Everyone is all stressed about the white supremacists, Nazis, KKK and so on that seem to have popped out of nowhere (they were always there, we just didn’t want to see them). What are we going to do about them? Is there going to be another civil war? How do we fight that kind of hate. It’s really quite simple. Money is our biggest asset. Hillary Clinton won two-thirds of the richest counties. That means the left, yes, all of us bleeding-heart liberals, control a lot larger percent of the GDP than the right. What the left can and does do well is put pressure on businesses.
Sleeping Giants (@slpng_giants) has done a fantastic job of getting people to contact companies that advertise on Breitbart letting them know that they are advertising on a website that is racist, misogynistic and that promotes violence. This is actually a very important point. Most places buy advertising without really knowing where it will be displayed and don’t seem to realize you can set preferences. A large number of companies are advertising on Breitbart without knowing it. Sleeping Giants has gotten over 2500 companies to block their ads from being shown on Breitbart. Companies care about their reputation. It’s crucial to their business. They know where the money is and don’t want to ruin their business by ignoring their buyers’ values. This approach works well unless the company is super big and can afford to ignore the public. Yes Amazon, I’m speaking to you.
Asking companies to refrain from supporting racism is fine but it needs to have some teeth. The companies need to know that people will withhold their business from them. They need to know that they will take a hit to their bottom line if the company continues to do business with these hate based groups. The government may not be able to discriminate but private businesses sure can. In fact, conservatives across the spectrum have advocated for the rights of businesses for a long time. They believe businesses should have the right to refuse service to anyone regardless of the reason. They just don’t think it’s right if it’s done to them.
After Heather Heyer was killed in a cowardly attack by a white supremacist the Daily Stormer ran a slam article against the victim. Ms. Heyer was referred to in a highly derogatory manner. This caused outrage among decent people and it caught the attention of the world renowned hacker, Jester (@th3j35t3r). Jester not only brought enough pressure and unwanted notoriety to bear on CloudFlare that they dropped the Daily Stormer but continued to chase them causing other companies to back away from that hate website. Tech organizations all over began standing up for what was right or at least wanted to be seen that way, making it almost impossible for the Daily Stormer to get hosting. Paypal dropped them hurting their ability to process payments and donations.
These are the kinds of things that can be done to shut down hate groups. Stop the flow of money to them. We may think big businesses are all powerful but those businesses know that the real power is with the customer who chooses to spend their money at that business. We need to be speaking up to companies about what we find unacceptable and we need to be willing to take our money someplace else if those companies won’t listen.