SPLC racist statues map
© SPLC
Racism, racism everywhere!
Vice is encouraging sledgehammer-wielding wannabe revolutionaries to use the Southern Poverty Law Center's map of Confederate monuments as a destructive treasure map. And it didn't end well the last time.

The Southern Poverty Law Center's "Whose Heritage?" map depicts the southeastern US as positively bristling with racism, in the form of brightly colored tags representing Confederate monuments. Updated last year to reflect the removal of more than 100 such sites, it still boasted 1,747 at the time of its republication. As anti-Confederate fever flares up amid the George Floyd protests against racism and police brutality, and rioters take sledgehammers to any monument they believe they can link to slavery, Vice has helpfully trotted out the SPLC's map again, handing the angry mob a to-do list that could keep them busy for months.

Don't see your favorite monument on the map? Readers who think the map is "missing" a site can suggest an addition via a helpful submission form, which Vice provides a link to. Not that the invitation will be abused at all at a time when statues of even Thomas Jefferson - who, despite being a founding father and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, held slaves and therefore had to go - are being pulled down.

The SPLC presents itself as a defender of marginalized communities, but, in practice, smears all views outside centrist politically correct liberal orthodoxy as hateful and dangerous. Its deep-pocketed advocacy encourages the censorship of groups outside the mainstream - it circulates lists that imply such groups are morally equivalent to the KKK and neo-Nazis. Thus, while the SPLC carefully avoids recommending readers take matters into their own hands regarding Confederate monuments, that veneer of civility is underwritten by an ideological fervor that brooks no dissent.

Still, the group's Community Action Guide, written back in 2016, when the original map was published, merely advises concerned citizens to document why the offending monument "doesn't reflect the values of the community" and take their grievances to local government. That sounds quite civilized compared to the tear-'em-all-down energy animating the protests that began following last month's police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

It's doubtful anyone looking at the map after reading Vice's cutesy call to action is going to read the Community Action Guide, however - not when the article all but puts a sledgehammer in their hands and points them at a bunch of ripe targets. Writer Gita Jackson even links readers to Egyptologist Sarah Parcak's controversial tweets on "how to pull down an obelisk." The only thing missing is an affiliate link to Home Depot or its 'woke' competitors to purchase the large lengths of chain one would use to pull down said obelisk. Parcak, for her part, insists she was referring to a "racist monument" in the shape of an obelisk in Birmingham, Alabama, and not the Washington Monument.

But the SPLC shouldn't be let off the hook so easily, given the starring role its maps played in one infamous act of political terrorism. In 2013, Floyd Corkins bought a gun and 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches and set out to make a statement in support of LGBT rights by shooting up the headquarters of the Family Research Council, a Christian group he'd learned from the SPLC's "hate map" was actually an "anti-LGBT hate group." The sandwiches were to be smeared in the faces of his victims in protest at the fast-food chain's opposition to gay marriage. Luckily, the building manager intercepted Corkins as he attempted to enter the group's offices, wrestling the gun out of his hand, and holding him until police arrived. Corkins had planned to kill "as many people as possible," then stage similar attacks on three other conservative groups, according to court documents.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins slammed the SPLC for "inciting hatred" and called for it to be held accountable for its "reckless labeling" - but it didn't budge, maintaining that its designation of the FRC as a hate group was accurate and it bore no responsibility for what any armed assailant did with that information. Indeed, the SPLC got away with near-limitless libel, until they smeared Muslim reformer Maajid Nawaz as an "anti-Muslim extremist" promoting "hate-based violence" against his co-religionists - an obvious falsehood for which they had to pay a cool $3.375 million to settle in court.

Undeterred by a scandal-filled year that has seen its top executives resign in disgrace, the SPLC released its most recent "hate report" in March and continues to slander all who question its insistence that the US is being engulfed by a tide of "white nationalism" emanating from the White House. Those who don't join the SPLC in "eradicating bigotry" are said to be endangering the lives of marginalized groups. You're with them or against them, and being against them can be a dangerous proposition, as Perkins and the FRC found out.

Even former SPLC employees admit its "hate maps" are designed to project the image of a "rising tide of hate" to con gullible liberals into opening their checkbooks. As groups such as Color of Change and Black Lives Matter attempt to depict the US as a racist swamp incapable of rising above the legacy of slavery, this SPLC map is a handy weapon in their arsenal. For Vice to wave it in front of the sledgehammer-wielding mobs it's praised unreservedly for acts of vandalism that have already put at least one protester in a coma is waving a red flag in front of a herd of bulls. Someone's going to get trampled, and the chaos the movement's agitators are selling will not solve the historical injustices these monuments have come to symbolize.
Helen Buyniski is an American journalist and political commentator at RT. Follow her on Twitter @velocirapture23