Perspectives

FEP Proposal Would Restore Respect to Amazon’s Charitable Giving

Over the past several years, Free Enterprise Project (FEP) Director Justin Danhof, Esq., has participated in hundreds of corporate shareholder meetings and discussions with business leaders. But he says it is “hard to fathom a corporate action more loathsome to the right than Amazon’s partnership” with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

He is asking conservative Americans and people of faith to sign a petition FEP is circulating that protests Amazon’s collusion with the SPLC against traditional and conservative values. He also asks those who own Amazon stock to vote for FEP’s shareholder proposal designed to end the SPLC’s control over the AmazonSmile program and its “bigoted” attack on organizations opposed by the far-left fringe.

Proposal Would Restore Respect to Amazon’s Charitable Giving

Over the past several years, Free Enterprise Project (FEP) Director Justin Danhof, Esq., has participated in hundreds of corporate shareholder meetings and discussions with business leaders. But he says it is “hard to fathom a corporate action more loathsome to the right than Amazon’s partnership” with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

He is asking conservative Americans and people of faith to sign a petition FEP is circulating that protests Amazon’s collusion with the SPLC against traditional and conservative values. He also asks those who own Amazon stock to vote for FEP’s shareholder proposal designed to end the SPLC’s control over the AmazonSmile program and its “bigoted” attack on organizations opposed by the far-left fringe.

In a commentary appearing on the Breitbart website, Justin explains the problem with AmazonSmile:

Amazon claims that it will donate 0.5 percent of all eligible purchases made through AmazonSmile towards a charity of the customer’s choice.

That’s a lie.

Groups that are excluded from the AmazonSmile program because of the influence of the SPLC include the Family Research Council and Alliance Defending Freedom – organizations well-known for standing up for traditional family values and constitutional freedoms. Yet the SPLC lumps them in with the Ku Klux Klan, and Amazon blackballs them as hate groups. As Justin notes, it’s all part of a bigger strategy to defame and defund:

Everyone knows the Klan is a hate group. What the SPLC is trying to do is convince gullible leftists that conservative and religious organizations are morally equivalent to the KKK. It’s reprehensible and it’s fake news. And Amazon’s partnership lends a corporate veneer of credibility that only perpetuates this false narrative. Making this partnership even more duplicitous is the fact that the SPLC generates significant income – again from gullible leftists – through the AmazonSmile program.

It’s a lie because not all charities are eligible for AmazonSmile. Customers don’t always get to choose their charity of choice because many IRS-recognized charities are excluded from participation. And here’s the rub: Amazon doesn’t pick and choose eligible nonprofits itself. The fox that guards that henhouse is the staff at the SPLC.

FEP’s shareholder proposal, item 12 on the agenda for Amazon’s May 27 virtual shareholder meeting, asks for a simple report to evaluate “the range of risks and costs associated with discriminating against different social, political and religious viewpoints.”

In the commentary, Justin notes that “Amazon’s board and management have a fiduciary legal obligation to act as stewards on behalf of all Amazon shareholders – not just those investors who hold radical leftist views.” Yet the Amazon board insists in its opposition statement to FEP’s proposal that it has a “demonstrated commitment” to diversity and shareholder interest that makes such a report unnecessary.

This incredible certitude seems to reveal a hubris proving exactly why such a report is necessary. As Robert Netzly writes in The Christian Post:

“The simple answer is because Amazon’s Board lacks diversity to the point that they cannot even see that a problem exists. On the surface, Amazon’s Board of Directors seems rather diverse: Of the ten Directors, five are women and five are men; there are two people of color; and they each have varied backgrounds in business, academia, law and so forth. However, this appearance of diversity is superficial. A look under the surface into the ideological perspectives of Amazon’s Board reveals a monolithically homogenous worldview committed to advancing a progressive-liberal political and social agenda.”

With the left flooding corporate America with hundreds of anti-free market and highly political shareholder proposals, it’s time for conservatives, people of faith and concerned investors of all political views to make their voices heard. As Justin says, “It’s time to show businesses such as Amazon that conservative investors can also engage with the corporate ballot box and demand change.”

This is one of the most important shareholder proposals in America this year. Amazon needs to hear from investors and the general public that it’s not good for businesses to allow a discredited group like the SPLC to use the company and its reputation to slander and keep good nonprofits from being able to take fair advantage of an Amazon charity program.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.

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