Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
One year ago Thursday, a heavily armed homosexual activist, by his own words inspired by an anti-family diatribe posted on the website of the Southern Poverty Law Center, entered the Washington offices of the Family Research Council with the intention of killing “as many people as I could.”
The sentencing for Floyd Lee Corkins II, a volunteer at an LGBT community center who pleaded guilty to terrorism after his attack was halted with only one person injured, is expected this fall. But the targets in that attack still are wondering if the organization that Corkins admitted directed him to the pro-family advocates will ever be held accountable.
Retired Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin is the FRC’s executive vice president, with oversight of daily operations such as policy, church ministries, finance, human resources and facilities.
He was one of the original members of the U.S. Army’s Delta Force and later commanded the Green Berets, so battle strategy is nothing new to him.
But he wonders about the current politically correct environment in which organizations can pin a “hate” label on a group such as the FRC and not face any consequences.
“One year after Floyd Lee Corkins attempted to commit mass murder at the Family Research Council, the SPLC is still recklessly labeling people and groups as ‘hate mongers’ and ‘hate groups,’ which clearly endangers those who have been labeled as it unquestionably incites people like Corkins to violence,” Boykin said.
Boykin noted Corkins pleaded guilty to domestic terrorism after explaining to the judge in his federal trial that he targeted FRC because of SPLC’s map of “hate groups.”
“Yet nothing has been done regarding the dangerous and potentially deadly actions of SPLC,” he said. “SPLC is now connected to terrorism in federal court. Yet no one in the mainstream media seems to care. When will the media hold groups like SPLC accountable?” Boykin asked.
Corkins was subdued after shooting building manager Leo Johnson in the arm and injuring him. A video of the attack shows Corkins entering the building and approaching Johnson, then leaning over to place his backpack on the floor. When he straightens up, Corkins points a semi-automatic handgun directly at Johnson and fires.
Despite being wounded in the arm, Johnson was able to subdue Corkins after a brief struggle.
It was in an interview with FBI officers later when Corkins fingered SPLC as his inspiration.
Asked by the FBI how he picked FRC to attack, Corkins stated, “It was a, uh, Southern Poverty Law, lists, uh, anti-gay groups. I found them online. I did a little bit of research, went to the website, stuff like that.”
FRC said that when Corkins later pleaded guilty to a charge of domestic terrorism, SPLC “was connected in federal court in this first domestic terrorism conviction in Washington, D.C., under the post 9/11 law.”
“Floyd Corkins admitted his intention to ‘kill the people in the building and then smear a Chick-fil-A sandwich in their face,’” FRC explained. “The Southern Poverty Law Center has thus far refused to remove Family Research Council as a ‘hate group’ from its target map.”
Boykin has suggested he would like the U.S. government and its agencies to discontinue using, citing or working with the Southern Poverty Law Center. And he said the media should stop citing SPLC.
According to the government’s sentencing memorandum in the case against Corkins, the “mass killing of innocent civilians” was averted narrowly by “the heroic intervening actions of Leonardo Johnson, a building manager/security guard who was seriously injured as a result.”
Among the counts to which Corkins has pleaded guilty is an Act of [Domestic] Terrorism while Armed.
In an FBI interview of Corkins after he was taken into custody, an agent asked Corkins, “What was your intention. … You’re … a political activist you said?”
Corkins responded: “Yeah, I wanted to kill the people in the building and then smear a Chicken-fil-A sandwich on their face.”
FBI: “And you, what was your intention when you went in there with the gun?”
Corkins: “Uh, it was to kill as many people as I could.”
Key to the case, according to the government’s document, was that, “He had identified the FRC as an anti-gay organization on the Southern Poverty Law Center website.”
FRC officials repeatedly have explained they adhere to a biblical perspective on homosexuality, but are not “anti-gay.”
SPLC, however, describes FRC as being staffed with “anti-gay propagandists” and charges that the family organization’s “real specialty is defaming gays and lesbians.”
“The intention is to denigrate LGBT people in its battles against same-sex marriage, hate crimes laws and anti-bullying programs,” the SPLC charges. And it blasts the organization’s success in having “its research fellows and leaders often testify before Congress and appear in the mainstream media.”
“Consistent with his statement to the FBI, a … search of Corkins’s family computer revealed that on the afternoon of Sunday, August 12, Corkins used the computer to visit the Southern Poverty Law Center’s website, as well as the websites for the FRC and the second organization on his handwritten list. The FBI later recovered from Corkins’s home several printed Mapquest and Google maps, dated August 12, 2012, for directions to the FRC and the second organization, as well as the pad of stationary paper used by Corkins to create his handwritten list of targets,” the government explained.
Boykin noted the video includes the interrogation by police in which Corkins “admits that he targeted us, as an ‘anti-gay’ group, because we were listed on the website of the SPLC, as a ‘hate group.’”
“It tells you the SPLC directly is connected to domestic terrorism,” Boykin told WND. “They are connected to domestic terrorism, in a federal case in Washington, D.C.”
He continued: “We want the U.S. government to stop supporting … and using the SPLC. They’re now connected to domestic terrorism.”
He cited the reports from SPLC that law enforcement periodically references, the classes the SPLC teaches to law enforcement officers and other influences.
And Boykin said the U.S. media needs to “stop giving them a voice to spew their hatred.”
Such validation simply gives the appearance that “their dangerous actions” are “sanctioned by the U.S.,” he said.
“Third, we’d really like for the Congress to take some kind of action to do a legitimate assessment of the recklessness of this organization, and assist with forcing our government to stop supporting them,” he said.
FRC President Tony Perkins previously said that the SPLC’s statements about the FRC “gave license” to Corkins’ to attack.
“The Southern Poverty Law Center can no longer say that it is not a source for those bent on committing acts of violence,” Perkins said earlier.
The significance of the Chick-fil-A sandwiches Corkins bought and brought to FRC was that the owner of the restaurant chain was under fire last summer from homosexual activists for stating his support for the morality of traditional marriage.
“Our nation needs to have an honest conversation about religious extremism and what we can do to avoid religious violence. However, labeling these major world religions as extremists is wrong and hurtful,” said a letter by Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., that was signed by dozens of other members.
The letter was addressed to Army Secretary John. M . McHugh at the Pentagon.
SPLC – a left-wing, nonprofit organization that describes itself as dedicated to fighting “bigotry” and monitoring domestic “hate groups” – keeps an eagle eye on tea-party, patriot, Christian, gun-rights and right-wing organizations, often insisting they are fueled by racism and hatred, rather than politics or policy.
SPLC Senior Fellow Mark Potok continued the narrative in an interview on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Live” when the host asked Potok if the recent Boston bomber was more likely to be a lone wolf or part of an existing group.
“It’s more likely to be a lone wolf, these kinds of things, at least in the radical right. The non-Islamic radical right, they don’t tend to be carried out in groups at all,” Potok replied. “It may be, in fact, a home grown radical, but perhaps of the jihadist sort. And the reason I think about that in that way is think about who the targets were. You know, this was not a target that one would associate with a radical right-wing bomber. It was not a government building, it was not the IRS, although it was Tax Day on Monday. It was not a minority group. It wasn’t black people or Jewish people or gay people or Muslims.”
WND also reported Duke University agreed to accept the archives of the SPLC and store them.
“You might not be aware of the fact that SPLC is a left-leaning political activist organization – not a non-ideological research organization. They have targeted a wide swath of Americans for standing up for traditional values,” wrote TVC President Andrea Lafferty to the school chiefs.
“SPLC uses the reckless term ‘hate’ to label anyone with whom they disagree on biblical morality. Catholics, evangelicals, and ‘patriot groups’ (Tea Party members) are among the ‘hate groups’ SPLC targets,” she continued. “If you are pro-life, if you oppose gay marriage, if you stand up for religious freedom … you’re counted among the hate groups. If Mother Teresa was still on this earth, her pro-life views would have earned her the SPLC’s ‘hate group’ stamp of disapproval.”
On its website, SPLC continues its condemnation of the FRC even today.
“FRC often makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science,” the group says. “The intention is to denigrate LGBT people in its battles against same-sex marriage, hate crimes laws, anti-bullying programs and the repeal of the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.”