Big tech and the media routinely cover for the scandal-plagued far-left smear factory the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), but a new non-partisan initiative has launched a campaign urging Amazon to drop its reliance on the corrupt liberal group.
Since its creation two months ago, the New Tolerance Campaign (NTC) has inspired more than 2,000 Americans to demand that universities and influential companies like Amazon hold themselves to “consistent standards of tolerance.” NTC “promotes ‘unbiased tolerance’ by encouraging organizations, businesses, elected officials, and government agencies to maintain clear standards of acceptable conduct.”
In that spirit, NTC has rallied Americans against Amazon’s decision to rely on the SPLC’s biased “hate group” accusations to exclude organizations from its AmazonSmile charity program. NTC reminded its followers that the SPLC faced a devastating scandal back in March involving claims of racial discrimination and sexual harassment. That scandal led to the firing of the SPLC’s co-founder, and it broke open even further as employees came clean about being “part of the con,” exaggerating hate by padding the “hate group” list and “bilking northern liberals” into cutting big checks. The SPLC has millions in offshore bank accounts in the Cayman Islands.
“New Tolerance Campaign is dedicated to calling out the unequal application of tolerance in mainstream American culture, which has become far too common in recent years. AmazonSmile’s use of the SPLC is a clear case of this ongoing problem,” an NTC spokesperson told PJ Media on Wednesday.
“In addition to several very serious internal scandals related to sexual harassment, racial discrimination and the use of off-shore bank accounts that undermine the organization’s integrity and credibility, the SPLC has a well-documented ideological bias that is reflected in its ‘hate map,'” the spokesperson explained. “By relying on the SPLC as the only non-government arbiter of who can participate, AmazonSmile is perpetuating that bias in a way that passes it on to their customers, some of whom may not realize that their options are being shaped by one particular ideological viewpoint, while also lending its own reputation to an organization with questionable ethics and practices.”
NTC is new, but the organization is already making an impact. “In only two months since New Tolerance Campaign launched, we’ve empowered over 2,100 advocates to send over 4,000 messages to companies calling on them to apply their tolerance standards equally,” the spokesperson said.
NTC does not just launch pressure campaigns against liberal bias. The organization has also targeted Truman State University for refusing to allow a student to start an animal rights group on campus, and it urged American companies to divest from companies that support the Chinese surveillance state and the oppression of Uyghur Muslims.
Liberals have long warned about the SPLC’s deception and corruption, but in recent years conservatives have led the charge. In recent decades, the organization has become shameless about accusing its political opponents of being “hate groups” on par with the Ku Klux Klan. The SPLC’s “hate group” strategy began with lawsuits that bankrupted KKK groups, but its blacklist has expanded to include mainstream conservative and Christian organizations. Former SPLC spokesman Mark Potok declared that the SPLC’s “aim in life is to destroy these groups, completely destroy them.”
In 2012, a deranged man targeted the Family Research Council (FRC), which the SPLC accused of being an “anti-LGBT hate group.” He intended to shoot everyone in the building and smear Chick-fil-A chicken sandwiches in their faces. He failed thanks to the bravery of a security guard who sustained long-term injuries. The man was convicted of terrorism charges and told the FBI he targeted FRC because of the SPLC “hate group” list.
FRC and the American Family Association bought an ad in The Wall Street Journal warning Big Tech and the media not to trust the SPLC, specifically addressing Amazon with their concerns.
AmazonSmile lets shoppers direct 0.5 percent of their purchases to charity. Yet this admirable program relies on the SPLC’s discredited “hate group” list to exclude conservative and Christian organizations. Amazon did not respond to PJ Media’s request for comment.
The AmazonSmile blacklisting came to light in 2017, when D. James Kennedy Ministries (DJKM) filed a lawsuit against Amazon and the SPLC after getting booted from the program. While the suit was dismissed this year, DJKM filed an appeal in October.
The blacklisting extends far beyond Amazon. Payment processing companies have cut off organizations like the Ruth Institute; Mastercard and Discover banned JihadWatch; Chase Bank has suspended the personal accounts of conservative activists like Enrique Tarrio, the black leader of the supposedly white supremacist Proud Boys. Hyatt Hotels, Eventbrite, and PayPal have blacklisted ACT for America. Even Mar-a-Lago canceled an ACT for America event under pressure from the SPLC.
The far-left group accused Maajid Nawaz, an anti-terror Muslim reformer, of being an “anti-Muslim extremist.” Nawaz sued and the SPLC settled, offering a very public apology and paying $3.375 million to his nonprofit.
In addition to DJKM and Nawaz, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, Baltimore lawyer Glen Keith Allen, and former heroin addict Craig Nelsen have sued the SPLC for defamation and various other claims. The CIS lawsuit was struck down because it attempted to shoehorn a defamation claim into racketeering, but it will likely be re-filed.
In the Nelsen case, a judge allowed the plaintiff to enter the discovery process, giving the former heroin addict access to the organization’s documents. The SPLC had falsely claimed that Nelsen “wasn’t convincing anyone” that his drug recovery program was open to men of all races.
Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, a Christian nonprofit branded a “hate group” by the SPLC, told PJ Media that more than 60 organizations are considering their own lawsuits against the SPLC.
Shamefully, media outlets like CBS News, The New York Times, the Miami Herald, and the Palm Beach Post have buried the SPLC’s scandals even while reporting on SPLC pressure campaigns in recent months. YouTube has also restricted videos exposing the SPLC’s corruption.
Companies like Amazon should not be treating this scandal-plagued, politically-biased, and legally compromised organization as if it were a reliable arbiter of hate. Click here to read more about New Tolerance Campaign’s initiative and consider signing this important petition.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.