Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.
Blacklists are ugly things. They’re how you terrorize and intimidate people. They’re a weapon of hate. And Color of Change, an extremist group, is using blacklists to smear all conservatives as racists.
Color of Change, the organization founded by Van Jones, a 9/11 Truther and former Communist, has circulated a blacklist to PayPal, Discover, Visa, Master Card and American Express that falsely and libelously groups together a black Harlem church, the David Horowitz Freedom Center, an ex-Muslim organization, Jihad Watch and others as “white supremacists” alongside actual Neo-Nazis.
But Color of Change’s definition of “white supremacist” is Republican.
“We must hold every enabler of #Trump accountable,” Color of Change boss Rashad Robinson had tweeted. “#Enablers of white supremacist & nazi sympathizers are not neutral, they are complicit.”
In another Tweet, he laid out his real agenda for bringing down Trump. “Continuing to ensure there are consequences for #enablers - corporate, political and cultural - is critical to forcing him out. Isolate him!”
The Color of Change blacklists aimed at President Trump’s corporate council members and his grass roots supporters are part of the same partisan plot to use false accusations of white supremacy to intimidate corporations into silencing his supporters and forcing him out of office.
“There are no sidelines,” Color of Change declared before Trump’s inauguration. Any politicians or executives who worked with him were traitors. “For those in power—whether in government or in corporations—who choose to enable Trump’s plot against our country, we must be just as uncompromising.”
The blacklist is Color of Change’s weapon in its “uncompromising” war against democracy.
Color of Change has a long history of targeting corporations with pressure campaigns based around false accusations of racism in order to silence supporters of the Republican Party and punish critics of the Democrat Party.
When Glenn Beck expressed his disapproval of Obama, Color of Change warned his advertisers that if they didn’t pull their ads, they would be “publicly associated with his racism”. A more recent campaign targeting Bill O’Reilly also accused him of racism. Neither Beck nor O’Reilly are racists, but Color of Change uses false accusations of racism to intimidate corporations into silencing its political opponents.
When McCain campaigned for the White House, Color of Change accused him of allowing his supporters to shout, “Kill him” at Obama. When Romney ran against Obama, Rashad Robinson accused him of "appealing to the basest racisim [sic]." Rashad and COC’s smears have remained dishonestly consistent.
Color of Change used the same tactic when going after ALEC, a pro-business group targeted by leftist activists over its opposition to government regulation. Corporate members of ALEC were warned, “either stop funding ALEC, or become widely known as a company dismantling the gains of the civil rights movement. “
Behind Color of Change’s racism smears are rich white leftists. Its money comes from George Soros, Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, the Ford Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Behind its posturing about “white supremacy” are the usual targets, FOX News, ALEC, the Republican Party and conservative activist groups, which the left has always plotted to destroy in its quest for total power.
Hitting corporations with racism smears is just how the left’s racism-smearing subdivision goes about it.
What is ugly about Color of Change and the leftist billionaires and billion dollar groups behind it is that they aren’t arguing, instead they’re blacklisting. Their blacklist seeks to enlist corporations to police and monitor speech, to punish political opposition and to even force out the President of the United States.
Instead of recognizing that Color of Change’s blacklist is demonstrably flawed, that it contains numerous inaccuracies ranging from the inclusion of blacks, Jews and ex-Muslims on a list of “white supremacist” organizations to basic factual and even grammatical errors, corporations instead enforce the blacklist.
PayPal banned Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch before reinstating it. It also targeted Pamela Geller’s AFDI. Of all the credit card companies hit with the blacklist petition, Discover offered the broadest statement in support of blacklisting. But any serious survey of the Color of Change blacklist and the ProPublica blacklist, both of which are based on the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center blacklist, would have found that the blacklists were filled with false claims.
The American College of Pediatricians is not an "anti-LGBTQ hate group", it's a professional association of traditional doctors. Color of Change's claim that Breivik quoted "AFDI and its leaders" in his manifesto is an old discredited smear. The manifesto quoted everyone. It quoted Obama 19 times.
Faith Freedom International is not “anti-Islamic”: it’s an organization of ex-Muslims. The David Horowitz Freedom Center is not a “premier financier of anti-Muslim voices”. It defends civil rights. Former FBI agent John Guandolo does not "train law enforcement and security officers to support violence and hatred toward all Muslims." That sentence is defamatory gibberish. The United West does not make “false claims that civil rights groups like CAIR are working with terrorist organizations.”
The Department of Justice found that CAIR was an unindicted co-conspirator in a terror finance case.
After Hillary’s defeat, the undemocratic left embraced crowdsourced corporate censorship. From #GrabYourWallet, which threatened companies that did business with Trump or were in any way supportive of him, to the #FakeNews panic which drove Facebook, Twitter and Google to purge conservative sites, corporations have become tools in the left’s war on the Constitution.
Facebook’s latest announcement that it will ban advertising from sites that left-wing fact checkers deem “fake News” and Guidestar’s effort to embed the Southern Poverty Law Center’s hate map into its listings of non-profit organizations are ominous developments for the marketplace of ideas.
The left is slowly assembling the machinery of a national corporate blacklist. Tech companies obeying the blacklist will first degrade access and then ban conservative sites from their services. Conservative sites will vanish from Google, Twitter and Facebook. Credit cards companies will refuse to do business with conservatives.
Companies that refuse to obey the blacklist will be faced with a secondary blacklist. Other companies will be pressured to stop doing business with them until they comply with the blacklist. If advertisers don’t stop running ads on targeted sites, credit card companies will be told to stop doing business with them. If a hotel hosts a conservative convention, companies holding a retreat there will be pressured to pull out.
Crowdsourced corporate blacklists will usher in a totalitarian state in which only the left will be allowed to speak. And the right will be forcibly censored by a network of corporations bound by the blacklist.
The blacklist is a bigger threat than the IRS attacks under Obama. And it’s a bigger threat to democracy.
That’s why the Freedom Center is launching a Campaign Against Blacklists (details to be announced shortly). We’re not going to allow ourselves to be intimidated. We are going to stand up to the lies. And we will rise for the truth.
Color of Change, and the billionaire leftists behind it, have gotten away with false accusations of racism for too long. When corporations comply with the blacklist, we will hold them accountable. And we will make it clear that they are not just making a business decision, but silencing millions of patriots.
Democracy means that everyone gets to participate. Freedom of Speech means that everyone gets to speak. When corporations comply with the blacklist, they are undermining what makes America great.