Keith Ellison Demands Amazon Stop Selling Books the SPLC Hates
Last week, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, wrote to Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos, demanding that he no longer sell at Amazon any material that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) dislikes. Yes, it has come to this.
Ellison’s letter to Bezos focuses on an alleged neo-Nazi’s material being sold at Amazon and published through Amazon’s self-publishing service. However, Ellison makes clear that his intentions are far more sweeping, particularly with his opening gambit:
I am writing to you with my concerns about the amount of money Amazon has made from the sale of literature and music published by entities identified as “hate groups” by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
Clearly Ellison wants Amazon, which has a near-monopoly on U.S. book sales, to stop selling books by people designated as “hate groups” by the SPLC. And, just as the establishment media does, Ellison presents the SPLC as a reliable, unbiased arbiter of what is and isn’t a “hate group.”
The SPLC has, for a considerable period, enjoyed unquestioned magisterial authority in the establishment media. But the SPLC’s far-Left bias and determination to destroy conservative groups by lumping them in with neo-Nazis and white supremacists has been gradually exposed in recent years. Its credibility then took a serious hit recently, when a court ordered the SPLC to pay over three million dollars to a liberal Muslim whom it had smeared as an “anti-Muslim extremist.”
Ellison, however, takes it for granted that the SPLC is reliable, and assumes that Bezos does as well. He is likely correct: the far-Left Bezos almost certainly agrees with Ellison that the SPLC is a reliable authority. It is entirely possible that Bezos will comply with Ellison’s demands by purging Amazon of all materials by people that the SPLC has smeared and defamed.
Among the questions Ellison asks Bezos is this:
Will Amazon stop publishing physical and digital materials from SPLC-identified hate groups in the next three months?
Given Amazon’s dominance of the book market, Amazon’s compliance with this demand would be a serious blow to the freedom of speech. This would also come as the SPLC is engaged in an all-out attempt to delegitimize the full spectrum of opinions which dissent from the Leftist agenda on Islam, immigration, social issues, and more.
If Amazon drops SPLC-designated “hate” material, there should ensue a national discussion about whether the SPLC is really a reliable authority, and whether only one viewpoint should be allowed in the public square. If not, this will just be another nail in the coffin of the freedom of speech in the United States.
Ellison has spoken at a convention of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). ISNA has actually admitted its ties to Hamas, which styles itself the Palestinian arm of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Justice Department actually classified ISNA among entities “who are and/or were members of the US Muslim Brotherhood.”