Amazon Uncancels Shelby Steele – WSJ




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sajjad hussain/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Recently we wrote about a new documentary that

Amazon

kept off its streaming platform. Produced by scholar and occasional Journal contributor Shelby Steele and his filmmaker son, Eli, “What Killed Michael Brown?” challenges the dominant narrative of systemic racism invoked to explain the killing of the black teenager by a Ferguson, Mo., police officer, which was then followed by riots. The film includes many voices from the community that are being heard for the first time.

Our columnist Jason Riley broke the story about Amazon’s attempts to suppress a work by one of America’s leading experts on race relations. These pages followed with an editorial noting that Amazon was inviting a political backlash. Well, the backlash came. The good news is that Amazon has now reversed itself. Last we checked, the Steeles’ film has been at or near the top in “Most Wished For in Documentary.”

There was no good reason for Amazon to reject this thoughtful documentary. The film’s rise to the top of Amazon’s chart after the ban was removed suggests that many Amazon customers agree. It’s a lesson for Amazon but also for conservatives who want to change the law to combat Big Tech’s political bias. Negative attention and old-fashioned consumer pushback can be powerful forces on their own. Download and enjoy.

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Appeared in the October 24, 2020, print edition.



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