The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is set to classify “White Lives Matter” as a hate group.
The new classification of “White Lives Matter” will be included on the SPLC’s next update of their “hate map,” reports the Huffington Post. SPLC’s hate map tracks various hate groups across the country.
“I can’t speak to how many chapters will be listed, but it’s clear that the leadership of the group, the ends of the group — it’s just a flat-out white supremacist group,” Heidi Beirich, director of the center’s Intelligence Report, said to the Houston Chronicle.
“The ideology behind it, the racist leaders, everything about it is racist,” Beirich continued.
On the other hand, the SPLC will not be adding Black Lives Matter to a list of hate groups, stating in a blog post, “but before we condemn the entire movement for the words of a few, we should ask ourselves whether we would also condemn the entire Republican Party for the racist words of its presumptive nominee.”
Ken Reed, the organizer of the protest, told the Houston Chronicle that the group was rallying against the NAACP’s refusal to criticize the actions of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The SPLC is, of course, most famous because a man named used an SPLC “Hate Map” to find the Family Research Council headquarters in Washington, D.C., in 2012. He entered the headquarters lobby in August 2012 in an attempt to “to kill as many people as possible” and “smother Chick-fil-A sandwiches in their faces” because he disagreed with the conservative organization about gay marriage. Corkins managed to shoot a security guard. The guard disarmed him.
In March 2014, the Federal Bureau of Investigations removed links to the Southern Poverty Law Center from the civil rights division’s web page, breaking ties with the group that inspired the would-be mass shooter.
Earlier this month, a White Lives Matter group staged a protest outside Houston’s NAACP headquarters. The group carried the Confederate flag and some members carried rifles. A few people carried signs reading “White Lives Matter” and “14 Words,” a reference to a white supremacist slogan.
The Anti Defamation League claimed that the white supremacist organization Aryan Renaissance Society (ARS) had organized the White Lives Matter protest. The League said that the lightening bolt and runic symbol, the ARS symbol, was to be seen on a protest banner and some of the shirts protesters were wearing.
As well, the SPLC said that Rebecca Barnette is one of the leaders of the White Lives Matter group; Barnette is also the vice president of the women’s section of the Aryan Strikeforce, a white nationalist organization. Barnette is also allegedly a part of the National Socialist Movement.
Those groups are already known to be hate groups; White Lives Matter is a new addition.
“We are listing them because they are clearly white supremacists. Their motto should be only ‘white lives matter’,”Beirich said to Vice News.
Eric Owens contributed to this report.