The Southern Poverty Law Center publicly apologized to several left-wing writers and activists on Wednesday for an article that linked them to the Russian government and white nationalists.
The legal advocacy organization, or SPLC, issued a “sincere apology” for the March 9 article and disclaimed “as clearly as we can, any intention to suggest that any of them are white supremacists, fascists, and/or anti-Semites, that they hold such views, or that they are engaged in a conspiracy with the Russian government to promote such views or otherwise.”
The center first removed the article on March 10 after a swift backlash from several left-wing writers named in the story, including Max Blumenthal, who is the son of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s longtime confidant Sidney Blumenthal. The SPLC noted Blumenthal’s “concerns” about the article in its original explanation for pulling the article, which can be viewed in archived form here.
“Thank you to the [SPLC] for their retraction of and apology for the article they published slandering me and my colleagues. It’s much appreciated,” Rania Khalek, one of the writers named, wrote on Twitter following Wednesday’s apology. (RELATED: YouTube Secretly Using SPLC To Police Videos)
The author of the since-retracted article, Portland State University lecturer Alexander Reid Ross, said on Wednesday that he stood by the article, which he claimed “drew accolades from a number of human rights activists and media professionals.”
The SPLC has consistently labeled pedestrian conservative organizations as “hate groups” without apology and has been tied to violence against conservatives in the past. Floyd Lee Corkins, who opened fire at the Family Research Center (FRC) in 2012, said he chose the FRC for his act of violence because the SPLC listed them as a “hate group.”
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