Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Heritage Foundation Shilling for Hate Groups

“Hate is a vigorous motivator when it comes to getting people to donate.”
Jim Jordan
Heritage Foundation has an affinity for Trump apologist Rep. Jim Jordan shown hear in his nature attire in his natural pose "on the attack."
via Toledo Blade
The post at Heritage Foundation's blog is titled: Lawmakers Demand Answers From Jeff Bezos on Exclusion of Conservatives From Charitable Program.
Conservative members of the House are asking Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to answer questions as to why some conservatives appear to have been banned from using Amazon Smile, an Amazon charity program.
The congressmen are asking a rhetorical question which they already know the answer to. The Amazon Smile program excludes hate groups. It just so happens that the overwhelming majority of hate groups in the United States have a conservative bent.

The Klan and Family Research Council, for example, both claim to be defenders of conservative Christianity. The only difference between the two is that the Klan is racist and anti-Semitic. FRC is homophobic, transphobic, islamophobic and anti-Semitic.

The principal signature on the letter is Rep. Jim Jordan as ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee. Jordan, a close ally of Trump, has some sexual scandal in his background. But I digress.

According to Heritage Foundation's Rachel del Guidice:
Amazon Smile follows the recommendations of the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center on charitable organizations, and the Southern Poverty Law Center designates organizations like the Family Research Council and Alliance Defending Freedom as hate groups.
Ms. del Guidice has failed to do precisely what Family Research Council and Alliance Defending Freedom always fail to do. The Southern Poverty Law Center is very explicit about why Family Research Council and Alliance Defending Freedom are deemed hate groups.

Ms. del Guidice, Family Research Council and Alliance Defending Freedom never point out inaccuracies in the SPLC's review. Apparently, according to these folks, these are not hate groups because they are conservative Christian. Well, again, so is the Ku Klux Klan.

They bristle with the comparison of FRC or ADF to the Klan. That begs the question: Why is racism any more poisonous than, for example, transphobia?

The SPLC should be treated like a credit bureau. These folks want their credit records changed because they don't like being portrayed as deadbeats. FRC and ADF don't like being deemed hate groups. Challenging a hate group designation and one's credit record are identical in process. Submit contrary evidence.

The other alternative is for both groups to stop behaving as hate groups. If they require guidance they need only to contact the SPLC. They cannot put a stop to their anti-LGBTQ animus because they use it — indeed, they promote the hate — in order to obtain donations.

Hate is a vigorous motivator when it comes to getting people to donate. As for Jordan's letter, it consists of the usual Christian right talking points. Referring to a recent hearing:
During this hearing, you acknowledged that Amazon relies in part on information from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to exclude certain non-profits from participating in Amazon’s charity-support program, AmazonSmile. You also acknowledged that Amazon’s approach is imperfect, and said you welcome suggestions for improvement.
Jordan does not offer any suggestions. Just sophistry:
For years, however, the SPLC has received criticism for its business practices, internal culture, and approach to identifying and publicizing certain “hate groups.”
Of course it does. The SPLC is criticized by hate group leaders who do not like their hate groups designated as hate groups.

Unintentionally, Jordan reveals the ad hominem nature of the attacks by referring to business practices and internal culture. Those have absolutely nothing to do with the reliability of the SPLC's reviews.
Amazon’s reliance on the SPLC means that Amazon takes a biased approach to determining whether certain non-profits can participate in AmazonSmile. For example, Amazon offers its customers the opportunity to donate to pro-abortion Planned Parenthood, but not to certain conservative groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom or Family Research Council.…
“Pro-abortion” is dishonest per se. ADF and FRC make it their mission to marginalize and degrade LGBTQ people. Planned Parenthood's only “sin” is that some people disapprove of abortion. Jordan's comparison is intellectually dishonest.
Amazon’s ongoing reliance on the SPLC, with its documented anti-conservative track record, reinforces allegations that Big Tech is biased against conservatives and censors conservative views. In light of your testimony we request a briefing on how AmazonSmile makes its eligibility determinations based on information from the SPLC. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
The “documented” record consists of the utterances of people who are displeased that their hate group is designated a hate group. The only bias that is “documented” is bias towards hate groups.

As of July 13, 2020. the IRS knows of 1,774,177 nonprofit organizations. The SPLC designates 48 organizations (plus their branches) as hate groups.

Were I Jeff Bezos I would politely tell Mr. Jordan to go fuck himself. Amazon's methods are proprietary. As a private company it has no obligation to conform to a certain political ideology. I thought that Republicans were dedicated to the sanctity of private business.

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