DoD to Continue using SPLC as Reference

Despite recent scandals regarding the DoD’s alleged classification of Christians as “extremists” — including an Army-wide standdown in Equal Opportunity training over the controversies — the DoD says it will continue to use the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “reference” in its Equal Opportunity training.

A DoD spokesman answered that while the agency will remove “hate groups” information provided by the SPLC from the training materials used at its Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), the DoD will continue to use the SPLC’s data in its “non-federal reference material” for DEOMI.

The SPLC — whose work has been specifically cited in recent Army briefings — is one of several “non-Federal” sources the DoD plans to continue using:

“Some of the non-Federal entities used to inform DEOMI’s training,” said Christensen, “include: Anti-Defamation League; Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism; Know Gangs, Political Research Associates, Southern Poverty Law Center, Teaching Tolerance, multiple textbooks, articles, and research studies.”

That’s an interesting list. The ADL is generally accepted as a legitimate, mainstream opponent of universally opposed anti-Semitism. The other groups, however, are somewhat more…interesting:

The Center for Hate and Extremism appears to be a reference to the California State University-based office run by Brian Levin. It declares certain websites to be “extremist,” and includes the “9/11 Truth” and “Birther” movements as “extremist.”

Political Research Associates is clearly a left-leaning site, as it explicitly says its role is “challenging the right.” It lists “conservatives standing in the way of social justice,” including the ACLJ, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, Focus on the Family, the SBC’s Richard Land, and the FRC’s Tony Perkins.

Teaching Tolerance is a project of the SPLC, making the second reference to the SPLC somewhat redundant.  The SPLC has listed Christian religious liberty organizations as “hate groups.”

If those resources represent the “breadth” of thought in Equal Opportunity training in the Department of Defense, it gives an interesting insight into what can be expected of the prevailing tone of the DoD’s EO program.

Also at OneNewsNow.