In typical NYT fashion, they’ve assembled an unbalanced, very non-gentile, 5-person panel to discuss “The Business of Financing Hate Groups“: Jamie Chandler (political scientist), Palmer Gibbs (journalism grad student0, Mark Potok (the SPLC creep), Gabe Rothman (ACLU), and… Waheed Hussein (UPENN). The piece’s setup is as follows:
The major credit card companies position themselves as being quite broad-minded: observing gay pride month, creating a Shariah-compliant credit card, celebrating diversity among employees. But the companies also do business with hate groups, including by processing donations to anti-gay and anti-Muslim organizations and to white supremacists.
Should credit card companies stop processing payments to such extremist groups? Or in the interest of free speech, should these organizations continue to be allowed to receive donations via credit card?
Potok is actually oppossed to deliberately shutting off services to ‘known hate groups’ (defined by who?)
Similarly, Rottman notes free expression principles, albeit with some caveats:
Pulling credit card services helps the haters and hurts free expression.
First, there’s the “martyr” problem. Back in 2010, PayPal threatened to cut off Pamela Geller, the anti-Muslim blogger, for violating its “acceptable use” policy. Geller immediately draped herself in the First Amendment — and put out a call for donations. “Truth,” she wrote, “is the new hate speech . . . . Want to make a contribution to my fight?” PayPal eventually relented, but it’s clear that the denial of services to a “hate speaker” transformed her modest soapbox into a wider broadcast.
Hussain, apparently not seeing the irony of his piece’s first sentence (“In the 1930s, hate groups in Germany coordinated “Don’t Buy Jewish” campaigns that destroyed businesses and communities, and forced many Jews to hide their religious backgrounds…”), focuses on only those ‘hate groups’ who engage in boycotts:
Many hate groups in the U.S. use boycotts to pressure companies not to hire gay people or to treat them worse than straight people. These boycotts create economic pressures that can keep gay people from getting a job or force them to hide their sexual orientation.
People are certainly allowed to donate to all sorts of political groups, even groups that have ugly and repulsive ideas, as long as these groups are only making arguments in the public forum – not acting violently and unlawfully. But when a group crosses over into coordinating patterns of social and economic isolation, this is not just speech anymore.
This brings us to credit card companies. If a hate group is trying to coordinate a boycott that threatens people’s basic freedoms, I see no reason why a credit card company has to help the group to connect with potential donors. If anything, the company has a responsibility not to facilitate this oppressive enterprise.
So, Hussain’s proposed solution to Group X boycotting favored Group PC is for credit card companies to … boycott Group X.
Most frightening is Chandler/Gibbs, who, believing credit card companies should not do business with ‘hate groups’, cite as examples:
They profit from groups that assert gays are pedophiles, that Arab-Americans want to subjugate the country to Shariah law and that immigrants are mounting hostile invasions of the U.S… [Gasp! Only hate groups could hold any variation of those notions! – Ed.]
[T]hey provide payment-processing services to organizations labeled hate groups. The “merchant services” divisions of American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Discover allow these groups to accept online credit card donations. In exchange, the credit card companies earn a 2 to 3 percent fee on each transaction. A $250 donation to the Family Research Council – an extremist group that vehemently opposes the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and asserts that homosexuality is the same as pedophilia – earns the credit card company about $7.50.
Stopping these services is not a matter of violating hate groups’ civil liberties, or limiting their right to raise money. They are free to collect cash donations and spread their message. This is what’s guaranteed to them in the First Amendment. But unlike cash, the ability to accept credit card donations is a privilege. It comes with the expectation that the relationship will not denigrate the card companies’ reputations.
Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover should refuse to process payments to organizations that violate the credit card companies’ diversity principles. Terminating ties may or may not hurt profitability, but that’s irrelevant. It is a matter of conscience.
As one commentor aptly notes:
These IDEAS are just trial balloons by Liberals to see what they MIGHT get away with. Some variation of this control freak scheme will appear from time to time over the next few years until people get use to it in one form or another.
The concept of HATE SPEECH and HATE CRIMES was invented much the same way. Now these types of crimes are treated as being worse then the actual crimes of felony assault and murder even when little physical harm is done. It is all in the intention you know…
These people are about nothing but complete control of everyone not like themselves and shutting down ANY other POV’s. They WILL make your opinion a crime if possible and criminalize conversation that strays from the accepted Liberal line.