August 1, 2020

Bezos Says He May Drop Southern Poverty Law Center, “Would Like A Better” Screener For Charities

During Wednesday’s House subcommittee tech hearing, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) questioned Amazon’s usage of the radical Southern Poverty Law Center to deem eligible charities for donations, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said he would look to alternative options.

Gaetz layed out a list of charities that focus on Christian and Jewish causes as charities unjustly labeled as “extremists” by the SPLC — to which Bezos said he accepts Gaetz’s criticism and “would like a better source if I can get it.”

One of the groups unjustly labeled as a hate group by the SPLC is the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal group focused on defending religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and free speech. Their cases have included defending Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker sued for sticking to his religious beliefs.

Senior Counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom Jeremy Tedesco spoke to SaraACarter.com about the SPLC and Bezos’ potential switch.

“The SPLC actively lobbies corporations to harm and economically discriminate against groups and people they don’t like,” Tedesco said. “Amazon needs to stop being an active participant in a system that’s ultimately bad for everyone.”

ADF is labeled as an “extremist group” for using “‘religious liberty’ legislation and case law that will allow the denial of goods and services to LGBTQ people on the basis of religion,” according to the SPLC’s site.

ADF regularly defends mistreated groups and individuals — from nuns being forced to fund abortion to female athletes having their locker rooms infiltrated by males in the name of social justice.

Due to this label as an extremist group, Amazon does not allow customers to select ADF as a recipient of their charitable donations through Amazon Smile — a portion of the site that lets customers donate 0.5% of their purchases to different charities and organizations.

Gaetz asked the billionaire CEO why groups like Catholic Family News and the American Family Association are also excluded — the radical group also once designated world renowned brain surgeon and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson an extremist.

“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 said to Bezos during a Wednesday House subcommittee hearing virtually attended by Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and others.

“I would like suggestions on better or additional sources,” Bezos answered. Gaetz responded saying he should “divorce” with the SPLC.

ADF’s Tedesco noted people on the left and right have said the center is “completely discredited” and that “we welcome Bezos’ recognition that this is a bad system.”

He referenced a petition by the National Center for Public Policy Research calling on Amazon to end their usage of SPLC’s opinionated conclusions.

“There is so much power in the hands of a few companies like Amazon and there is a ground swell for them to end partnerships with far left groups,” he said. “Something that exists to smear and stop people who disagree with their views is something they can’t do for much longer.”

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