Black Lives Matter Removed From AmazonSmile

Black Lives Matter Removed From Amazon Smile

( – Amazon is arguably the largest online retailer, offering nearly everything under the sun to its customers. However, it also has a charitable contribution program, dubbed AmazonSmile, wherein customers can shop using a special link, and 0.5% of all eligible purchases go to the charity at no extra cost to the shopper. The list of qualifying organizations is extensive, but one social justice group saw its name removed from the list this week.

On February 15, Amazon officially removed Black Lives Matter (BLM) from its list of charitable organizations for failure to meet the online retail giant’s stringent criteria. An unnamed company representative commented on the situation, saying, “organizations are required to be in good standing in their state of incorporation and in the states and territories where they are authorized to do business.” The removal of the social justice group apparently comes from its lack of compliance with several states.

Influx of Money

In 2020, following the death of George Floyd at Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s hand, riots broke out across the country. In the wake of that, many companies, including Amazon, donated to BLM to promote its cause and propel the social justice movement forward, raising awareness. All in all, the organization collected more than $90 million in donations, including from corporations. But in February 2021, the organization had just over $60 million in its coffers, begging one important question.

Where Did It All Go?

Two states, California and Washington, have threatened BLM with legal action unless the organization divulges where its money went. The lack of transparency has resulted in the social justice group disabling its fundraising efforts until it re-establishes compliance. This lack of compliance is why Amazon removed BLM from its list of qualifying charitable groups, and it’s likely to hurt the group, big time.

However, all is not lost. If BLM can return to good standing, not only can it resume its fundraising efforts, Amazon may also reinstate it as a valid charity. In the meantime, to reinstate compliance, it seems the organization has hired counsel. However, the law firm it hired has questionable ties — to Hillary Clinton. Mark Elias, who owns the firm, served as general counsel for Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Not only that, but BLM added Minyon Moore, a Clinton family confidant, to its board of directors.

So while the organization claims to be on the up-and-up and taking measures to restore its good standing, these ties raise more questions about the validity of its statements — and, more importantly, its actions. Time will tell if BLM recovers or falters.

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