Prime Day is here, but Amazon is facing backlash for selling merchandise promoted by known hate groups. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) sent a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Tuesday, voicing concerns about the company’s income from such items.
“I would like to know whether Amazon is committed to ceasing the sale of all products that promote hateful and racist ideologies,” wrote Ellison. “For a company with a policy prohibiting the sale of ‘products that promote or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual, or religious intolerance or promote organizations with such views,’ there appear to be a disturbing number of groups with hateful, racist, and violent agendas making money using Amazon’s platform.”
Ellison said that hate groups have been on the rise since the election of Donald Trump, and Amazon has historically failed to prevent hate groups and associated individuals identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) from making money on its platform. Ellison lists a range of the products in question available on Amazon, including children’s toys, clothes, and Kindle books.
This is the same SPLC that just had to settle a defamation suit for wrongly branding a person an anti-Muslim extremist. Even Politico had to question if the SPLC had simply become an anti-Trump/anti-Right win organization. Which, by the way, it has.
For Keith Ellison, if the SPLC hasn’t given political literature its blessing, Amazon shouldn’t sell it.
Ellison is both a lawyer and a Congressman, so one should assume he knows the text of the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
I’m pretty sure a Congressman telling the worlds largest online retailer that it shouldn’t sell books that a group near and dear to the Congressman’s heart hasn’t approved is a hair’s breath from being a massive Constitutional violation.
But he’s a Progressive, so he’s just trying to make everyone better by banning hate literature, that’s not all that bad. He’ll get a free pass for this.