Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, slammed the Southern Poverty Law Center, focusing on the SPLC’s decision to place parental rights groups like Moms for Liberty on a “hate map” alongside chapters of the Ku Klux Klan.
“The Southern Poverty Law Center is going on offense and they’ve decided to target Moms for Liberty,” Cruz said on his podcast Wednesday. “Let me say Moms for Liberty, they are phenomenal women—they are moms who are standing up for their kids.”
The SPLC released its annual “Year in Hate and Extremism” on Tuesday, plotting 523 “hate groups” and 702 “antigovernment extremist groups” on a map of the United States.
As The Daily Signal reported, the list of “hate groups” names numerous parental rights organizations, including 230 chapters of Moms for Liberty, No Left Turn in Education (based in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania), and many state-based chapters of Parents Involved in Education.
“And you want to know the power of Moms for Liberty?” he asked. “Let me tell you, someone who would not have the first name in his title, and that would be Gov. Glenn Youngkin. Without Moms for Liberty, Gov. Glenn Youngkin would be Glenn Youngkin. There’d be no ‘governor.’ We’d have Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Because Virginia, which Biden won by nearly 10 points, Virginia flipped red.”
Cruz noted that Virginia “flipped red because moms stood up and they were ticked off at the left-wing takeover of their schools, they were ticked off at the woke ideology…. And what has the Southern Poverty Law Center said? Moms, they’re defending their kids, are a hate group.”
“I’m gonna say right now the SPLC is a radical left-wing hate group,” the senator declared. “I’m going to use that term. They hate you. They hate me. They hate America. They hate conservatives. They hate the Constitution. They hate the Bill of Rights. They hate families. They hate moms. They hate dads. They hate anyone who stands up for this country. And I gotta say for the SPLC to go after Moms for Liberty is disgusting.”
Virginia, which as Cruz mentioned was ground zero for the parental rights movement in 2021, includes many such groups. Parents Against Critical Race Theory in Ashburn; Parents Defending Education in Arlington; Virginia Moms for America; and Virginia Parents Involved in Education all appear on the SPLC’s new list of “antigovernment extremist groups.” The SPLC does not specifically brand them “hate groups,” although they do appear on the “hate map.”
As I explain in my book “Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center,” the SPLC has faced many scandals. In 2019, it fired its co-founder, Morris Dees, amid accusations of racial discrimination and sexual harassment tracing back decades. Amid that scandal, a former employee came forward as having been “part of the con.” He wrote that the SPLC’s hate accusations are a “highly profitable scam.”
The SPLC’s accusation against the Family Research Council inspired a terrorist attack in 2012. A shooter targeted the council’s Washington, D.C., office, using the “hate map.” He intended to kill everyone in the building, but a brave security guard prevented him. The shooter is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence.
Cruz mentioned these scandals on his podcast.
“The Southern Poverty Law Center, unfortunately, is a profoundly dishonest, rabidly partisan left-wing organization,” he said. “It has a business model, where it gets very wealthy left-wing billionaires to write them big checks in order to try to tar anyone right of center and to call them hate groups.”
“Among other groups, they’ve called the Alliance Defending Freedom—which is one of the most important organizations nationally for defending religious liberty, for litigating and winning national, Supreme Court victories in front of the Supreme Court—so you literally have this organization of public interest lawyers who are winning religious liberty victories before the Supreme Court, the Southern Poverty Law Center calls a hate group like the Nazis or the KKK,” the senator said.
Cruz also noted the attack on Family Research Council, which he called “a fantastic organization that is pro-life, is pro-traditional values, that fights for family values across this country.”
“In fact, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s designation of the FRC as a hate group led one radical, deranged, angry leftist to show up with a gun trying to murder people at the FRC, and thankfully there was a security guard who heroically stopped this crazed attempted murderer from carrying out the hate that was inspired by the SPLC,” he said.
Cruz also noted that police arrested an SPLC lawyer, charging him with domestic terrorism following a destructive “Stop Cop City” riot in Atlanta in March.
“The SPLC is so radical, they had a lawyer just recently that worked for them who was arrested for being an Antifa terrorist in Atlanta and participating in terrorist riots against law enforcement,” the senator said. “Mind you, SPLC said when their own employee was indicted as being an Antifa terrorist, said we stand by our employee. That’s who they are.”
In March, the SPLC acknowledged that police arrested an employee, but claimed that he had been acting as a legal observer with the National Lawyers Guild. The guild condemned every police arrest as an example of “ongoing state repression and violence against racial and environmental justice protesters,” and the SPLC condemned escalating “policing tactics against protesters.”
At first, neither organization explicitly stated that the observer had not engaged in violence against police. In a second statement, the SPLC insisted, “We are confident that the evidence will demonstrate he was a peaceful legal observer.”
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