J. Pharoah Doss, for the New Pittsburgh Courier

By June 2020, there were protests and riots across the country over the police killings of black Americans such as Breona Taylor and George Floyd. Amazon, the world’s largest retailer, placed a “Black Lives Matter” banner at the top of its site to “show solidarity with the Black community.”

Amazon received complaints, customers found the Black Lives Matter banner divisive and were offended.

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos dismissed the complaints. Bezos said the phrase “Black Lives Matter” doesn’t mean other people’s lives don’t matter, it speaks to racism and the disproportionate risk black people face when encountering law enforcement.

Amazon stood its ground and stood in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, but not with the entire black community.

A few months later, Amazon Prime Video refused to air a documentary called What Killed Michael Brown? because the title did not meet the content quality requirements and the film was not eligible for publication. Amazon Prime also told the filmmakers, “We will not be accepting resubmissions of this title, and this decision cannot be appealed.”

Shelby Steele, a well-known black conservative, wrote the screenplay. The documentary told the 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, from the perspective of Ferguson residents who disagreed with the media’s coverage of the story and did not want Black Lives Matter activists coming to their city.

In other words, the film critiqued a narrative that Amazon wholeheartedly embraced a few months ago. More importantly, the protests and riots were considered “America’s racial reckoning” and Amazon did not want to offend many “woke” customers by airing a documentary they would find offensive and accuse Amazon of being on the “wrong side.” history”.

So the documentary What Killed Michael Brown? was “cancelled”.

Curious customers who wanted to see the film, as well as right-wing media, complained about censorship and accused Amazon of opposing ideological diversity and inclusion.

Amazon Prime Video eventually streamed the film.

Meanwhile, Amazon has been selling a book called Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America since 2015, and in 2018, the author of Hebrews to Negroes released a 3-hour documentary with the same title. The book and documentary claim that black Americans are the true descendants of the biblical Israelites, modern Jews took their religious heritage from black people, and modern Jews conspired to hide these facts to prevent black people from knowing their “true” identity.

There is nothing new in this room. It was first supported in Chattanooga, Tennessee by the founders of the Church of the Living God, Pillar of Truth for All Nations, in 1886. Historians say the group called white Jews “meddlers” and vilified them for denying the divinity of Christ.

The title of the book and the documentary, as well as its century-old premise, meet Amazon’s content quality standards and have not offended Amazon customers or anyone else for over half a decade.

Suddenly, in 2022, there was a controversy surrounding the movie “Hebrews and Negroes” because NBA star Kyrie Irving shared a link to the movie on Twitter. In 2021, Irving became a villain to some and a hero to others by refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine ordered by his employer. During the intense scrutiny, Irving said, “I’m doing what’s best for me. I know the consequences, and if that means being judged and demonized, that’s what it is.”

Rolling Stone magazine decided to demonize him. The magazine said that Irving’s “anti-vax” stance emboldened the far right and that Irving believed in dangerous conspiracy theories against the COVID-19 vaccine.

Since then, Irving has been considered a conspiracy theorist by the media.

When he posted a link to a movie he claimed was based on conspiracy theories, the media automatically assumed he agreed with the movie’s premise and was trying to push the anti-Semitic movie to his 4.6 million Twitter followers.

When Irving refused to apologize for what the media called an “anti-Semitic tweet,” the NBA suspended Irving for five games and Nike ended its endorsement deal with the NBA star.

Rolling Stone explained that what makes Irving “so dangerous and malignant” is that there are thousands of young black guys who hear him and believe him.

If indirect influence is a danger, then Amazon is more dangerous than Irving, having sold an anti-Semitic title for more than half a decade.

Anyone who was offended by Irving should wonder why Amazon didn’t censor Hebrews to Negroes: Wake up Black America the same way they censored What Killed Michael Brown?.

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