The vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee is asking Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to stop the retail giant’s “sale of literature and music published by entities identified as ‘hate groups’ by the Southern Poverty Law Center.”
While the letter from U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., later specifies concern about “neo-nazis and white nationalist writers,” his opening, sweeping statement about SPLC-designated “hate groups” should be cause for alarm, writes Jihad Watch Director Robert Spencer.
“Clearly Ellison wants Amazon, which has (with Barnes & Noble) a virtual monopoly on book sales in the U.S., to stop selling books by people designated as ‘hate groups’ by the Southern Poverty Law Center,” Spencer writes.
He points out that, like the establishment media, Ellison assumes SPLC is a “reliable, unbiased arbiter of what is and isn’t a hate group.”
But SPLC has been challenged for applying the “hate group” label to groups with broad support such as the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defending Freedom, which have ended up on SPLC’s list because of their advocacy for traditional marriage, opposition to abortion and other conservative causes.
Spencer writes that in the letter, SPLC’s “hard-Left bias and determination to destroy legitimate conservative groups by lumping them in with neo-Nazis and white supremacists is nowhere recognized.”
Noting Amazon also has relied on SPLC, Spencer warns it’s entirely possible Bezos “will comply with Ellison’s demands and purge Amazon of all materials by people that the SPLC has smeared and defamed.”
Amazon admits relying on SPLC
WND reported the Religious Freedom Coalition was dumped from the AmazonSmile charity program because SPLC labeled it a “hate group.”
When RFC questioned Amazon about the decision, a lawyer issued a statement saying the company “relies on the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control and the Southern Poverty Law Center to determine which registered charities fall into [the category of excluded] groups.”
The lawyer explained the Amazon charity program excludes “organizations that engage in, support, encourage, or promote intolerance, hate, terrorism, violence, money laundering, or other illegal activities.”
“As you are likely aware, the SPLC has listed RFC on its ‘Hate Map.’ … Accordingly, RFC is not eligible to receive charitable donations from the AmazonSmile Foundation. Should you have any questions regarding the SPLC’s inclusion of RFC on its Hate Map, we encourage you to contact SPLC,” the letter said.
RFC, contrary to Amazon’s characterizations, is a nonprofit that “advocates in Washington, D.C., for the defense and preservation of America’s Christian heritage.”
Describing Bezos as “a radical liberal on social issues,” RFC noted Amazon has banned hundreds of pro-family and conservative organizations from using AmazonSmile, which allows a purchaser to donate a small fraction of a purchase to a selected charity.
Among the banned groups are the American Family Association, Coral Ridge Ministries, Liberty Counsel and the Alliance Defending Freedom.
Ellison and the Muslim Brotherhood
Spencer points out Ellison’s association with groups tied to the Muslim Brotherhood. The congressman has spoken at a convention of the Islamic Society of North America, which has admitted ties to Hamas, the Palestinian arm of the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2008, Ellison accepted $13,350 from another Muslim Brotherhood organization, the Muslim American Society, to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca.
Also, the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations raised money for Ellison’s first campaign, and he has spoken at numerous CAIR events. CAIR was designated by the Justice Department as an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case.
Ellison claims in his letter to Bezos that since the election of Donald Trump, “hate groups have been on the rise, and racist violence has swelled in this country.”