A coalition of free speech advocates have taken on Amazon over their use of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “hate group” standards when deciding which organizations they will include in their Smile charitable donation program.
AL.com reports:

Citizens for Corporate Accountability says the SPLC unfairly targets conservative groups for the list that, in fact, represent mainstream political views not favored by SPLC donors.

CFCA currently has a petition that calls on Amazon to “immediately cease the use of SPLC data and lists in making determinations about eligibility for the Amazon Smile program,” to publicly announce this decision, and restore any nonprofit organization that was deemed ineligible.

AmazonSmile allows shoppers to benefit charitable organizations of their choice by donating 0.5 percent of the price of any purchase. Attempts to reach Amazon for comment were not immediately successful, but the company told The Washington Post last year that it uses the SPLC, as well as the U.S. Treasury Department, to determine if a group should be deemed ineligible because it promotes intolerance, hate or criminal activity.

CFCA’s website placed the petition on the front page. They have already acquired 11,000 email petitions to Amazon and plan on ramping up their campaign in the coming weeks.

CFCA noted in their April 4th letter delivered to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Senior VP of Global Corporate Affairs Jay Carney (yes, that Jay Carney) that people have discredited the Montgomery, AL-based SPLC’s liberally-biased standards and shown the organization is  hypocritical and self-serving:

However, this list mixes together racist and violent organizations like the Ku Klux Klan with those that simply espouse mainstream political and social views with which the SPLC and apparently many of its donors disagree. For this reason, the list is permanently compromised, and cannot be relied upon for business decisions by Amazon or any other organization.

Additionally, dozens of media reports in recent weeks—including at the Washington Post and the New York Times—have detailed the current internal turmoil within the Southern Poverty Law Center brought on by corruption and misdeeds at the highest levels of leadership. In addition to the termination of its co-founder and resignation of its long-time president, many current and former employees have come forward with stories that reveal “a systemic culture of racism and sexism within its workplace.” SPLC has refused to discuss the reasons for these leadership changes in any detail, and has hired a political operative to conduct a secret investigation with no public accountability. This alone should be enough to cause Amazon to re-think its collaboration with SPLC, which has cynically billed itself for decades as a discrimination watchdog.

Executive director Brian Glicklich also pointed out in the well-sourced letter how “[n]umerous employees and journalists have reported that the SPLC’s so-called ‘hate group’ list is not a principled database, but rather a highly successful and cynical fundraising tool.”

Read the full letter below:

Glicklich also warned that the group “will ask Amazon shareholders, employees, and vendors, and the general public, for their support, with the intention of running a public information campaign” if Amazon did not “respond favorably” to their request.

To date, Amazon has not responded, but The Daily Caller wrote last month about how Twitter confirmed with them that they had backed off of their partnership with the SPLC:

“The SPLC is not a member of Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council or a partner the company has worked with recently,” a source within the company told TheDCNF. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity and did not disclose when Twitter distanced itself from the SPLC, which was dealt a significant blow in March following reports suggesting the group scams people out of money.

Twitter’s confirmation came just days after conservative leaders like The Media Research Center’s founder and president Brent Bozell and the Family Research Council’s executive VP Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin banded together to write their own letter on April 3rd to Twitter, Facebook, Google, and Amazon demanding they abandon their partnerships with the SPLC:

For years, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has branded itself the ultimate arbiter of what constitutes hate in America. You, along with the liberal media, have played a part in elevating them into this role. According to a July 6, 2018 Daily Caller story, the four largest technology platforms, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Twitter, all work with SPLC for this specific purpose.

However, it is now clear that the SPLC has proven to be a hate-filled, anti-Christian, anti-conservative organization and nothing more than a weapon of the radical Left, whose goal is to bully people into compliance with their ideology. Fail to comply with their demands, and you will be labeled as a hate group or an extremist.

What’s also worth mentioning is how two violent attacks against conservative politicians and a conservative group were, in part, inspired by the SPLC’s hate map:

Its rhetoric is so vitriolic that the group’s data has inspired violence against conservatives—like shooter Floyd Lee Corkins, who used the SPLC “hate map” to identify and assault Family Research Council’s (FRC) headquarters in 2013 for being “anti-gay.” Another shooter, James Hodgkinson, shot House Republican Whip Steve Scalise last summer; it was later discovered that Hodgkinson followed SPLC’s work on social media.

Since we operate by the left’s rules of engagement to determine who and what should be discredited and ostracized for inciting hate and violence, then their beloved SPLC definitely fits the criteria. If Amazon has any interest in showing any consistency on the matter instead of simply virtue signaling, they’d take this information into account, too.

Author and investigative TV reporter John Stossel did a very informative video over a year ago about the shutuppery tactics behind the SPLC. It’s worth highlighting again in light of the aggressive movement of conservative groups and free speech activists to push back on their silencing tactics. Click below to watch:

The CFCA will intensify their campaign against Amazon’s use of the SPLC’s “hate group” standards in the next two weeks, which will coincide with Amazon’s annual shareholder’s meeting on May 22nd.

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —