Thursday, November 11, 2010
The other night I attended the Free The Slaves ‘Freedom Awards’ Ceremony and Gala. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Free The Slaves organization, they are a worldwide non-profit based in Washington, D.C. committed to stopping the horrors known as human slavery, human trafficking, and human abduction.
So here I am sitting behind my big desk in my office at the studio right now, reflecting on how poor judgment the folks at Amazon demonstrated yesterday, and quite frankly for nearly one full week, by selling a Kindle book that was a how to guide on the disgraceful acts of pedophilia.
Having seen the scars related to human trafficking in both adults and children, the fact that Amazon continued to keep this title up throughout the day amidst thousands upon thousands of immediate protest yesterday was perplexing. Was Amazon fighting for the First Amendment or were they hiding behind the First Amendment with smoking-mirror valor for fear that if they removed one book from the site, their morally sound consumers would act as censors.
Personally, I am a adament supporter of our nation's rights as conveyed under the First Amendment. However, the rules of Good Citizenship and particularly Good Parenting far outweigh my perspective on my freedom of speech when it comes to possibly causing any type of danger to a child.
So here's Amazon selling a book on pedophilia, and their not removing it. And I am very angry. I make substantial money as an author by having my books available to consumers around the world via Amazon. But ... I am also a person who has come seen these monsters.
Finally, sometime after midnight, and with tens of thousands of customers closing their accounts, Amazon’s senior decision makers decided that perhaps their 76 billion dollar market capitalization was worth protecting more than an electronic, for Kindle purchase-only, how to guide on how to molest a child. Thanks Amazon. Incidentally, I liquidated whatever Amazon stock I held in my portfolio first thing this morning.
Sitting here at my desk, now with a hot cup of tea, I wonder what Tina Frundt would have had to say to Jeff Bezos if they were in a coffee shop about what Amazon had done. Tina is the 2010 recipient of Freedom Award’s ‘Frederick Douglas’ Award. Tina has helped over 500 young children get off the streets and away from child-prostitution. I wonder what Anne Keehn, the Freedom Award’s receipeint of the Anne Templeton Award would have said if she had joined in on their conversation. For those of you who do not know Anne Keehn, Anne has worked hard against the human trafficking fight in Asia. My friend Pam Michell, founder of ‘Survivor On A Mission’, and a survivor extraordinaire of human slavery surely would have had Jeff Bezos standing in front of the world apologizing for Amazon’s poor decision making if he had known of my wonderful friend’s plight. I wonder what type of legal argument my very astute friend and 'recovering lawyer' Brett Moore, no novice to fighting fights for those who can't defend themselves, would had said to Jeff Bezos with respect to how a 'how to book' that promotes and depicts criminal acts was a breach of Amazon's by-laws. Oh, that would have been very interesting. And surely, Mr. Bezos would have acted quickly if he had ever seen the holding pens, essentially chicken-coops, that young Asian boys and girls are held in certain parts of the world.
Well yesterday afternoon and throughout the evening, the voices of good citizenship and good parenting rose up and were heard. This filth that exploited our children was removed.
There is no question there is so much more to be done. Crimes that against children are not to be tolerated First Amendment or no First Amendment.
And if you’re wondering what the name of the book Amazon was selling was, I purposefully did not write it down.
Lastly, if you are a parent, make today a uniquely special day, and celebrate your child or children!
And never take these days for granted. Trust me, Chasing The Cyclone is something you never want to do.