A lot of conservative reporting is outrage fuel. And people legitimately ask, what can we do about it?
The Alliance Defending Freedom sent out one letter with an option.
Item 12 is on Amazon’s ballot. It requests a report on viewpoint discrimination.
Whereas, Shareholders of Amazon.com, Inc. (“Amazon”) invest in the company to receive maximum return on their ownership investment in Amazon, without the costs and risks associated with Amazon restricting specific social, political, or religious views.
Whereas, any decision by Amazon to either endorse or reject social, political, or religious views may alienate customers, harm the company’s reputation, and negatively impact business performance. Whereas, the City of Seattle, the State of Washington, the United States, and several International Conventions prohibit discrimination against religious groups and beliefs, and the City of Seattle prohibits discrimination against political ideology.
Resolved: Shareholders request that Amazon issue a report, at reasonable cost and omitting proprietary information, evaluating the range of risks and costs associated with discriminating against different social, political, and religious viewpoints.
Supporting Statement A large part of Amazon’s dynamic success is its integration with the global economy through partnerships with logistical service providers and independent content creators. Any policy that discriminates against delivery partners, content creators, or customers based on social, political, or religious views obstructs the near-limitless potential that Amazon’s innovative approach has unlocked.
One example of Amazon’s choice to discriminate against social, political, or religious views is its exclusion of U.S. Internal Revenue Service-approved charities from receiving customer-selected donations through the Amazon Smile Program. This program has donated over $100 million to nonprofits, making it one of the largest sources of consumer earmarked charitable support in the United States.
1 Amazon’s implementation of viewpoint-discriminatory policies in the Smile Program itself stems from a reliance on viewpoint-discriminatory, partisan, and discredited sources.
… this is a reference to the use of content from the Southern Poverty Law Center.
2 We are also concerned that the Company’s failure to respect diverse social, political, and religious viewpoints in the Smile program is symptomatic of a tendency to discriminate against such views more broadly. For example, although Amazon’s policies state “we provide our customers with access to a variety of viewpoints, including books that some customers may find objectionable,” it has recently begun removing books based on customer objections.
3 And, while Amazon publicly affirms its commitment to different perspectives, it officially opposed a shareholder proposal to gauge progress in ideological diversity on the Board of Directors in its 2019 proxy materials. The shareholders should be aware of the extent to which discrimination against social, political, or religious views by Amazon in its partnerships, content policies, and options for customer-selected charitable donations may jeopardize Amazon’s current market-dominance and may negatively affect important social dynamics beyond Amazon’s immediate business impact. We therefore ask and recommend that the report called for include, among other issues at board and management discretion:
1. Risks associated with relying on a partisan and external source to determine eligibility for charitable support from thirdparty customers.
2. Risks associated with regulating content on the platform based on its social, political, or religious viewpoint.
3. A full evaluation of viewpoint bias and associated risks to ensure that Amazon is making balanced decisions and that it is acting consistent with its commitment to diversity.
The Amazon board, consisting of such good folks as Jeff Bezos and Jamie Gorelick, of course, recommend voting against.
The board’s reply is basically a statement that the only diversity that Amazon’s management recognizes is identity politics.
We take seriously our commitment to diversity and respect for people from all backgrounds, including gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability, and other dimensions of diversity, which are enduring values for us… In light of our demonstrated commitment to our core values of diversity and inclusion for all stakeholders of Amazon, from customers to sellers to employees, as well as our robust risk management process, the Board recommends that shareholders vote against this proposal.
Just not diversity of thought.
Amazon shareholders can make a real difference here.
The ADA’s letter notes how you can support item 12.
1) Vote your shares directly.
If you own shares directly, you likely received your ballot from Amazon by email earlier this week. You may be interested in voting on all resolutions. Some are offered by far-left coalitions. But please be sure to vote in FAVOR of Resolution 12…
2) Tell your financial manager how to vote your shares. If you have a financial manager who buys and sells shares for you, let them know you want a say in how your votes are cast. Send an email or letter asking your financial manager to vote in favor of Resolution 12.
3) Tell your mutual fund manager how to vote shares in Amazon and why. If you own shares in a mutual fund that owns Amazon shares, write to them directly or reach out to the investor relations department. Let them know you would like them to vote in favor of the Viewpoint Discrimination Risk Reporting proposal on the Amazon ballot.