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Sunday, November 14, 2010 - Accountability

I recently received this letter from my good friend Barbara Curtis.  I think it's important to hold businesses accountable for their actions.  While businesses like Amazon have become so large that it's hard for one person to make a difference, together we can cause attention.  I hope that you will make a call or write a letter and make your voice heard as well.

Dear Debbie:
RE:  Open Letter to Jeff Bezos

The removal of the latest pedophilia book by Amazon is something to be grateful for - especially if it means that through continued pressure, we can clean the subject of pedophilia from Amazon.  I have called and written Amazon this morning and hope you will do the same.

Call Amazon: 800-201-7575
Email Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO:

I am also taking down all my links until this problem is resolved (though I may need the help of my BlogGuru for one). I ask other bloggers to consider the same. Individually we have little impact; together we may capture Mr. Bezos' attention.

Mr Bezos:
Not only have I been shopping at Amazon for 12 years - buying everything from chainsaws to Cheerios - but for the past five years I have been an affiliate, and a grateful one.

As a professional writer who loves to blog, I found I could replace my some lost income by promoting not just Amazon products, but the whole concept of Amazon shopping. With 11,000 visits/day and a readership including many homeschool families, I have successfully sold the idea of saving time, money and stress through Amazon.

As a Montessori teacher whose message to parents is about growing confident, healthy and joyful children, I can't tell you how mortified I am to be so closely affiliated with Amazon today. This morning I will be removing all banners and links to Amazon - which will leave me with virtually no income until Amazon changes course and I can publish them once again.

While I want to thank you for withdrawing the book The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure yesterday, you need to know that this is only the first step Amazon needs to take to restore public confidence and regain the goodwill of American families.

As far as Amazon's initial statement that you do not believe in censorship: Censorship is the government deciding what we may or may not read. In the marketplace, individual businesses have the right - and responsibility - to conduct business in a way that reflects their values. When my husband and I owned a tree company, we turned down jobs which would involve trimming trees in ways that would be harmful or aesthetically unpleasing. Likewise, Amazon certainly has the right - and responsibility - to refuse to sell books which would condone child sexual abuse.

As an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I can tell you there is never anything healthy about it. There is a spark that dies in a child when preyed upon by an adult. I was abused in a foster home, as were my brothers. One of those brothers is now a convicted sex offender himself (incest), but like your pedophile author would say that what he did was natural.

Mr. Bezos, your next step - and I hope it will be sooner rather than later - should be to remove all books on pedophilia from Amazon. This should be accompanied by a statement explaining why you have rethought your position, apologizing for the damage you may have indirectly caused, and asserting your commitment to families shopping Amazon.

This email is a reiteration of what I told your customer service rep in South Africa this morning. I will also publish it at my blog, and urge fellow bloggers to also remove their Amazon links. As one blogger/affiliate I can't expect to make a big difference, but if there is a movement of family-friendly blogs willing to personally sacrifice to get Amazon's attention, perhaps you will be moved to rethink this situation - if only for the sake of your own bottom line.

Christmas is coming. I know my readers spend 7-8 times as much through my links during November and December. As I said, I hope you will make this decision sooner rather than later.


Barbara Curtis

I encourage all of you to make your voices heard as well!

God loves you,


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