Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos followed a familiar pattern when he gave $100 million to left-wing radical Van Jones on Tuesday: America’s billionaire elite continues to fund the activists who want to destroy the system that made them rich.
They call it “giving back,” but the $100 million will not be distributed to the small business owners Amazon.com has displaced over the years. Rather, it will fund Jones’s “charities” — left-wing political groups operating as non-profits.
Jones is a hard-core radical activist who has gone mainstream. Forced to resign as “green jobs” czar in the Obama White House for his alleged link to 9/11 Trutherism, and after calling Republicans “assholes,” Jones continued his unique brand of activism, moving into the mainstream of American politics. He found a regular perch at CNN, and became one of its more thoughtful voices — with occasional incendiary comments, such as calling Trump’s 2016 victory a “whitelash.”
Later, Jones would work with the Trump White House on criminal justice reform. But that did not soften his attacks on the administration, and he lamented that the 2020 presidential election was close, saying Trump deserved “repudiation.”
Despite the $100 million charitable gift, Jones will continue to push for higher taxes for corporations like Amazon, which paid net zero in federal taxes in 2018. (It even received $129 million back from the IRS, enough to cover Jones’s award.)
Monopolies like Amazon, and super-rich investors like Bezos, don’t mind higher tax rates. They can find clever ways to dodge them, or pass the costs along to consumers. Smaller competitors suffer — which suits Bezos and Amazon just fine.
Jones won’t let up on socialist policies. Nor will he stop pushing corporations like Amazon to adopt a “woke” corporate agenda, complete with employee indoctrination sessions in white privilege and the proper use of gendered pronouns.
Amazon has already given $10 million to Black Lives Matter — a donation announced in June 2020, as violent mobs in major cities were looting the few remaining brick-and-mortar, mom-and-pop stores that Amazon had not yet displaced.
As Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow revealed in his book, Breaking the News: Exposing the Establishment Media’s Hidden Deals and Secret Corruption, that donation is tied to a domestic terrorist:
At the time, BLM Global Network was sponsored by Thousand Currents, a non-profit whose vice-chairman is Susan Rosenberg, a convicted left-wing terrorist. … Rosenberg, a former member of the Weather Underground … was eventually apprehended while helping to load 740 pounds of explosives and an arsenal of weapons (including a submachine gun) into a storage locker near Philadelphia. She was sentenced to 58 years in prison before she was granted clemency by President Clinton.
Buying off the far-left won’t save Amazon in the long run. When entrepreneurship is choked by the twin forces of statism and monopoly, when a new generation is raised to hate the country, the left will eventually come for Amazon and Bezos.
Not just for higher wages, or for the unions Amazon opposes on its shop floors. They will come for the wealth that has been accumulated, which blasted Bezos into space for a precious few minutes on Tuesday, carbon emissions be damned.
And when Bezos, and Amazon, look for allies in the fight — when they look for the patriotic, freedom-loving, small-government opposition that has protected capitalism from its enemies — they will find none willing, or able, to fight.
Bezos is paying a ransom to Jones and the radical left, in the hope that he will be the last dog to be eaten. That $100 million will help the left attack ordinary Americans and their values. He may buy some time. He will not avoid their fate.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.