The cultural totalitarians on the far left are at it again. Recently, the Freedom Center announced that Visa and Mastercard blocked its donations after the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) labeled the organization a hate group.
The nation has already seen the left’s efforts to censor conservative speech online, but it appears that leftists are also using their influence to cut off funding to activist groups who oppose their ideas. This story makes one thing clear: The left is willing to go to any lengths to destroy those who disagree with them.
Visa And Mastercard Block Donations
The Freedom Center is a think tank founded by conservative activist David Horowitz. Through its online publication FrontPageMag, it distributes content known for criticizing radical Islam, political correctness, and far left-wing groups including Black Lives Matter and Women’s March. In other words, it is the perfect target for organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has made a habit of labeling conservatives as “hate groups” for refusing to hold leftist views.
Recently, the Freedom Center sent an email to its supporters stating that the two credit card companies have blocked donations to Horowitz’s group due to pressure from the SPLC. It read:
“For years, the SPLC has labeled the Freedom Center a hate group and tried to get organizations like Amazon, Facebook and Twitter to ban us and silence our message. Yesterday, SPLC finally convinced MasterCard and Visa to cut us off. Now we can’t process donations from any major credit card companies.”
The Freedom Center is not the only organization in the left’s crosshairs. Mastercard also pressured funding platform Patreon to drop Jihad Watch, an anti-radical Islam website founded by Freedom Center Employee Robert Spencer.
The email indicates that this action on the part of Visa and Mastercard could threaten the Freedom Center’s existence. “This blow could be the end of the Freedom Center,” he wrote. “Decades of work, down the drain because the hateful Left wants to squash free speech and silence any organization that dares to question them.”
More Cultural Totalitarianism From The Left
Let’s be clear. The left is on the warpath. They have stepped up their efforts since the election of President Donald Trump and are launching a full-fledged campaign designed to decimate conservative voices online.
It might be tempting to think that these efforts are isolated situations, but the past two weeks have shown that these attacks are more coordinated than they might appear. The leftists who own the major social media companies all but deplatformed Alex Jones’ InfoWars, removing all of the channel’s videos on the same day. They have also gone after PragerU, a conservative educational website.
Given the size and scope of the left’s influence on current day culture and the online realm, they might be transforming into an invulnerable leviathan that can devour conservative voices with reckless abandon. Indeed, it seems that conservatives are at the mercy of an undefeatable foe. But this isn’t true. The alacrity with which the war is being waged against right-leaning voices reveals a reality the left would rather not admit: They are terrified.
Conservatives Need to Fight Back
Groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center are not without weakness. Their over-the-top approach to “fighting hate” causes them to make mistakes. They have given the “hate group” label to a number of different organizations that don’t fit the bill. Christian groups who advocate in favor of traditional marriage and against abortion are lumped in with actual hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the Black Panthers.
It seems like an effective tactic on the surface, but the existence of defamation laws have caused the strategy to backfire on the SPLC, which had to pay broadcaster and activist Maajid Nawaz a $3 million settlement for adding him to their list of hate groups. The SPLC had argued that Nawaz is an anti-Islamic bigot — even though he is a Muslim. The Alliance for Defending Freedom has sued the SPLC for its practices as well. Indeed, the organization is currently facing about 60 lawsuits. Even The Washington Post published a piece titled “The Southern Poverty Law Center has lost all credibility.”
This latest action against the Freedom Center is yet another scenario in which their efforts have backfired. Both Visa and Mastercard have reinstated donations to Horowitz’s organization. A Breitbart News investigation revealed communications between Mastercard and Wordplay, a payment processor. During their interactions, they accused the Freedom Center of “advocating for violence.” According to Breitbart, the companies may have changed their tune because they were afraid of a lawsuit.
Of course, like leftist-owned social media companies, the two credit card companies claimed that the ban on donations was an accident. “Recently, we became aware of some merchants that had processing services inadvertently disabled without the proper internal reviews,” a spokesman for Wordplay said. “These merchants have had or are in the process of having their services re-enabled.”
This story – as well as others – show that far leftist groups like the SPLC are not unbeatable. They often give conservatives the ammo they need to fight back. However, conservatives must make sure they are aggressively capitalizing on the left’s mistakes. Exposing their behavior causes them to lose credibility with open-minded Americans. Instead of constantly defending right-wing views, conservatives must force the left to defend theirs.
Time and time again, the left has shown that they are not afraid to use underhanded means to shut down individuals and organizations with which they disagree. Their only true fear is debate. If conservatives want to win, they must force the left to face this fear.