Amazon is funding white supremacist hate. Baby onesies featuring a burning cross, swastika necklaces, and “costumes” depicting a black man being lynched are all being sold by Amazon. It is deeply disturbingly that Amazon is allowing hate groups to sell toys with neo-nazi propaganda targeted directly to children.
Last week, our partners at the Action Center on Race and the Economy and the Partnership for Working Families released a report showing that not only are KKK, neo-nazi, and neo-confederate products like these widely available on Amazon, but that Amazon allows recognized hate groups to use its various platforms to spread their ideas and generate revenue.1
After white supremacist Dylann Roof murdered nine Black churchgoers in Charleston in 2015, Amazon said it was banning the sale of Confederate flag images from its site and stepping up enforced of their anti-hate policies, but it’s clear from this latest report that Amazon has not taken the growth of white supremacy on their platform seriously. Amazon must take an immediate public stand against this hate and violence, and take action to ensure that it is not profiting from hate or enabling others to profit from hate.
From Charlottesville, to the Trump administration’s slashing of federal funding to groups fighting right-wing violence,2 hate groups have gotten more extreme and more violent.3 We know from the murders at Emanuel AME Church and the murder of Heather Heyer, that these aren’t one off events but part of a larger trend of white supremacist violence that companies like Amazon are complicit in.
Through Amazon’s platform, hate groups are able to generate revenues that are used to fund their activities. Everything from their websites, to recruitment events, to buying weapons for the members can be done because of the easy access to funds companies like Amazon are providing them. But together, we have the power to get Amazon to cut these groups off for good.
As you probably already know from our Blood Money campaign last year,4 these groups are able to build websites, recruit new members, hold weapons trainings, and send their members to violent rallies like “Unite the Right” all because they can generate funds with the help of corporations and online platforms, like Amazon.
Normalizing white supremacist, Islamophobic, and anti-Semitic extremists puts our communities at risk — and yet the country’s largest online retailer and largest distributor of e-books is providing these groups with a platform to spread their ideas and generate resources to support their operations. We now have an unprecedented number of white supremacists running for elected office,5 a Presidential administration that’s demonizing Black and Brown immigrants and attempting to denaturalize citizens,6 a Supreme Court that upholds racist travel bans,7 and another Unite the Right rally being planned in our nation’s capital.8 The time is now, more than ever, for corporations like Amazon to take an unequivocal stand and say “no” to hate.