Posted on July 18, 2018

Activists Demand Amazon Stop Selling White Supremacist Merchandise

Catherine Lizette Gonzalez, ColorLines, July 17, 2018

As hate groups proliferate across the country, Amazon is under fire for allowing White supremacists to peddle their content on its online retail platform. Today (July 17), activists staged #PrimeDayofAction, a protest that coincides with yesterday’s Amazon Prime Day, to demand the retail giant remove and stop profiting from hateful paraphernalia.

The actions come on the heals of a report released this month, “Delivering Hate,” that says the Seattle-based company’s “inadequate and poorly enforced policies” have made the sale of these items on its website possible. While Amazon has a policy against “products that promote or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual or religious intolerance,” the report states that the billion-dollar company addresses violent content only in response to public outcry, but has yet to institute procedures to actively combat hate.

The report, created by the Action Center on Race and the Economy and Partnership for Working Families, details the many products available for purchase on Amazon from groups that the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified as hate organizations. Some of the items include noose costumes, Confederate flag imagery, hatecore music, White supremacist e-books, Swastika accessories, Pepe the Frog toys, racist baby onesies and Nazi-themed action figures.


“Amazon must take a public stand against this hate and violence, and take action to ensure that it is not profting from hate or enabling others to proft from hate,” the report reads. “Across its platforms, Amazon has the right to determine what it sells, publishes and helps to deliver online. As a wealthy corporation, it has the resources to ensure its policies are enforced.”

Since the report was released, Amazon has rebutted criticisms of its company’s policies. “Third party sellers who use our Marketplace service must follow our guidelines,” an Amazon spokesperson told Colorlines in an emailed statement. “Those who don’t are subject to swift action including potential removal of their account.”

{snip} In a letter addressed to Jeff Bezos and Amazon’s board of directors, advocates list several demands:

  • {snip}
  • Stop letting its platform be used to sell items featuring hate symbols.
  • Destroy any merchandise displaying hate symbols currently in Amazon-controlled warehouses and distribution centers.
  • Stop facilitating the publication and distribution of hate movement propaganda.

Activists and advocacy groups have organized protests in cities around the country.