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RNC caves to hate groups in attack against the SPLC

This past weekend, the Republican National Committee caved to white supremacist and other hate groups by adopting a resolution titled Refuting the Legitimacy of the Southern Poverty Law Center to Identify Hate Groups. 

The focus of the resolution is that “the SPLC is a radical organization” that harms conservative organizations and voices through our hate group designations.

This attack on our work is an attempt to excuse the Trump administration’s pattern and practice of working with individuals and organizations that malign entire groups of people — immigrants, Muslims and the LGBTQ community — while promoting policies that undermine their very existence. It comes from the same vein as Trump’s claim that there were “very fine people” on both sides of the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville.

Simply put, it’s an audacious attempt by Trump and the GOP to paper over the bigotry and racism that has been allowed to infect their policies.

This resolution comes at a moment when Trump will argue at the Republican National Convention that he will combat hate and bigotry, despite welcoming the support of QAnon. It also comes days after the indictment of Stephen Bannon, reminding us that Bannon was once the White House chief strategist and senior counselor and CEO of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. And it comes just after our special investigation shined a light on One America News Network’s Jack Posobiec, a reporter at Trump’s favorite network who is aligned with white supremacy and has used his platform to further hate speech and propaganda.

Trump should sever these ties to hate groups and extremists instead of doubling down through this RNC resolution.

The Trump administration has filled its ranks and consulted with alumni and allies from the Federation for American Immigration Reform, an anti-immigrant hate group that has ties to white supremacist groups and eugenicists. They include Julie KirchnerKris KobachJeff Sessions and, most notably, Stephen Miller.

The Trump administration has worked with hate groups like the Family Research Council (FRC) to roll back LGBTQ rights. FRC was designated an anti-LGBTQ hate group for decades of demonizing LGBTQ people and spreading harmful pseudoscience about them. Over the years, the organization has published books, reports and brochures that have linked being LGBTQ to pedophilia, claimed that LGBTQ people are dangerous to children and claimed that LGBTQ people are promiscuous and violent.

Anti-Muslim groups have also been welcomed into the administration, including the Center for Security Policy (CSP)Fred Fleitz, a longtime staffer, was appointed the executive secretary and chief of staff of the National Security Council. For decades, CSP has peddled absurd accusations that shadowy Muslim Brotherhood operatives have infiltrated all levels of government.

These extremists are seeking a license to continue spreading their bigotry and will do anything to undermine those — like the SPLC, which tracks and monitors hate groups — who expose their extremist views and oppose their attacks on communities. With this resolution, Trump and members of the GOP have shown the extent to which they will carry their water.

This past weekend, the RNC also released a resolution titled Resolution to Conserve History and Combat Prejudice – Christopher Columbus. It’s a remarkably transparent statement that hate and bigotry stem from Black Lives Matter protesters. The RNC and Trump did not denounce organizations that promote antisemitism, Islamophobia, neo-Nazis, anti-LGBTQ sentiment or racism. It only criticized the SPLC for challenging those groups. 

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