systemic failures, by calling it an attempt "to influence the state education board."

SPLC President Richard Cohen and SPLC's Intelligence Project Director Mark Potok held a live webcast Dec. 7, 2010 to discuss the addition of anti-gay organizations, including the Family Research Council, to SPLC's hate group list.