Republican Louie Gohmert Claims Southern Poverty Law Center Has 'Stirred Up More Hate Than Any Other Group,' Makes No Mention of KKK

U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert said that he was upset the Southern Poverty Law Center is one of the partners for YouTube's Trusted Flagger Program.

The GOP congressman from Texas stated his feelings about the center before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. The committee met with Google CEO Sundar Pichai to ask questions about how the company handles privacy, viewpoints that may be deemed as controversial, and data security. During the hearing, Gohmert expressed that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) "stirred up more hate" than any other hate group he knows.

"The Southern Poverty Law Center has really stirred up more hate than any other group that I've known," Gohmert said.

Gohmert referenced the shooting at the Family Research Council in 2012, when a man opened fire at the center, NBC News previously reported. The council, which was created in 1980, "often makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science," according to SPLC's website.

"And they're Christians. And they believe—and I believe—that Christianity is really more based on love than about any other religion in history. God so loved the world, He sent His Son, His Son so loved the world, He gave His life," Gohmert said. "Yet [the SPLC] stirred up hate against the Family Research Center [sic] and a guy goes in shooting."

Gohmert also mentioned the Maajid Nawaz case, where the SPLC falsely labeled a British political activist's organization as "anti-Islamic extremist." The SPLC settled a defamation lawsuit from Nawaz and the Maajid Nawaz's Quilliam Foundation by paying the organization $3.375 million in June.

"Now, you consider them a trusted flagger, yet they keep creating problems for people that are not haters," Gohmert said. "They had to pay out $3.375 million. My problem is, when you put your moniker on them of trusted flagger, why aren't you paying $3.375 to Mr. Maajid Nawaz? That's my problem."

The YouTube Trusted Flagger program was created by YouTube to help alert viewers, government agencies, and nongovernmental organizations to notify YouTube of videos or any content that violates the website's community guidelines. In an exclusive story published in February, The Daily Caller wrote that SPLC had paired with the Google-owned company to flag any inappropriate content.

The partnership between the news media organization and YouTube was criticized by conservatives, stating that SPLC is biased. The SPLC confirmed to Think Progress in March that it is working with YouTube to stop spreading hateful content.

"The Southern Poverty Law Center is greatly concerned about the spread of white supremacist propaganda online and believes that tech companies should enforce their own terms and service agreements," SPLC said in a statement in March.

The SPLC is a nonprofit legal advocacy organization that monitors hate groups throughout the U.S. The center focuses on social justice issues like LGBT rights, immigration justice, hate and extremism, and criminal justice reform. It is best known for its online "Hate Map," which exposes hate groups currently in the U.S.

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Congressman Louis Gohmert dashes off the House floor while followed by journalists during the debate on the American Health Care Act before the vote on the bill on Capitol Hill, on March 24, 2017. Gohmert said the Southern Poverty Law Center “has stirred up more hate” than any other hate group. Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Republican Louie Gohmert Claims Southern Poverty Law Center Has 'Stirred Up More Hate Than Any Other Group,' Makes No Mention of KKK | U.S.