The Southern Poverty Law Center has been criticized for its list of ‘hate groups’ and other ‘hate organizations’ for years, mostly due to the fact that it seems to be less an accurate list of such organizations and more a list targeting conservative and Christian organizations that dare to not be in favor of homosexual marriage or LGBTQ+ lifestyles. Indeed, even those within the organization feared the change targeting ‘right-wing extremism,’ which is why every member of the group’s legal staff, save for the group’s founder, left in 1986.
Now, however, the SPLC’s list of appears to have been weaponized, and used to target conservative organizations and cut off their funding sources. Most recently, the David Horowitz Freedom Center has been the target of this strange series of circumstances. First, this ‘hate group’ label was used to target conservatives on social media, now in financial sectors?
It certainly seems like a concentrated effort to cut the funding and reach of conservative groups in the run-up to the midterm elections.
The DHFC claimed in a recent email that their ability to receive donations via credit card was disabled by both Visa and Mastercard. Visa has denied such knowledge.
Furthermore, they claim that this action as taken following a campaign by the ‘civil rights’ organization which sought to label the Freedom Center as a ‘hate group.’
Perhaps most interesting of all, this is not the only similar story that has occurred recently.
Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch, which is affiliated with the Freedom Center, was forced off of the crowd funding platform Patreon, allegedly following pressure from Mastercard.
It seems like the Freedom Center may be the next organization that the SPLC is targeting, and that they are hoping Mastercard and Visa will help them shut down a website that is extremely conservative.
In an email that David Horowitz sent out, he outright said that his organization was under attack by the SPLC, and that due to their intervention, his organization could no longer process donations from major credit card companies.
Horowitz claimed that his organization had been targeted by the “left-wing hate machine,” in hopes that they could silence and suppress conservative voices.
He also said that he believed that Mastercard and Visa cut his think tank off from their sources of funding because the SPLC told them that his organization was a ‘hate group.’
However, he also pointed out that, to his thinking, it was wrong to focus on the ‘tech heads’ as if they were the culprits, because the businessmen running Patreon and the credit card companies have a vested interest in ensuring that their businesses maintain the image of propriety and non-partisanship.
Horowitz also said that the two large credit card companies have also been threatened by Senator Mark Warner, a democrat from Virginia, and other members of the left-leaning party, if they didn’t censor his organization.
Visa replied to Breitbart’s request for comment on the story, and stated that they did not have any involvement in cutting off the organization’s payment processing.
In fact, the company said that they didn’t even know about the financial blacklisting until they read the article.
On the other hand, Mastercard, who Robert Spencer says somehow managed to boot him off of Patreon, made no comment.
According to Spencer, he was notified by ‘April,’ a ‘Trust & Safety’ team member at the crowd funding website, that Mastercard had told Patreon that they had to remove his account “effective immediately.”
April also paid out the remaining balance on the account, which amounted to a little over $475, before closing out the account.
Spencer, however, pointed out that he didn’t even have a Mastercard, let alone one attached to his Patreon account, so he didn’t understand why Mastercard had that kind of power to close out his account.
A statement from a Mastercard spokesperson suggested that Spencer’s website, Jihad Watch, hosted ‘illegal content,’ and that when a bank informed Mastercard, they terminated all relationship with the organization and the website.
Perhaps these claims of ‘illegal content’ on the Jihad Watch website, are nothing more than a convenient excuse?
Breitbart Tech senior reporter Allum Bokhari warned that a growing number of conservatives would be targeted as the midterm election came nearer.
If Mr. Bokhari is right, it would certainly hamper the ability of some conservatives to exercise their freedom of speech in support of President Donald Trump and other politically conservative causes and individuals.
If Horowitz and Spencer are right, this could be the start of a terrifying new way to de facto censor conservative speech online, by robbing it of the ability to sustain itself.