Saturday, August 1, 2020

Instead of complaining about Amazon.com and the SPLC ...

Common sense suggests there are better ways to be removed from the SPLC's list of hate groups than attacking the SPLC.
Tony Perkins, Family Research Council
Tony Perkins is like a deadbeat who blames the credit bureau for his terrible credit which is due to his nonpayment of bills.

Friday and once again Hate Group Leader Tony Perkins of Family Research Council is complaining about the Southern Poverty Law Center. He is also grumbling about the fact that Amazon.com relies on the SPLC for eligibility to participate in its Amazon Smile charitable program. Amazon Smile excludes hate groups.

In 2018 the Amazonsmile Foundation distributed $37.5 million to worthwhile charities. Poor Tony Perkins is not getting his share. Would it not be easier simply to stop acting like an anti-LGBTQ hate group?

The SPLC isn't going anywhere and, in spite of all the yammering, its prestige remains the same. Amazon.com is totally committed to diversity. That's not going to change. Amazon's senior executives really do not care about the protests of anti-LGBTQ hate groups.

Amazon.com is obviously doing something right. Net earnings for 2019 were triple those just two years earlier. In 2019 Amazon sold $281 billion of stuff; an increase of 21% over the prior year.
Perkins makes in personal
Bezos, who wrote the single largest check for same-sex marriage in 2012, hasn't exactly kept his social views a secret. As most conservatives found out the hard way, Amazon has been a mighty ally for the LGBT lobby for years, banning books and ads that dare to question their extremist agenda. Then the company picked a public fight, bullying states that tried to keep girls' restrooms safe. But the biggest insult may have come a few years back when the company quietly gave Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a group linked to domestic terrorism in court, absolute power over its charity program. As most people found out in 2019 after a messy staff revolt, this is an organization so deeply sinister, corrupt, and racist that its own employees have sued. It's a "highly profitable scam," Bob Moser warned, full of sexual predators and con artists.
Blah, blah, blah. I am pretty sure that Jeff Bezos could not care less about Perkins' opinion of him; if he even knows that Tony Perkins exists.

Mr. Perkins is his usual full of crap when he tries to imply that the SPLC is responsible for domestic terrorism. Some deranged schmuck shot a security guard at FRC's HQ, intending to murder a bunch of FRC staffers. The shooter claimed to have found FRC on the SPLC's website. Tony Perkins has been blaming the SPLC out of convenience ever since.

In other words, a hate group leader — Perkins — is accusing a fierce opponent of violence — the SPLC — of inciting hate. That hate group leader, by the way, has direct ties to the Klan.
Never to be found
Note what is missing from the above statement from Perkins. Perkins has failed to address anything that the SPLC writes about him or his organization. What is it that the Southern Poverty Law Center gets wrong about FRC?
Matt Gaetz is Florida's version of Louie Gohmert
So why, a full year after these revelations became public, is Amazon Smile still giving SPLC full veto power over its charity program? "I am not here accusing you as someone who would ever traffic in hate," Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) pressed, "but it seems you have empowered people who do... The Southern Poverty Law Center, which you allow to dictate who can receive donations on your Amazon Smile platform, ha[s] said the Catholic Family News, Catholic Family Ministries, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, the American Family Association, the Family Research Council, the Jewish Defense League, and even Dr. Ben Carson are extremists and should be treated differently... I'm just wondering why you would place your confidence in a group that seems to be so out of step and seems to take mainstream Christian doctrine and label it as hate."
Gaetz like attention. He combines his stupidity with batshit craziness. Mother Jones has the definitive response to Mr. Gaetz:
Catholic Family Ministries and its publication Catholic Family News are a part of the anti-Semitic brand of Radical Traditional Catholicism … On their website, they have a page for articles tagged with “The Jews” … They explicitly reject the kind of “mainstream Christian doctrine” that Gaetz’s question claimed they represent.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform, according to the SPLC, has multiple ties to white nationalists and eugenicists. The organization has documented FAIR’s founder, John Tanton, as saying the US should remain majority white.

The American Family Association and Family Research Council, have frequently espoused homophobic views, and in the American Family Association’s case, Islamophobic statements as well. As recently as 2010, the Family Research Council likened being gay to pedophilia.

The Jewish Defense League is the most puzzling Gaetz endorsement. In 2001, the FBI designated the organization as a “right-wing terrorist group.” Federal officials found them responsible for 15 acts of terrorism between 1980 and 1985, and JDL members were suspected of being responsible for a 1972 New York bombing that left two dead.
Later on from Perkins
…the longer they [Amazon.com] let SPLC silence conservatives, the bigger hole they're digging for themselves. After all, one of the reasons for Wednesday's hearing was to determine which of these Silicon Valley billionaires can be trusted to treat Americans fairly. If they're going to align themselves with people who don't believe in speech, then Congress has all the motivation in the world to reconsider the special treatment they're getting from the U.S. government.
Perkins can be shrewd but he is essentially an imbecile. The SPLC is not “silencing conservatives.” First of all, Perkins is not referring to conservatives. He is referring to religious conservatives. Those are two very different things. For example, the Koch brothers were proponents of marriage equality.

Then there is the issue of scale. There are nearly two million federally tax exempt organizations in the United States. The SPLC lists 70 anti-LGBTQ hate groups. It is actually only 48 if branches are excluded.

Perkins concludes his tirade (I have skipped over a great deal of content):
So what do we do about it? We can't continue to have four of the biggest companies in the world picking and choosing winners in a marketplace where they have unlimited power. What we're coming to, Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) has warned "is a time of reckoning." At the end of the day, these platforms have a choice. They can start acting in good faith -- or they can watch as both sides of Congress unite with one target: them.
None of that has anything to do with Amazon.com's use of the SPLC's hate group list. There might exist a valid question of whether or not Amazon, Google, Facebook and Twitter (Apple, not Twitter, was the subject of the congressional inquiry) have created monopolies. The law basically defines a monopoly as a company with exclusive control of a commodity.

Our country, and particularly Republicans, have a general sense that companies should not be punished because of their success. Furthermore, the last time that the government went after a big monopoly was in 1974 when it sued AT&T. It took eight years to settle and it accomplished nothing.

Southwestern Bell, one of the “Baby Bells,” bought up its former parent, AT&T. AT&T now owns (in addition to regional telephone companies): HBO, CNN, Turner, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros, New Line Cinema, AT&T Wireless, DirecTV, Castle Rock, Wolper Org, plus the many subsidiaries of those companies plus stuff I forgot plus nine Bell companies formerly owned by AT&T that are owned again by AT&T.

A couple of off-kilter Congressmen (Gaetz and Hawley) are not much of a threat to Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. They certainly have no control over Acceptable Use Policies and Amazon's decisions over which books it chooses to sell.

Both men can make stupid noise because their seats are relatively safe, for now. That could change.

Controlling the source of supply is what again? Oh yeah, that is socialism. It puts some GOPers in a very strange place.

Meanwhile Tony Perkins is just going to have to stew. The logical alternative is to renounce some of his earlier pronouncements. Claiming that gay men are pedophiles, for example, is not only wrong; it has no connection to Christianity. Tony Perkins is incapable of admitting that he was wrong.

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