After a social media campaign to shame them, online payment site PayPal announced on Friday that they had suspended the account used for fundraising by The Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
The PayPal account was initially uncovered by Nandini Jammi of Sleeping Giants, an internet-based activist group that is dedicated to hobbling racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic news sites by reducing their flow of ad dollars.
While the closing of the account by PayPal was a significant victory for Sleeping Giants, Jammi was disturbed by the normalization of the racist hate group in the coverage of the story on Fox News, who framed the news in the same way that they try to convince their audience that Twitter is biased against conservative viewpoints, placing an on-screen lower-third graphic during their reporting of the story that read: “PayPal Bans Conservative Sites, Faces Backlash”
The Fox News chyron after PayPal shut down an account raising money for the KKK. pic.twitter.com/YSGVNVnNBb
— Robert McNees (@mcnees) September 3, 2019
The problem is that the KKK — with its long history of white nationalism, cross burnings, and lynchings — is lumped in with a broad spectrum of conservative groups that could include your grandmother’s gardening club and the local Kiwanis Club rather than being shamed as the racist organization that it truly is.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, the Loyal White Knights are “one of the largest and most active Klan groups in the United States,” with approximately 100 members. This particular branch of the KKK combines a mixture of neo-Nazi ideology with Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, and racist beliefs, the ADL alleges.
Since Fox News never specifies exactly who is offering the backlash to Paypal’s banishment of the Ku Klux Klan, one must assume it is the editorial opinion of the network that the hate group is now the face of mainstream conservatism.
— Nandini Jammi (@nandoodles) September 3, 2019
Unfortunately, in the Trump era — and with no small assistance from the right-wing cable news network itself — that self-fulfilling prophecy is all too true.
All the more reason to target Fox News itself — already hemorrhaging advertising dollars because of boycotts of the companies peddling their wares on the programs hosted by their most extreme Trump apologists — with even stronger calls for a complete advertiser boycott.
Why not? If they see the KKK as no different than other conservative groups, then Fox News itself should be regarded with the same disgust as that which any decent person would react to the white-hooded racists with.
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Original reporting by Mary Hanbury at Business Insider.
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.