On August 8, 2013. The NY Times ran a set of columns on the business of financing hate groups: One of which was my piece: Ethical. Not Just When It’s Easy.
In the essay, we argued that the major credit card companies, American Express, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover Financial Services have a long history of instituting best-in-class diversity programs. These programs have improved their minority employment practices, revamped their supplier networks to make them more demographically representative, and helped them expand their business through the marketing of demographic-specific products.
These companies have been placed on numerous “Best Places to Work ” lists, won major diversity awards, and their CEOS have been recognized as leaders in promoting multiculturalism and financial inclusion.
However, the companies also provide credit card acceptance services to numerous organizations with a long history of promoting hate. Organizations that have sought to reduce various minority groups to 2nd class citizens; stymie public policy reforms that promote equality, and reinforce bias and stereotypes. All of which prevent political efforts to create a more just and equal American society.
Some examples of hate groups where the major credit card companies have relationships are: the Family Research Council and American Family Association, both of which describe LGBT people as pedophiles, engaging in bestiality, and spreaders of disease; Irving Books/Focal Point press which denies that the Holocaust happened; Ban Amnesty Now which portrays immigrants as dangerous rapists and murders, and Media for Christ, which produced the film “Innocence of Muslims:” a movie that sparked violent deadly protests in the Middle East and Europe in late 2012, and the International Conspiratological Association, which espouses both white supremacist and anti-semitic ideals.
By providing these services, the major credit cards companies send a message to their African American, LGBT, Muslim, immigrant, and Jewish customers, employees, and shareholders that they’re not committed to them. These relationships contradict the diversity policies the card companies promote, and also threaten their brand images. Many of these organizations produce denigrating material, and feature the card companies’ brands on their site to encourage credit card donations.
This petition implores American Express, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover to stop providing payment-processing services to the below list of organizations. If on the other hand, the card companies deem, for profitability reasons, they should continue to maintain these relationships, then they should explain to their customers, shareholders, and employees why they do so. That is, why profit is more important than keeping their business practices consistent with their diversity policies?
American Border Patrol
Federation for American Immigration Reform
Americans for Legal Immigration (ALIPAC)
American Immigration Control Foundation/Americans for Immigration Control
Ban Amnesty Now
Holocaust Denial Groups:
Institute for Historical Review
Institute for Historical Review Store
Barnes Review/Foundation for Economic Liberty, Inc.
Irving Books/Focal Point Press
International Conspiratological Association
CODOH (Committee for open debate on the Holocaust)
Islam Phobic Groups:
The Way TV
Media For Christ
Bare Naked Islam
United States Justice Foundation
Sharia Awareness Action Network
Citizens for National Security
United West, The
United States Defense League
Freedom Defense Initiative (FDI)/American Freedom Defense Initiative
Sultan Knish a blog by Daniel Greenfield
Christian Action Network
Alliance Defending Freedom
American College of Pediatricians
American Family Association
The American Vision
Americans for Truth About Homosexuality
Concerned Women of America
Faithful Word Baptist Church
Family Research Council
Family Research Institute
Family Watch International
Focus on the Family
Illinois Family Institute
Public Advocates of America
National Organization for Marriage Education Fund
The Pray in Jesus Name Project
Tom Brown Ministries
Traditional Values Coalition
Traditional Values Coalition Education and Legal Institute
United Families International
Value Voters Summit
World Congress of Families/ Howard Center for Family Religion & Society
You Can Run, But You Cannot Hide, International Inc.