The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has reportedly declared the White Lives Matter faction as a hate group, ABC News reports. In a statement listed on the civil rights organization’s website, the mandate was confirmed in mid-August and plans to add “White Lives Matter to its 2017 hate group map and list.”
In addition to this announcement, the SPLC gave more background information on why they decided to place White Lives Matter under that header.
“White Lives Matter is a white supremacist group founded by people with long histories in racist movements. The group, which is dedicated to ‘the promotion of the white race,’ claims to have representatives in several states, which the SPLC is currently investigating. A full list of White Lives Matter chapters will be released in February 2017 along with all hate groups for that calendar year.”
The SPLC’s decision obviously didn’t go unnoticed by some White Lives Matter members, namely Tennessee native Rebecca Barnette, who made her stance clearly known to Fox 17 reporters.
“WLM is not a hate-group but rather a celebration of the white race,” she said. “There are ways we as citizens and owners of our fate can take a stand against these plagues on our people promoting white genocide.”
Senior fellow of SPLC, Mark Potoc, defended the organization’s decision to list White Lives Matter as a hate group, stating that it’s “quite literally neo-Nazis who think white people are the cream of the earth and that marginalized groups — such as black people, Muslims, and gay people — are their enemies.”
Earlier this year, a petition to list the Black Lives Matter organization as a hate group made its way to the White House, but was quickly shut down by the administration. “The U.S. government does not generate a list of domestic terror organizations, and therefore we are not able to address the formal request of your petition,” the statement reads. “We encourage you to engage with your community in the ongoing discussion of how we can better build trust and safety in our communities.”