The left is coming after conservatives on every platform. It's not just social media users but the owners of those companies and other platforms. GiveSendGo, a Christian crowdfunding site that launched in 2015 to help Christians raise money for things like mission trips and medical bills, has been dragged into the fray merely for allowing a fundraiser for Kyle Rittenhouse. The left wants to shut the site down, hacking it and trying to get payment processors and hosting companies to drop the site. There were 700 complaints to GiveSendGo's hosting provider in January alone. The left smears GiveSendGo by calling it "a platform for Trumpist hate." Discover Card will not allow its customers to use the card for donations, and Facebook banned links to the Rittenhouse fundraiser.
I spoke with siblings Jacob Wells and Heather Wilson who founded and run the site. GiveSendGo is different from the narcissistic GoFundMe in that the focus of fundraising is tied to sharing the hope that you have. It's not divorced from the money. The pair generously donate 10% of the proceeds they receive to fundraisers on the site.
The site could have ducked taking on fundraisers for controversial people like Rittenhouse, but once the siblings observed "death by deplatforming" they knew they had to take a stand. Jake Gardner was a Nebraska bar owner who committed suicide after being indicted in the fatal shooting of a black protester last year. The tragic series of events began during riots after the death of George Floyd. Gardner's dad pushed a protester who would not leave the area near the bar. The protester pushed back, and so the younger Gardner displayed his handgun. Two protesters jumped on his back, and he fired two warning shots. They left, but James Scurlock, a young black man who had been involved in vandalism earlier, tackled him and put him in a headlock. Gardner begged Scurlock to release him, but he didn't, so he shot him.
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Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine wasn't even going to press charges at first, believing Gardner had acted in self-defense. But obviously due to public pressure, he asked a grand jury to review his decision. Meanwhile, Gardner was trying to raise money for his defense, but was being deplatformed everywhere. People like Nebraska State Sen. Megan Hunt piled on and incited more hate by calling him a white supremacist. His bar was known for hosting Republican events, which no doubt intensified the vicious reaction. But he wasn't a hateful person. In 2017 he went to the Trump inauguration and was interviewed about the Women's March, and he said they have a right to be out there protesting.
Gardner moved to California to escape the hate. A decorated veteran who had served two tours in Iraq, he suffered two brain injuries. He found out about GiveSendGo due to the publicity surrounding Rittenhouse, but it was too late. Just two days after the fundraiser was started, the jury indicted him for manslaughter and other felonies, and he killed himself. The Jake Gardner family has since set up its own GiveSendGo fundraiser.
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Wells and Wilson said "never again." GiveSendGo is going to stand and allow people on both sides of a legal battle to raise funds for legal fees, instead of censoring people they don't think are worthy. They are going to be a platform that provides hope, forgiveness and second chances. They do not feel the court of public opinion should override the justice system. Fortunately, the Rittenhouse fundraiser, which is what first put GiveSendGo in the spotlight, helped the young man when needed. Rittenhouse said the fundraiser is what got him through the time when he was locked up in jail.
And it hasn't been easy. Wilson had to change her phone number after the calls started coming in swearing at her and calling her a white supremacist. One left-wing activist used the site to raise money for a radical LGBT cause clearly to harass them. But he ended up being surprised at how kindly he was treated, admitting on Facebook that they really do stand for freedom.
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Other famous conservatives who have been targeted who use the site include Trump attorney Sidney Powell, former USPS employee Richard Hopkins, who told Project Veritas about voter fraud, and Melissa Carone, the elections worker who testified during Michigan legislative hearings about voter fraud. Matt Braynard, former director of data and strategy for the Trump campaign, raised $675,437 for his Voter Integrity Project to investigate election fraud, exceeding his goal of $590,000. The left has figured out that GiveSendGo isn't going to shut down these types of fundraisers and has stopped bombarding them with complaints about them.
The siblings are still feeling out the parameters of what is acceptable content. While the site focuses on allowing free speech, they have standards, so profanity is not allowed. They have a prayer team, which calls people when they start a campaign as their prayer partner. There's a prayer button people can select instead of contributing money, and a prayer wall for people to post requests for prayer.
Wells and Wilson tell me they are well-prepared for attempts to shut them down. They have backup plans ready to go at the flip of a switch, such as alternative hosting servers. They are beginning to incorporate cryptocurrency. The frustrating thing they have noticed is that 90% of the complaints come from fake email addresses – it's just a very small number of activists faking all the outrage against them.
It's a hypocritical double standard that GoFundMe allows fundraisers for all kinds of evil people, but won't let a lot of regular conservatives fundraise. It's even more appalling that the left is trying to destroy alternative platforms like GiveSendGo. We must stay vigilant, shedding light on the situation and supporting those who dare to stand up to the woke crowd like GiveSendGo, because eventually they're coming for the rest of us, too.