Only in a world where the novel 1984 has become the evening news can we get a state’s Attorney General working with the Department of Civil Rights to create a database for people committing “hate and bias incidents that don’t rise to the level of a crime or civil infraction.”
This “hate crimes unit” apparently comes on the advice of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which issued a report about a rise of extremism and hatred within the state of Michigan. This itself is more than ironic, since it was reported last year that the organization had to pay $3 million for falsely labeling the Quilliam Foundation as an example of “anti-Muslim extremism. ”
Nevertheless, the SPLC still seems to be the go-to group for databasing the speech of the public at large; they’ve previously been linked to Google, currently the largest such de facto database in existence.
Predictably, then, there has been pushback right out of the gate for those who have received the label of hate-monger from the SPLC and, by extension, the government of Michigan. As The Detroit Newsreports:
Church Militant/St. Michael’s Media in Ferndale is listed by the law center as an “anti-LGBT” hate group. The group’s editor-in-chief, Christine Niles, rejected the label and said, to her knowledge, the group’s presence on the list is a first.
“We’re not entirely sure what that means,” Niles said, noting that the group and its work is faithful to the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage being between a man and a woman. “We have a right to believe that without being called a hate group.”
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