I wrote yesterday about the news that Change.org, an online petition organization that has become a favorite of progressive activists, is actually a consulting firm working with, among others, conservative anti-union, anti-teacher clients.
As a result of the outcry over the news, Change.org has dropped its two anti-union, anti-teacher clients. But statements from the organization, and news reports, suggest that nothing has changed at Change.org.
The organization believes that the only reason it’s being criticized is because American progressives mistakenly believe that Change.org is a progressive organization with progressive values. In the latest story from Ryan Grim at the Huffington Post, Change.org makes clear it is not.
Change.org leaders, for their part, said they think some of the outrage resulted from a misunderstanding of the company’s goal, which is not to spread American-style progressive values around the globe, but rather to empower as many people as possible under the theory that the world will be better as a result. By not embracing American progressivism, the company said it hopes to make its platform more welcoming to people around the globe who might see such an association as imperialist or anti-Muslim. [emphasis added]
Change.org was afraid of being perceived as a progressive organization because of the reputation that American progressives have for promoting international imperialism and anti-Muslim hatred.
So, Change.org decided to work with American conservatives, who have a much better track record with imperialism and diversity.
I’ve worked all over the world with the “left” in various countries, mostly in Europe, but I’ve also worked in Africa, Asia and Latin America. And the “left” in those countries tends to see itself as a partner of American Democrats. It’s pretty clear to everyone in the world who the “imperialists” Muslim-haters are, and it tends not to be people who espouse progressive values. I just find that graf extremely disturbing and, I’m sorry, but it sounds downright deceitful.
I’ve dealt with a lot of companies in the past that have crossed the line, usually on gay issues, but not always. And this isn’t the kind of statement they issue when they “get it.” It’s the kind of thing they say when they want you to go away.
It doesn’t sound like Change.org has changed at all.