The Washington Times reports that the Southern Poverty Law Center refuses to categorize Antifa as a hate-group because, according to SPLC president Richard Cohen, the far-left violent radical group isn’t actually hateful.
"If you are familiar with our work, we write about Antifa often,” Mr. Cohen said in his Thursday testimony before the House Homeland Security Committee. “We condemn their tactics — I’ve said so publicly and we do so always — but Antifa is not a group that vilifies people on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion and the like.”
Antifa hates capitalism, hates America, and hates anybody that disagrees with their mission. Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) challenged Mr. Cohen's claims, emphasizing Antifa's willingness to use actions, not words to get their message across.
“So you’re okay with Antifa as long as they don’t say things that you don’t agree with, but it’s okay if they hit people on the head with a bike lock or set things on fire or riot and flout the law by wearing face masks and incite riots—you’re okay with that?” asked Rep. Perry.
Despite clearly hateful acts perpetuated by Antifa, Cohen said that was not enough to denote status as a hate group.
“We condemn groups like Antifa, we write about them often. We don’t list them as hate groups,” he said.
Other groups which are not violent, however, are listed as hate groups. For example, the Family Research Counsel is listed as a hate group simply for its language which, according to SLPC, could create violence and crimes.
“Our listing of hate groups doesn’t necessarily mean that they engage in violence, although we think that the (FRC) anti-LGBT propaganda is one of the factors that makes the LGBT community in our country the most likely to be victimized by hate crimes,” he said.
Earlier this year, Democrat House minority leader Nancy Pelosi issued a statement condemning Antifa and their allies after violent incidents in Berkley California. Rep. Pelosi made a specific comment how hateful the group is.
“In California, as across all of our great nation, we have deep reverence for the Constitutional right to peaceful dissent and free speech,” Pelosi added. “Non-violence is fundamental to that right. Let us use this sad event to reaffirm that we must never fight hate with hate, and to remember the values of peace, openness and justice that represent the best of America.” (Emphasis added)