The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a Montgomery-based far-left activist organization, sent a delegation to Geneva, Switzerland, to make recommendations to the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC).
The SPLC purports to categorize hate and extremist groups on its "hate map" and has a history of working with federal law enforcement agencies such as the FBI. It has long been accused of tarnishing conservative and libertarian organizations by falsely labeling them racist.
Earlier this month, U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and James Lankford (R-Okla.), in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, condemned the FBI for still using the SPLC to obtain data about hate and extremist groups in the United States.
Several others accompanied the activist group's president and CEO, Margaret Huang, to Europe, including victims of racially motivated crimes, former prisoners and an activist who was a plaintiff in Alabama's recent redistricting case.
The delegation spoke before the UNHRC during a review of the United States' compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a multilateral treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1966. The covenant currently has 173 parties, and the UNHRC regularly performs compliance reviews of participating countries.
SPLC senior staff writer Rhonda Sonnenberg wrote on the SPLC's website that the delegation was to present "overwhelming evidence of the United States' failure to safeguard the human rights of its most vulnerable residents" to the UNHRC.
The SPLC suggested the creation of "a national human rights institution" in the United States to ensure compliance with the covenant. It also recommended ending torture and solitary confinement in U.S. prisons, government funding for "inclusive education," and "holding accountable" technology platforms for "spreading extremism."
The organization advocated for similar policies before another international organization in Poland earlier this month, arguing that "hateful ideologies" have become mainstream and that the government should "prevent radicalization" by "inoculat[ing] youth" via "inclusive education" and censoring what individuals can post on social media.
At the UNHRC, the SPLC also advocated for "legislation to restore and strengthen the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965." The organization's representatives and Alabama activist Letetia Jackson argued that the VRA was "gutted" by the Shelby County v. Holder U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2013, which ruled a section of the VRA unconstitutional for requiring certain Southern states, identified by data that at the time, was over 40 years old, to obtain federal preclearance before changing voting laws or practices.
Jackson, a plaintiff in the recent redistricting case in Alabama that resulted in federal courts redrawing congressional district maps, blamed Shelby v. Holder for inequality and what she called "draconian anti-abortion laws."
According to the SPLC, another activist intended to recommend that President Joe Biden "issue a voting rights executive order or action in light of conservative control of state laws to impede voting rights, especially for voters of color."
According to Barron's, U.S. officials defended themselves before the UNHRC on Tuesday, apologized for the overturn of Roe v. Wade, and vowed to call for Congress to pass a law once again restricting states from passing laws protecting the lives of the unborn.
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