A few years ago, very few people even knew what Breitbart.com was. It was a fringe website that only white supremacists and other bigots frequented, and the people who posted anonymously there almost certainly didn’t voice their views publicly. All of that changed in 2015 when Donald Trump began running for president.
Trump’s campaign brought white supremacy mainstream, as he regularly retweeted neo-Nazis, refused to immediately disavow former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke, and readily embraced the white supremacist “alt-right.” Breitbart itself went completely mainstream when Stephen K. Bannon, who ran the place, left its stewardship to become Trump’s campaign CEO.
Now that Breitbart and its toxic brand of hate is literally steps from the Oval Office, people who are opposed to its hateful ideology are putting pressure on major retailers to pull their advertising dollars from the right-wing hate site. The latest to receive such pressure is online retail giant Amazon.
According to The Hill, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezo was asked by more than 500 of his employees via email to stop funding hate by advertising on Breitbart. In another exchange during a meeting, another high-ranking Amazon official, Jeff Blackburn was asked point blank by an employee to kill the Breitbart advertising because the site “regularly publishes hateful and bigoted content.” One employee said the following of her experiences since people now know what Breitbart is:
“When people find out I work at Amazon, the first question they ask is -‘How can you justify working for Amazon when they advertise on a hate site?’”
Now, Amazon is being heckled from outside its own ranks as well.
More than 500,000 signatures have been accumulated on a petition that demands Amazon “stop investing in hate” via its Breitbart advertising.
Perhaps the most effective effort will come from the social media activist group Sleeping Giant, which has successfully gotten more than 1,800 companies to cease and desist with the Breitbart advertising. Major companies that caved to the pressure include BMV, Nordstrom (the company that infamously yanked Ivanka’s clothing line), and Kellogg.
Keep the pressure on, folks. Boycotts and bad headlines work. Personally, I’ll be using jet.com until Amazon gets its act together.
Featured image via screen capture from Talk Android