Amazon.com staff are telling irate customers that the company was ordered by the federal government not to sell items featuring the Confederate flag in the aftermath of the Charleston shooting.
Amazon made the announcement this week, along with eBay, Sears and Walmart, that it would no longer sell products bearing the rebel flag, but according to a conversation posted on YouTube between a customer and an Amazon sales rep, the decision could have been made as a result of pressure from the government.
At first the Amazon staffer claims that the items were banned because they were deemed to be offensive, but when pressed by the customer, the sales rep tells a different story.
“Is this a political statement by Amazon.com or is this a directive that you’re following, that the government said you know we want you guys not to sell these anymore?” asks the caller.
“The government is not allowing us to sell this Confederate flag,” responds the staffer.
“So the government is not allowing you….to sell it?” asks the caller, to which the sales rep responds, “yes.”
“So Amazon is not making a political statement, this is something the government told you to do?” questions the caller.
“Exactly,” responds the staffer.
In addition, when customers queried Amazon’s decision to stop selling Confederate items via the company’s official website, they were told by another Amazon representative that the items were no longer available as a result of “federal law” and that Amazon was “instructed to remove all Confederate flags from sale.”
This of course makes the entire story far more sinister. As a private company, it is Amazon’s right to sell what it likes, no matter what people feel about the decision, but if the federal government has ordered the retailer not to sell Confederate flags (while Nazi memorabilia is still freely available), this clearly represents an egregious act of censorship that has no basis in law.