In Webb's Defense
To the Editor:
I want to reply to a letter printed Wednesday, May 3, from Professor Jindrich Zapletal. In this letter, Professor Zapletal asserted that the Communist Party not only profited off of Soviet genocide, but planned to encourage further movements of violence, horror, and inhumanity. In addition, Professor Zapletal compared Sam Webb to a leading member of the Nazi party.
This letter is disturbing for a variety of reasons. First, if Jindrich had attended the lecture and listened, he would have heard Sam Webb describe the genocide in the Soviet Union as inexcusable and criminal. Without trying to downplay the lives lost in the Soviet Union, government systems throughout history have found their hands bloodied with the lives of their own people. These atrocities are only preventable through an understanding of what exactly went on in the system. Sam Webb emphasized the need to study the Stalin system, but simultaneously recognized that Stalin's mistakes do not doom an entire system of government.
In addition, Professor Zapletal's comparison to the Nazi regime is insulting and absurd. Attaching the label Nazism to communism in the U.S., does little but denegrate and belittle the genocide during WWII. The Communist Party in the U.S. is built upon a system of love and support for fellow people. Sam Webb explained that he believes in equality in gender, race, religion. These ideas hardly contradict the notions of liberty and human rights. Any violence or death that occured in the USSR is not indicative of how the American Communist Party views the world.
Finally, in Professor Zapletal's letter he notes that the Communist Party is a "threat to the liberties, property, and the very life of every human being." Ironically with this sentence, Zapletal is hoping to deny Sam Webb our much lauded freedom to speak.
On a personal level, Sam Webb is my father. My mother is Jewish. Ignorant comments equating my father to a Nazi are painful and misplaced. I know that both my parents dream of a world of equality, justice, and freedom for all. Each morning they wake up with that credo in their hearts and minds. My father persists in his work, despite comments from uninformed people like Professor Zapletal. My father has a dedication to justice and equality that I can only admire.