Amazon CEO Jassy Won't Stop Selling Anti-Semitic Film Promoted by Kyrie Irving

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy gets it.

Jassy is refusing to remove the controversial film Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America, from Amazon’s website despite its deranged and anti-Semitic subject matter. The film recently got a huge boost when NBA superstar Kyrie Irving tweeted out an Amazon link to his two million followers. The NBA suspended Irving for eight games for that tweet, and he has apologized.


Jassy is under extreme pressure to ban the book as well.

“As a retailer of content to hundreds of millions of customers with a lot of different viewpoints, we have to allow access to those viewpoints, even if they are objectionable — objectionable and they differ from our particular viewpoints,” the New York Times quoted Jassy as saying.

Jassy said that, sometimes, it’s easier to decide what books to ban when a book actively incites violence or “teaches people to do things like pedophilia.”


Amazon told the newspaper earlier this month that it would look into adding a disclaimer on the documentary’s main page. But that hasn’t happened.

The Seattle-based company did not reply to request for comment sent by The Associated Press earlier this month on whether it would add a disclaimer or not. Jassy, who is Jewish, said Wednesday that Amazon has employees that flag content, but scaling that more broadly could be challenging.

“The reality is that we have very expansive customer reviews,” he said. “For books with a lot of attention — especially public attention — customers do a good job monitoring other people.”

And that’s how it should be. The best censors on the planet are customers who don’t buy a book or a film because of content that’s objectionable to them. Yes, there are some books that are objectively racist or anti-Semitic. But if they’re not promoting violence, why ban them? Why allow sexually explicit content to avoid censorship — content that promotes behavior that millions of Americans find objectionable — but ban some discussions on race or gender?


Hebrews to Negroes is based on a ridiculous interpretation of history and uses a skewed reading of the Bible as a historical text. But it’s a point of view nonetheless, and there’s no reason to squelch it — no matter how idiotic it is. The First Amendment says all speech is protected, not just ideas that are generally accepted as true.

Today, the argument is that the thoughts themselves are “violence” and need to be banished. I call BS on that. There’s a difference between “thoughts” and “actions,” and one does not necessarily lead to the other. But when censoring content that goes against the speech codes of the left, thoughts and actions are interchangeable.

Anyone who can’t see where this is going is blind to history. Once you make thoughts censorable, it’s but a short leap to make thoughts a crime. Isn’t that what the First Amendment was created to prevent?


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