Most are familiar with China’s social credit system. In it, people are closely monitored for whether their words and actions are government-approved. Those who align get to live comfortable lives with easy access to travel, internet, and private schools. Those who don’t are denied these benefits and treated as second-class citizens.

In America we cherish our freedoms—and our right to speak and live freely is guaranteed under the First Amendment. But that hasn’t stopped major corporations from trying to infringe on our rights. A recent Epoch Times article raises concerns that the recent trend of politicized de-banking in the U.S. and U.K. pushes both countries eerily close to a social credit system. The article quotes longtime JPMorgan Chase shareholder David Bahnsen and Viewpoint Diversity Score’s Michael Ross on why American politicians and citizens must take a stand against this dangerous trend.

While the economic secretary of the U.K. stepped in and got U.K. banks to agree on anti-discrimination principles, Ross points out that these problems are happening in the U.S. as well:

“We're already seeing this happening in the U.S. Before this, there was obviously Sam Brownback and the National Committee for Religious Freedom,” he said, referring to accounts allegedly closed by JPMorgan Chase. “Chase also canceled Defense of Liberty a couple of years ago, retired [Lt. Gen.] Michael Flynn, the Family Council—all of them are designated either high risk or reputational risk.”

Ross also sets the record straight on a misleading claim that banks are private and therefore free to discriminate:

“Banks in particular receive a ton of bailouts and public benefits from the government and from taxpayers here. They do this so that they can serve the public. So when they turn around and start weaponizing these financial services to cut off people with views they don’t like, they’re breaking the public trust.”

State action in the U.S. may be a necessary remedy if banks continue to discriminate against conservative and religious account holders. In the meantime, Bahnsen—who serves on the Viewpoint Diversity Score advisory council—highlights that shareholder action, like his resolution presented at JPMorgan Chase’s annual shareholder meeting, has been a great first step in raising awareness about the issue:

“One thing I am certain of is that the next time a bank manager decides to close an account for somebody like Ambassador Brownback, they’re going to think twice about doing it. This was covered far and wide by both the left-wing press and the right-wing press, and I do not believe it looked good upon JPMorgan."

Read the full article here.