Posted on October 12, 2020

Yelp to Issue Scarlet Letters for ‘Racism’

Gregory Hood, American Renaissance, October 12, 2020

Yelp reviews can make or break a business. Now, the online review company has a new feature.

In other words, the scarlet letter: R for “racist.”

This is something like the Chinese social credit system, in which the government keeps track of legal but undesirable behavior and imposes penalties. Yelp already wants to help black owned businesses, and lets people search specifically for them. That was the carrot. Now we have a stick.

Yelp’s plan solves a problem that scarcely exists. Segregation is illegal. White employees who use racial slurs are fired quickly. A white man using a bad word with a black can become a national story, while black-on-white murders barely make the news.

The demand for actual “racism” is much greater than the supply. Non-whites are so eager to be victims that they fake hate crimes. Some non-whites will knowingly write false Yelp reviews. Some will want sympathy. Others may use Yelp to hurt competitors.

However, the fake victims don’t much worry me. It’s the ones who really believe businesses are “racist” who are the problem. Critical race theory declares that all whites are racist, no matter what. Identifyingmicroaggresions” is a nasty fad on many campuses. Ibram X. Kendi tells us whites are so racist we need a constitutional amendment to mitigate the effects. He is funded by Twitter’s CEO and the Fairfax County school board, among many others.

Thus, Yelp has put a target on every business, even the most “woke.” Having too many white people in a room can be racist. Singing a song by a black entertainer can be racist. Pumpkins are racist. The American flag is racist. Math is racist. Calling the police on black criminals is definitely racist. Antifa in Portland are already making a list of businesses that support police. Yelp could potentially save them the trouble and give them a list. We already know that antifa believe violence is necessary against “racists.”

Small businesses are already suffering from COVID shutdowns and BLMania riots. They also are competing with Amazon, which has a virtual monopoly on e-commerce. Now, every shop owner can face “racism” charges that will almost always be believed, no matter how trivial or false.

What could happen in the long term, if the scarlet letter catches on? It could be integrated into cell phones or products like Google Glass, so people could get “racism” alerts on businesses as they walk down the street. Banks could use Yelp ratings to decide who gets accounts. The “racism” rating would be an inevitable part of any article about a business, just like the obligatory nod to the SPLC’s “hate group” designation in stories about dissident groups. Business owners or patrons could be linked to these reviews. Most would probably beg forgiveness and make showy donations to leftist groups in the hope of being spared. Yelp is enabling a protection racket for the Left.

There is a more hopeful possibility. If everyone is racist, no one is. Many Americans might rally to businesses smeared on Yelp, not because they are “racist,” but because they are sick of political correctness. If many small businesses get a “racist” rating, owners will stop caring. Americans who are tired of BLM and racial chaos might realize they are not alone. Yelp could offer a way for whites to build the social, financial, and security networks they need: Patronize “racist” establishments. The system could encourage whites to move to areas with many such businesses, and this could lead to local political power.

In the short-term, though, Yelp’s plan is likely to be dangerous for white business owners. Leftists, non-whites, and journalists love charges of “racism.” It is worse that a private company rather than the government issues scarlet letters. Government tyranny is easier to understand than private tyranny, if the state prosecutes, at least you have a chance in court. Woke Capital invokes no laws, so there is no legal defense. The only choice is between submission or resistance. Some business owners will choose the latter.