Consumers looking to buy products showing white supremacist symbols — including swastika necklaces and infant wear with a burning cross — could look to Amazon.com for an array of merchandise.
In an apparent violation of rules covering what third parties can sell on its website, dozens of products related to hate organizations or views were found during a search by CBS MoneyWatch, including products for use by children, such as a backpack with a neo-Nazi meme.
The retailing giant’s policy states “prohibited listings” on its website include “products that promote or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual or religious intolerance or promote organizations with such views.”
As of Friday afternoon, the assortment of merchandise had thinned. An infant girl’s cotton onsie with a cross burning print emblazoned on the front was found selling for $11.34 on Amazon Friday morning, as well as a “hot fresh and funny Swastika necklace.” Both had vanished later in the day.
A report released Friday by the Action Center on Race & the Economy and the Partnership for Working Families made the case the Amazon was failing to follow its own policy.
“Amazon enables those who traffic in hate by allowing the sale of hate symbols and imagery on the site, including confederate and anti-Black imagery, Nazi and fascist imagery — even in products that are targeted towards children,” the two watchdog groups said in a statement.
One book sold on Amazon, a children’s fable by George Lincoln Rockwell, founder of the American Nazi Party, garnered the following five-star Amazon review: “Awesome work from a great man! This is great work for kids that are being brought up right! This is a great piece of Propaganda; it teaches our children to be careful and don’t let refugees in to your country. It shows the effects on a nation…. but in a birds perspective! How this terror is infinite and we are screwed by the colored birds! Be careful, read this and keep your kids critical about the enemy. Great National Socialist Kids book:) thank you!”
An Amazon spokesperson declined to explain how the retailer enforces its policy. “Third-party sellers who use our marketplace service must follow our guidelines and those who don’t are subject to swift action including potential removal of their account,” the spokesperson wrote in an email to CBS MoneyWatch.
Of course Amazon is not the sole retailing sites where objectionable merchandise can be found. Products displaying the confederate flag can be found on Walmart’s website, and eBay offers Pepe the frog bibs, which are billed on the site as an “alt-right” baby shower gift.
The report on Amazon’s sales drew differing views on social media, with one Twitter user questioning its newsworthiness, saying: “They sell everything. Are false idols banned?”
The latest incidents are not the first such controversy for Amazon,after the offerings were flagged by a British media outlet.
Earlier this week, Walmartfrom its website after facing protest from supporters of the nation’s 45th president, Donald Trump. The retailer in 2016 removed several varieties of shirts and hoodies with the slogan “Bulletproof: Black Lives Matter” from its website
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