When the Oppressed become the Oppressor

Web filters, such as Cyber Patrol, are the new weapon of choice for censors.
The Anti-Defamation League was founded to oppose discrimination.
But now the ADL's web filter itself uses CyberPatrol to censor many other minority viewpoints.

An Open Letter to the ADL
[the author received no response from the ADL]


March 2, 2000

Abraham H. Foxman, National Director
Anti-Defamation League
823 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10087


Dear Mr. Foxman:

I was born in Belgium in 1940, two years after my parents were hounded out of Austria and two weeks before Germany invaded the country of my birth. I consequently spent my early childhood hidden from the Nazi exterminators. Until recently I saw the ADL as a bulwark against the kind of prejudice that killed my family and waged war on unorthodox creeds.

It is very sad for me now to find out that the ADL itself has become complicit in the extermination of ideas. You see, besides being a Jew and having escaped the atrocities visited on most of my family, I am also a member of NAMBLA. This is an organization that your Web filter arbitrarily blocks. It is an organization to which America's premier poet Allen Ginsberg belonged and to which he contributed his art and efforts. This man who has been lionized for his promotion of peace and tolerance found kindred spirits within NAMBLA.

It may be that the ADL contracted its filter to technocrats with little sense of the damage that the killing of ideas brings. It may be that the ADL simply adapted an off-the-shelf filter with-out much examination. Whatever the reason, I fervently hope that the ADL see for itself that NAMBLA's Web site defends a persecuted minority against ignorance, hatred and bigotry. Please remedy your ill-considered action.

Sincerely,

Peter Melzer

Copyright © the author, 2003. All rights reserved.