Heritage Responds to Amazon Censoring Expert's Book on Black Lives Matter

Heritage Responds to Amazon Censoring Expert's Book on Black Lives Matter

UPDATE: Heritage won its appeal of the decision Thursday, and was notified the censoring was the result of human error.

Sep 16, 2021 2 min read

WASHINGTON—The Heritage Foundation announced today that Amazon has censored advertising by Heritage promoting the book “BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution,” a deep-dive by Heritage Senior Fellow Mike Gonzalez on the Black Lives Matter leaders and organizations. The book, released Sept. 7, is Gonzalez’s second best-seller in as many years, following 2020’s “The Plot to Change America: How Identity Politics is Dividing the Land of the Free,” which examined how leftists obsessed with identity politics and racial divisions are undermining the American experiment.

Heritage was informed this week that the ad for Gonzalez’s book “no longer complies with our current Creative Acceptance Policies. Specifically for the following reasons: Your ad contains book/s or content that is not allowed. Content that revolves around controversial or highly debated social topics is not permitted. Please remove this content from your ad.” Whether this was the result of an algorithm or human action, the outcome is censorship.

Gonzalez said of Amazon’s decision to censor the promotion of this important work on BLM, “I wrote this book because most of the press refused to cover the important questions about the people and organizations behind Black Lives Matter. Now Amazon is trying to limit how many Americans read this book. The American people deserve answers to those questions, especially after the 630 or more riots that left our cities burning, businesses destroyed and billions in damage, and Americans dead. I have to wonder if Nikole Hannah-Jones’ and Ibram X. Kendi’s books—which also sell in the ‘Black and African American History’ category, where my book often outranked them in the past week—face similar constraints. Herbert Marcuse, the critical theorist who authored the essay ‘Repressive Tolerance,’ would be proud of Amazon.”

Heritage is no stranger to Big Tech censorship and overreach. In 2020, one of its YouTube videos on gender dysphoria was censored by the company, while in 2019, The Daily Signal reported that YouTube had also removed a similar video on its YouTube channel. And in early 2019, Heritage President Kay C. James was invited to be a member of Google’s new AI board, only for Google to dissolve the board after an outcry from company employees that James, a conservative, was asked to be on the board.

James had the following to say: “The examples of Big Tech censorship are inescapable and irrefutable. Sometimes they are brazen and outright, other times, they are dressed up in vague platitudes about ‘objectionable content.’ But the outcome is still the same – conservative voices are deemed ‘unacceptable’ and are silenced. This cannot continue. While respecting private property rights, Heritage has put forward solutions to limit the nearly unchecked power of Big Tech companies and make them more accountable to the American people. The time for action is now. Conservatives and all those concerned about Big Tech censorship need to come together on solutions that hold Big Tech accountable while preventing even more power from going into the hands of the corporate-government nexus.”

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