In the wake of the El Paso shooting, in which 22 were killed and 24 injured, the discovery of a racist manifesto that may be linked to the shooter has pushed white supremacist ideologies into prominence.
Several politicians, including President Donald Trump and Democratic political candidates Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke and Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, denounced white supremacist messages that have propagated on websites such as 8chan.
Cloudflare, a network security platform that protects websites from cyberattacks, renounced 8chan Monday and terminated its services following the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. But there may be a more innocuous place for white supremacist propaganda to spread.
Amazon currently sells multiple books that espouse racist and white supremacist ideologies on its platform.
The online retailer has a policy that prohibits “products that promote, incite or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual or religious intolerance or promote organizations with such views.”
“We’re committed to providing a positive customer experience and have policies that outline what products may be sold in our stores,” an Amazon representative told USA TODAY. “We invest significant time and resources to ensure our content guidelines are followed and remove products that do not adhere to our guidelines.”
The policy, however, makes an exception for “books, music, video and DVD.” For books, they “reserve the right not to sell certain content, such as pornography or other inappropriate content.”
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Notably, “You Will Not Replace Us!,” a book by French writer and white supremacist Renaud Camus, is available on Amazon along with an offer for Prime two-day shipping.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has cited Camus’ texts as influential in the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, which lead to the death of Heather Heyer. It was also invoked in a document shared by the shooter who killed 51 at two mosque attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand.
The book’s message may have also played a role in the El Paso shooting. A “manifesto” was published onto 8chan that investigators believe was shared by Patrick Crusius, the North Texas man charged with the shooting.
Crusius, who is white, is accused of walking into a crowded Walmart on Saturday and targeting customers and employees in the heavily Hispanic area.
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The document posted on 8chan cites a “Hispanic invasion” of Texas as motivation for the killings. It begins with a message of support for the Christchurch shooter and his “manifesto.”
Other literature explicitly branding itself as “white power manifestos” are sold on Amazon and easily accessible through its “Kindle Unlimited” program, which allows users to pay a monthly fee.
“Might is Right,” a book recommended by the Gilroy shooter on his Instagram before his attack July 29, is also available for purchase on Amazon as a physical or a Kindle digital copy. “Great for those proud of the Aryan race,” one reviewer wrote. Another said the book is a “must read for any white person.”
Since its publication in February, an investigation by Quartz led to some of these white supremacist books being taken down. It is unclear, however, whether the books were removed by Amazon or by its sellers.
Many of the ones listed in their report, however, are still available for sale – both through Amazon and third-party vendors.
Follow Joshua Bote on Twitter: @joshua_bote