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Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-FL Graeme Jennings-Pool / Getty Images

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WASHINGTON D.C., July 30, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) told Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos that his company needs to cut ties with the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center, which labels a number of Christian, pro-life, and pro-family organizations “hate groups.” 

Gaetz questioned Bezos, who is the richest man in the world, yesterday during the antitrust hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives over the role of the SPLC in approving organizations for AmazonSmile. 

Through its AmazonSmile program, Amazon donates 0.5 percent of customer purchases to nonprofit organizations selected from an approved list that excludes conservative and Christian organizations incorrectly identified by the SLPC as “hate groups.” The program has reportedly donated more than $100 million, making it one of the largest sources of consumer earmarked charitable support in the United States, according to the shareholder proposal (#12, pages 41-43).

The SPLC is a far-left group infamous for its efforts to drive conservative and pro-family organizations out of mainstream society by lumping them in with extremist racist groups like the Aryan Nation and the Ku Klux Klan. Despite its popular media framing as an authority on “extremism,” SPLC has found itself on the losing end of at least one defamation suit for its work, and has been called by insiders a “highly profitable scam” that uses “civil-rights work mainly as a marketing tool for bilking gullible Northern liberals.” 

The SPLC is also linked to domestic terrorism. In August 2012, pro-LGBT activist Floyd Lee Corkins II entered the lobby of the Family Research Council (FRC), armed with an SPLC list of “hate groups” and planning to, per his own confession, “kill as many as possible and smear the Chick-fil-A sandwiches in victims’ faces, and kill the guard.” Corkins was packing a loaded, semi-automatic pistol and 100 rounds of ammunition.

He shot security guard Leo Johnson, who nevertheless tackled Corkins and saved the lives of his FRC co-workers.

Corkins was the first person ever convicted for domestic terrorism under Washington, D.C. law. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

“Mr. Bezos, I am deeply moved by your personal story. I am not here accusing you as someone who would traffic in hate, but it seems you have empowered people who do, and I am particularly talking about the Southern Poverty Law Center,” Gaetz began.

“The Southern Poverty Law Center, which you allow to dictate who can receive donations on your AmazonSmile platform, have 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, even Dr. Ben Carson, are extremists and should be treated differently,” the Florida congressman continued.

“Dr. Carson is on the cabinet, is one of the most renowned minds in America. 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?” he asked.

“Sir, it’s a good question,” Bezos responded. 

“We use the Southern Poverty Law Center data to say which charities are extremist organizations. We also use the U.S. Foreign Asset office to do the same thing,” the Amazon CEO explained.

“But why? Since they’re calling Catholics and these Jewish groups hateful groups, why would you trust them?” Gaetz demanded.

“Sir, I’m going to acknowledge this is an imperfect system,” Bezos replied, adding that he would “love suggestions on better or additional sources.”

“My suggestion would be a divorce from the SPLC,” Gaetz said before relinquishing the floor.

In May, Amazon’s Board of Directors urged investors to reject a proposal calling for an end to its “viewpoint discrimination” against conservative and Christian organizations through its reliance on the SPLC as the “gatekeeper” to the AmazonSmile charitable program.

During yesterday’s hearing Gaetz also accused Google of election interference through the blacklisting of conservative news websites from its online search results, after Google CEO Sundar Pichai admitted that the creation of lists of blocked sites “can involve a manual portion.”


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