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Press ReleaseAnti-Semitism-USA
RULE
ADL Says Record Label Response to Complaint About Public Enemy Song "Swindler's Lust" Unacceptable

New York, New York, June 22, 1999 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today said it found "completely unacceptable" the response of Atomic Pop Records to concerns the title and lyrics of a new Public Enemy song issued on its label are anti-Semitic and offensive to Jews.

"Denying the existence of anti-Semitism doesn’t make the problem go away," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "The record company’s response to the Public Enemy song ‘Swindler’s Lust’ is completely unacceptable."

Mr. Foxman said that while the League respects the First Amendment rights of Public Enemy, it remains "deeply offended" at both the lyrics and the record company’s response to ADL concerns. "Now we’re going to exercise our First Amendment rights by standing up and calling this unambiguous anti-Semitism."

In a June 17 letter to record company executives, Mr. Foxman said he was "outraged and offended" by the title and lyrics to `Swindlers Lust’ on the new Public Enemy album There’s a Poison Goin On, which he said makes obvious references to Jews and the Holocaust. Mr. Foxman said the song’s lyrics contain "classic anti-Semitic code words and seem to blame Jews for the plight of financially underprivileged Blacks."

Liz Morentin, Vice President of Media Relations for Atomic Pop, said today in a written response that the lyrics contain "no anti-Semitic references. We support artistic freedom, yet we are aware that art is always subject to interpretation."

Aside from the title, a play on the Steven Spielberg movie "Schindler’s List," the song’s lyrics make references to the Holocaust and the six million, according to Foxman.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.



 
 
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1999 Anti-Defamation League