Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Cliff Kincaid: It is SPLC's fault

The rapidly anti-gay Cliff Kincaid joins the chorus of conservative Christians who insist that they bear no responsibility for the Orlando shooting. In point of fact conservative Christians have denigrated and dehumanized LGBT citizens making it easier for people to do violence to them. Kincaid takes exception to the statement Sunday from the Southern Poverty Law Center:
Our hearts go out to the injured and to the families of those who died in the senseless act of domestic terrorism in Orlando.

While the full facts are still unknown, unfortunately it is not surprising that the LGBT community was targeted. This community has long been vilified by those opposed to LGBT rights and is too often the target of violent hate crimes.
According to Kincaid:
This was a clever but dishonest way of trying to shift the blame to conservatives for terrorism committed by a devoted follower of Islam.

Notice how the SPLC made no mention of the killer's religious affiliation or motivation, or his acknowledgement <sic> of inspiration from ISIS.
Again, no one is trying to shift the blame. The intellectually honest question is: Do conservative Christians make it more acceptable of less acceptable to do violence to LGBT people?

Kincaid notes that the SPLC is consulted by law enforcement on extremism. Then he writes:
In the days ahead, expect media denunciations of conservatives as somehow responsible for the "homophobia" that drove a faithful follower of Islam to commit mass murder. This is how the SPLC will drive the discussion in the media and cause law enforcement agencies to miss even more terrorist plots. The FBI, which consults the SPLC and failed to uncover Omar Mateen's terrorist connections, appears to have no understanding of the deadly ideological game that is being played.
In addition to the utter nuttiness in claiming that the SPLC will somehow be responsible for the FBI failing to uncover terrorism, Kincaid offers as fact what is unknown. That being the shooter's “terrorist connections.” There is no evidence that those connections exist.

Kincaid displays the full depth of his personality disorder and aversion to facts:
President Obama initially blamed the guns, his standard ploy. But the Southern Poverty Law Center was floating a different explanation that is now getting some traction on the left. And that is that conservatives are really to blame for the anti-gay motivation of the Islamic terrorist, because conservatives have opposed the homosexual agenda and have, therefore, made it acceptable to kill gays. Hence, Omar Mateen was really just a patsy of the right-wing. After all, he detested gays kissing one another in public, just like conservatives do.
President Obama said that the availability of assault style weapons with large clips was a contributing factor. The rest of that paragraph seems to be based on the two sentences from the SPLC. I do not think that anyone from SPLC mentioned The Homosexual Agenda© Certainly no one has suggested that the shooter was “just a patsy of the right-wing.” At the risk of repeating myself, conservative Christians denigrate and dehumanize LGBT people. In some instances that has incited violence against them. In other instances it has made doing violence to LGBT people more acceptable.

In Kincaid's case, the message has been more direct and more inciting. With respect to Uganda's proposed law regarding gay people which included the death penalty in some circumstances, Kincaid wrote that the law was “designed to send a message to … the foreign homosexual lobby to keep their hands off Uganda's families and kids.” Kincaid has thus said that it is acceptable to murder gay people for being gay and while he was at it Kincaid suggested that gay people pose a threat to children. He continues:
The Orlando massacre at a gay club put the left-wing legal group in a difficult situation, since it has been focusing on conservatives as the major threat to the homosexual agenda.
SPLC sees conservative Christians as a major contributor to LGBT hate. The Orlando shooting does nothing to alter that fact. There is no dilemma. Later on:
Assistant Attorney General John P. Carlin spoke at an October 14, 2015, event co-sponsored by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the George Washington University Center for Cyber and Homeland Security's Program on Extremism.

Incredibly, Carlin said, "SPLC has a long history of tracking and countering hate, and their efforts will continue to be critical." He added, "We are grateful to have the Southern Poverty Law Center and the George Washington Program on Extremism on our side, working with us to tackle some of today's most pressing national security threats."

No wonder the FBI missed the terrorist clues in the Orlando case.
So … uh … because Homeland Security believes that SPLC is a valuable resource of information on extremism, the FBI missed “terrorist clues” relating to the Orlando shooter. I am not sure what those “clues” were but the FBI investigated the shooter twice and cleared him. Apparently Mr. Kincaid has information about clues during the run-up to this attack that I do not know about. He does not disclose what those clues are. Later on:
The reality of the Islamic nature of the massacre presented a dilemma for the SPLC. The group regards Muslims as being in the same category as homosexuals – victims of an oppressive American system and police state. The SPLC decries so-called "Islamophobia" and "Homophobia." Yet, in Orlando, a Muslim killed homosexuals. The perpetrator was not a conservative Christian. How can this be? What should the left do?
“An oppressive American system and police state?” There is no “dilemma” here for SPLC or me or any group that believes in LGBT equality. It remains a fact that most of the hate directed towards LGBT citizens including most of the discrimination and most of the oppression comes from the Christian right. Additional events in Orlando do nothing to change that fact.

Apparently there is some conspiracy:
An answer soon presented itself. Junaid S. Ahmad, director of the Center for Global Dialogue, tried a variation of the SPLC theme, declaring that while the "conservative" orthodoxy of Islam "may be homophobic," Muslim thought, practice, and behavior "[have] become much more intolerant of homosexuality" because of the "imposition and importation of Western homophobia...." He said that "contemporary Muslim homophobic rhetoric" reflects "less of Islamic tradition, and far more of Western Victorian and Protestant Fundamentalist vitriol...."
I have no idea who Junaid S. Ahmad is but I am pretty sure that he has nothing to do with SPLC or Homeland Security for that matter. Muslims in America do not seem to be active in changing public policy to oppose gay rights. If memory serves me correctly no Muslim group submitted an amicus brief in opposition to same-sex marriage in United States v. Windsor or Obergefell v. Hodges. This thing mercifully comes to a conclusion:
It looks like the SPLC has a "no enemies on the left" mentality, otherwise known as "partisan tolerance." It is the idea that anybody opposing the right wing must be treated as an ally in the struggle to overturn the existing order.

The focus on "the right," where extremism does exist, is proper at times. But the SPLC has gotten into bed with extremists on the left who themselves have been monitored, investigated, and even imprisoned. It's time for Congress to hold hearings into the Justice Department's involvement and collaboration with the SPLC.
What the fuck does any of this have to do with the shooting in Orlando? The Southern Poverty Law Center was founded to fight the Klan. The Ku Klux Klan was, and remains, a right wing Christian organization. Discrimination against minority groups has historically been a right-wing hobby. Left leaning groups tend to be less divisive. I note that SPLC includes black separatists among its hate group ideologies. Are they to the left or to the right? Does it matter?

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