Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover - are processing funds for some of the vilest white supremacist groups.
White supremacist hubs like Stormfront are able to easily receive funding from their members because these companies are allowing them to. And thanks to transaction fees, these companies are making money every time someone donates to these hate groups.
Each of these companies has built a brand committed to diversity and inclusivity - but all of that is meaningless as long as they process payments for groups directly responsible for the skyrocketing number of hate crimes. These payment processing companies have cut off other hate groups in the past, it’s time for them to step up and cut all white supremacist groups from their financial resources.
White supremacist platforms like Stormfront have played a major role in the recent and rapid rise in anti-Black, anti-Jewish and anti-LGBTQ hate crimes in the last year and a half. On these platforms, they plotted to turn their hatred into violence. “They laid plans to attack courthouses, banks, festivals, funerals, schools, mosques, churches, synagogues, clinics, water-treatment plants, and power grids,” reports the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The radicalization occurring on these platforms has helped to cause anti-Muslim hate crimes to skyrocket nearly 67% over the last year — a proliferation unprecedented in recent times. Stormfront users have also been disproportionately responsible for some of the most lethal hate crimes and mass killings since the site was put up in 1995. In the past decade alone, Stormfront members have murdered close to 100 people.
Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express should not be helping to fund groups inspiring hate crimes and murder.
The hate groups receiving money processed by these companies represent the full range of white supremacy. Everything from skinheads and robed klansmen to the rapidly rising white supremacist think tanks that mask the same old beliefs in academic-sounding language and expensive suits.
But no matter how great their reach on social media, or how inspired they feel by Trump and his allies, these groups still need substantial financial resources to operate their online platforms. If we can cut off hate groups from easily accessible online funds, we might just be able to bring a few of these racist hubs down.
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