Amazon uses a “hate list” compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to determine which charities are eligible for its “Smile” charity program. As a private company, it can do as it wishes, however cynical or stupid. As a customer, of course, I have the same privilege, which resulted in the following letter:
Dear non-hierarchical gender-free Amazon person:
I am a long-time customer and Prime member, who has spent many thousands of dollars with you over the years. In such mercantile matters, I prefer to leave politics aside. Unfortunately, Amazon has made this impossible as it has taken blatantly political steps which are actually starkly un-American, by using the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) scurrilous and despicable list of “hate groups” in some of its business decisions. As a result of your adopting the SPLC’s categorization of virtually anyone who does not subscribe to its radical leftist, Marxist agenda as a “hater,” this “non-profit” (with scores of millions of dollars held in offshore accounts) serves to stifle the very candor and dialogue upon which a democratic republic depends for its lifeblood. The SPLC’s idea of political discourse and freedom of speech is “shut up;” “you are a racist, sexist, xenophobic, misogynistic, etc.,etc., generally bad person.”
The vast majority of the hate practiced in America today originates not from groups listed by the SPLC, but from the left, from radical, “politically correct” and zealously ideological groups just like the SPLC. To them, only speech with which they agree is permissible. They are the ones who are authoritarian and intolerant in the extreme. Their righteous indignation knows no bounds. If they disagree with the beliefs or policies of any individual or group, do they engage in civil, rational discourse? No. They simply lump everyone in with neo-Nazis and white supremacists and call them “racists” too. Were they trying to change minds, they might try to inform their opponents where they believe they are wrong. That approach, however, is never taken by the SPLC. Its only answer to disagreement is name-calling.
Not everyone who disagrees with leftist received wisdom is a “racist” or a “hater.” Surely, an organization such as Amazon knows this, yet it still chooses to defer to the SPLC. Ask Dr. Ben Carson. This decent, intelligent and accomplished individual was listed as a “hater” by this august group for months until they were shamed into begrudgingly removing him from the list. They are currently being sued for libel by Christian organizations, a religion much over-represented on the SPLC’s list of haters. The latter, fatuously labeled as “haters” by the SPLC, I note, haven’t killed or beheaded anyone lately. By way of contrast to the many Christian groups labeled as “haters,” let’s look at the treatment of Muslim groups, which make no secret of their views of gays, Jews, women and “infidels” generally.
In fact, the SPLC named scarcely any Islamic groups as “haters.” Particularly missing from the list are those which do make a practice of murder and beheading and explicitly state their hatred of those the SPLC purports to care most about. Those who dare quote, exactly, a certain Holy Book’s commands to kill infidels, on the other hand – those are deemed to be the “haters” by the SPLC. Would not a reasonable person be afraid if another’s religious commands that they – as non-believers – must be killed by adherents to that religion as a matter of religious duty? Is is not the command to kill and not the fear of being killed which constitutes the hatred?
What says the SPLC about this? Nothing. But it affirmatively labels those with reasonable fears of one religion’s explicit beliefs as hate-filled “-phobics!” Odd, isn’t it, that phobias are, by definition, irrational, imagined fears with no basis in fact. Reasonable fears based upon objective fact are not phobias and they are definitely not hatred – except in the eyes of an organization which sees hatred everywhere except within its own rubrics. In short, the SPLC’s list of “haters” is based upon its own radical, tortured political ideology, and not facts or reality.
Sure of the non-violence of Christian bakers, some might say the SPLC knows it need have no fear of retribution when calling them names; with other religions, not so much and such obvious cowardice, surely, does not comport with the moral high ground claimed by the SPLC. Even the FBI has dropped SPLC’s “hate” list; Charity Watch gives the SPLC an ‘F’ rating. After all, fat salaries for executives and hundreds of millions of dollars in assets while spending a few thousand annually on legal matters doesn’t seem very charitable. The fact is that a formerly-admirable civil rights organization has descended into one which now practices uncivil wrongs for political and financial gain. And surely Amazon knows this, too. By the way, when was the last time that name-calling changed anyone’s mind about anything?
The fact that Amazon has aligned itself with this extremist and, make no mistake about it – profoundly un-American group – means that that I will no longer support Amazon with my Prime membership or purchases; you have made our relationship explicitly political and obnoxious and I will respond in kind. You need to be reminded that politics flows in both directions. If Amazon cannot understand this, that is another powerful reason to not do business with you. And best to recall – once you start playing the game of political correctness with them, history suggests that radical revolutionaries eventually get around to eating their own supporters, benefactors and enablers.
Shame on you for derogating a large proportion of your customers who are caring, decent people who hate nobody and are actually far more tolerant than your illiberal associates at SPLC. As your political alliance with this abominable organization becomes more widely known, don’t be surprised if, like me, many choose to become former Amazon customers. You may find that inane and disingenuous virtue signaling costs more than it is worth.