Recall CRIPPLED AMERICA by Donald Trump Now: an open letter to Simon & Schuster and Threshold Editions
To Louise Burke, Publisher of Threshold Editions, a division of Simon & Schuster, and Carolyn Reidy, President and Chief Executive Officer, Simon & Schuster, Inc:
I am writing respectfully to ask that Simon & Schuster’s publishing division Threshold Editions recall all copies of CRIPPLED AMERICA by Donald Trump immediately. Given Mr. Trump’s recent statement on barring all Muslims from entering the United States, including American citizens currently abroad, by continuing to profit off of this book and its demagoguing author you are actively profiting off of hate speech that looks to shred our constitution, embolden our enemies, and divide our country. No amount of money is worth your support of this “man” and his book.
I presume that Threshold, as well as many other divisions of Simon & Schuster, both publishes and employs a number of Muslims. Mr. Trump has officially declared that those people who work for your company diligently and passionately would not be able to leave their own country and return, and that their families and friends would not be able to visit them. Think about that for a moment. Think about the example you are setting if you believe this is acceptable. Would it be acceptable if this statement was about Jews? Asians? Christians?
As an industry, publishing has dropped authors for many, many reasons over the years. Finances. Plagiarism. Racism. We have canceled contracts because authors have not earned us enough money. We have canceled contracts and recalled entire print runs because we have found that authors have copied passages from other works. S&S itself has canceled contracts because authors have lied on their resumés. Mr. Trump’s statement could cause far greater damage to this country than an author who copied others’ paragraphs, or who falsified their employment claims. And you are telling your own authors and employees that their own lives and families, essentially, do not matter.
At Threshold, you publish conservative non-fiction, and no doubt you publish many works by well-credentialed, thoughtful, strong, and compassionate conservatives who seek to improve and protect our country and enhance quality of life for those who live in it. Those voices deserve to be heard, and those books deserve to be sold and promoted. But publishing a book is not a right. This is not a First Amendment issue. Mr. Trump’s speech is protected by the government. Your obligation to pay him and package his bile is not. A presidential candidate has the responsibility for any reaction his or her words might cause. And a publisher has the responsibility of standing up to hate speech, and not continuing to pay a “man” who seeks to divide a nation for his own publicity and profit.
Because of this, I ask that you recall CRIPPLED AMERICA immediately. I hope others who care about the intrgrity of our industry, and future of our country, will agree with me.
Publisher, Polis Books