Amazon’s Racist Shop

Shopping For Hate

Despite Amazon’s strict policies against the sales of racist, homophobic, anti-semitic, Islamaphobic and general ‘hate glorifying’ goods, these items are still for sale and are being bought on Amazon.  According to Reuters, Action Center on Race & The Economy and the Partnership for Working Families, released the report today hammering Amazon the online shopping king, for failing miserably to enforce their policies.

Amazon’s policy prohibits:

“Products that promote or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual or religious intolerance or promote organizations with such views.” The two groups say they found toys with propaganda symbols, books and other products aimed at children to further normalize these intolerant or racist beliefs.

The report criticized that Amazon was profiting from sales of these items since it takes a cut of the sales, and that it, “provides a number of channels through which hate groups can generate revenue, propagate their ideas and grow their movements.”

Through writing e-books and through Amazon’s Music store, they are giving these hate groups the ability to spread their hateful speech and message. Using these Amazon platforms, racist writers, musicians and ‘racist activists’ including violence against black people, Muslim, Jewish & LGBTQ people, supporters are able to sell their hate and make Amazon millions in profits, as well as fund the racist/hate groups.

The two watchdog groups that reported Amazons dirty shopping, through their report insist that Amazon take down these hate sellers, and also make a public stance against these hateful, racist, intolerant ideologies, as well as promising not to profit from them. They’re asking Amazon to remove these items from their platforms as well as destroy any physical products that are currently in their warehouses.

 Amazon spokesman did say that they will shut down anyone breaking their rules, it’s a weak statement considering they should have been already removed.  Another spokesperson said they are currently removing some neo-Nazi bands that had been identified from its music platform.

Spotify, Google and Deezer all purged their libraries of racist music back in August 2017. In the same month, Apple removed Apple Pay support from white nationalist sites and Squarespace culled hate sites from its web hosting service.

Amazon also has a track record of holding payments for small businesses for small infringements or sometimes no particular reason, or even shut them down completely. It makes me wonder why it’s taken so long for them to purge the hate sellers.

It remains to be seen how much is actually left over, or how many try to circumvent the rules. Nobody thought tiki torches would ever be used a white supremacist march- but here it is. Of course this tiki torche company had nothing to do with the group.


An Opportunity To Share Values

With so many customers asking us if someone from “ABC country” and “ABC religion” is welcome as a customer I thought it was finally time for us to go public on this very important topic.  There is nothing worse than someone being treated differently or in a negative way, whether verbally, physically or some other discriminatory policies simply because of their race, religion, creed, culture etc..  We have clients and staff of all different backgrounds from around the world, and I am pleased that we have such diversity and accordingly, this filters down into company policy as well.

The above is something I have always strongly believed in and was ingrained in me from childhood, that people of all ethnic and religious groups must live respectfully and peacefully.  Aside from a desire to see peace in the world, anything other than mutual respect and treatment of all people creates divisions that harm society and the economy.  There are no winners in such a situation.

With that said I am still shocked that apparently many CEO’s and management of various companies are reluctant to clarify their views and policies on these issues.  Under normal circumstances it may be considered taboo or uncomfortable to talk about, but with so much intolerance spreading throughout the world, there is definitely understandable cause for concern.

I do not take offense to customers asking us about our views and policies and I also think all businesses need to take a proactive approach with internal and public policies guiding staff and patrons.  People of all ethnic and religious groups can and should feel safe anywhere, but in these times it is understandable if some don’t, especially if a business refuses to clarify their beliefs and policies surrounding these issues.

As uncomfortable as some may find this talk to have with their employees or to be asked by customers, I think we should all be understanding and if we are truly inclusive an tolerant it shouldn’t be hard to reassure our customers and state that these are our views and our company policy.  To act with compassion and tolerance is the right thing to do and as both a person and business owner I will strive to make sure this is more clear and in the public and hope other company’s will do the same.