Southern Poverty Law Center places Dr. Ben Carson on its extremist watch list

The Southern Poverty Law Center has descended to the level of self-parody (though it has a lot of company on the left) with its posting of Dr. Ben Carson on its “extremist files” list. Dr. Carson, a world-renowned brain surgeon, has served as inspiration for generations of African-Americans, and was portrayed on screen by Cuba Gooding in the movie version of his autobiography Gifted Hands.

But to SPLC, desperate to find targets and keep the donations coming in to support the lavish salaries of its executives, apparently no convoluted reasoning is too bizarre.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson rapidly ascended as a far-right political star after publicly scolding President Obama, whom he sat a few feet away from, at a National Prayer Breakfast in February 2013. Carson’s reproach of Obama for his health care and tax policies went viral, unleashing a flood of adulation from right-wing media and hate groups. Carson’s own story as an “up by the bootstraps” black man reared in poverty translated into an inspiring, magnetic narrative that captured media attention. Soon he was appearing as the keynoter at a rash of right-wing and hate group gatherings, linking gays with pedophiles, comparing the U.S. to Nazi Germany and endorsing biblical economic practices for 21st century America. A movement to draft Carson as a presidential candidate took off in 2014, raising more than $7 million by June, according to its website. Carson has coyly declined to say whether he would run as a Republican or on a third-party ticket, but media interviews suggest that he is increasingly willing to run on some ticket.

Apparently, criticizing President Obama qualifies you as an extremist, in the SPLC's eyes. Or maybe it is opposing the redefinition of marriage that is the trigger.

William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection spotted the listing, and noted how flimsy was the reasoning:

Although the center makes a bald assertion that the potential 2016 presidential candidate is anti-gay, it offers no proof other than these former Carson quotes:

“Marriage is between a man and a woman. It’s a well-established pillar of society and no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA [North American Man/Boy Association, a group advocating pedophilia], be they people who believe in bestiality—it doesn’t matter what they are, they don’t get to change the definition.”

When interviewed by Sean Hannity on Fox News March 26, 2013, Carson also said:

“[I]f we can redefine marriage as between two men or two women or any other way based on social pressures as opposed to between a man and a woman, we will continue to redefine it in any way that we wish, which is a slippery slope with a disastrous ending, as witnessed in the dramatic fall of the Roman Empire.”

Note that Carson didn’t claim he’s anti-LGBT. He’s proudly opposed to gay marriage because, as he said, it changes the well-established definition of marriage.

The SPLC has made a thriving business out of hurling hateful and often unjustified accusations. It has assets that totaled $190 million in 2009, including an offshore Cayman Islands bank account.

Hat tip: iOTW Report

The Southern Poverty Law Center has descended to the level of self-parody (though it has a lot of company on the left) with its posting of Dr. Ben Carson on its “extremist files” list. Dr. Carson, a world-renowned brain surgeon, has served as inspiration for generations of African-Americans, and was portrayed on screen by Cuba Gooding in the movie version of his autobiography Gifted Hands.

But to SPLC, desperate to find targets and keep the donations coming in to support the lavish salaries of its executives, apparently no convoluted reasoning is too bizarre.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson rapidly ascended as a far-right political star after publicly scolding President Obama, whom he sat a few feet away from, at a National Prayer Breakfast in February 2013. Carson’s reproach of Obama for his health care and tax policies went viral, unleashing a flood of adulation from right-wing media and hate groups. Carson’s own story as an “up by the bootstraps” black man reared in poverty translated into an inspiring, magnetic narrative that captured media attention. Soon he was appearing as the keynoter at a rash of right-wing and hate group gatherings, linking gays with pedophiles, comparing the U.S. to Nazi Germany and endorsing biblical economic practices for 21st century America. A movement to draft Carson as a presidential candidate took off in 2014, raising more than $7 million by June, according to its website. Carson has coyly declined to say whether he would run as a Republican or on a third-party ticket, but media interviews suggest that he is increasingly willing to run on some ticket.

Apparently, criticizing President Obama qualifies you as an extremist, in the SPLC's eyes. Or maybe it is opposing the redefinition of marriage that is the trigger.

William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection spotted the listing, and noted how flimsy was the reasoning:

Although the center makes a bald assertion that the potential 2016 presidential candidate is anti-gay, it offers no proof other than these former Carson quotes:

“Marriage is between a man and a woman. It’s a well-established pillar of society and no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA [North American Man/Boy Association, a group advocating pedophilia], be they people who believe in bestiality—it doesn’t matter what they are, they don’t get to change the definition.”

When interviewed by Sean Hannity on Fox News March 26, 2013, Carson also said:

“[I]f we can redefine marriage as between two men or two women or any other way based on social pressures as opposed to between a man and a woman, we will continue to redefine it in any way that we wish, which is a slippery slope with a disastrous ending, as witnessed in the dramatic fall of the Roman Empire.”

Note that Carson didn’t claim he’s anti-LGBT. He’s proudly opposed to gay marriage because, as he said, it changes the well-established definition of marriage.

The SPLC has made a thriving business out of hurling hateful and often unjustified accusations. It has assets that totaled $190 million in 2009, including an offshore Cayman Islands bank account.

Hat tip: iOTW Report