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Old 06-15-2020, 01:16 PM   #1
Paperbackstash
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Coalition Presses Tattered Cover to Make Changes

Tattered Cover, the Denver literary icon that Len Vlahos and Kristen Gilligan bought five years ago from Joyce Meskis continues to come under fire for a statement the owners posted on the store’s website on Saturday. In it, the couple disclosed that while they sympathize with the Black Lives Movement, the bookstore would remain neutral in the current protests against racial injustice. They cited the store's “nearly 50-year policy of not engaging in public debate,” stating that to do so now “would be anathema to a different principle that we also hold dear, and one that is central, we believe, to the role of an independent bookstore: a place where access to ideas, and the free exchange of ideas, can happen in an uninhibited way.” The couple backtracked within days due to a deluge of criticism on social media, as well several staff resignations and at least two virtual author event cancellations (the store remains closed to foot traffic).

Although the co-owners offered a public apology to customers and staff on Monday, acknowledging that a “policy of non-engagement is wrong-headed” and promised that, moving forward, they would “use Tattered Cover's voice as a force for good and positive change,” many members of Colorado's literary world remain concerned regarding the relationship between Tattered Cover and the BIPOC community in the Greater Denver metro area. The store has four outlets, three in Denver and one in Littleton; there are also several Tattered Cover-branded outlets at the Denver International Airport.


Rest of article here -
https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/...red-cover.html
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Old 06-15-2020, 01:19 PM   #2
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I know Starbucks is under fire for the same thing (not wanting their employees to wear T-shirts or symbols expressing support, or anti-support, for BLM or other political statements.) Now they are being boycotted

I do miss the thought that businesses could choose to be neutral if they didn't want to stir feathers in either direction and just focus on, well, their business.

I support BLM, don't get me wrong, and I support protests. I'm uncomfortable with our societal trend of boycotting for political disagreements. I remember reading restaurants were banning customers they knew were Pro-Trump, or vice versa - since when is that okay and legal? To me this is similar. If they do not want to get involved in the current protests, does that mean boycotts, threats, or potential fires/lobby damage?
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Old 06-15-2020, 01:28 PM   #3
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I would guess that it depends on how bad the activity is (or perceived to be) that people are protesting about. If it was something similar to WWII Germany and in the US blacks (instead of Jews) were being rounded up and sent to extermination camps I'm sure that we'd all be protesting.

Last edited by hobnail; 06-15-2020 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 06-15-2020, 03:08 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Paperbackstash View Post
I know Starbucks is under fire for the same thing (not wanting their employees to wear T-shirts or symbols expressing support, or anti-support, for BLM or other political statements.) Now they are being boycotted

I do miss the thought that businesses could choose to be neutral if they didn't want to stir feathers in either direction and just focus on, well, their business.

I support BLM, don't get me wrong, and I support protests. I'm uncomfortable with our societal trend of boycotting for political disagreements. I remember reading restaurants were banning customers they knew were Pro-Trump, or vice versa - since when is that okay and legal? To me this is similar. If they do not want to get involved in the current protests, does that mean boycotts, threats, or potential fires/lobby damage?
As Michael Jordon once famously said when asked why he didn't publicly support a Democratic candidate - "Republicans buy shoes, too". Not engaging in public controversy used to be considered a prudent thing to do for a business.
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Old 06-15-2020, 03:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Paperbackstash View Post
I know Starbucks is under fire for the same thing (not wanting their employees to wear T-shirts or symbols expressing support, or anti-support, for BLM or other political statements.) Now they are being boycotted

I do miss the thought that businesses could choose to be neutral if they didn't want to stir feathers in either direction and just focus on, well, their business.

I support BLM, don't get me wrong, and I support protests. I'm uncomfortable with our societal trend of boycotting for political disagreements. I remember reading restaurants were banning customers they knew were Pro-Trump, or vice versa - since when is that okay and legal? To me this is similar. If they do not want to get involved in the current protests, does that mean boycotts, threats, or potential fires/lobby damage?
I understand for boycotting a business because you disagree with their politics. For example, Hobby Lobby who gets to ban people who are gay because they disagre with people being gay and it's a religious thing. But for being neutral? That's lame.
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Old 06-15-2020, 03:48 PM   #6
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I understand for boycotting a business because you disagree with their politics. For example, Hobby Lobby who gets to ban people who are gay because they disagre with people being gay and it's a religious thing. But for being neutral? That's lame.
Sure, I can get behind stuff such as that -- but that in itself is making a public statement.

But boycotting or protesting for those who want to remain neutral when it comes to business practices and work uniforms, this should be fine.
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Old 06-15-2020, 04:04 PM   #7
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I do miss the thought that businesses could choose to be neutral if they didn't want to stir feathers in either direction and just focus on, well, their business.
I think their problem was releasing the statement. If they want to remain neutral then they should have remained silent. Don't draw attention to yourself only to say "I have nothing to say." People know a cop-out when they read one.
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Old 06-15-2020, 04:23 PM   #8
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I think their problem was releasing the statement. If they want to remain neutral then they should have remained silent. Don't draw attention to yourself only to say "I have nothing to say." People know a cop-out when they read one.
Making a statement that you aren't making a statement is contributing to the problem. Replace that with something like "we support efforts to stop child exploitation, but we don't want to say so in case it is a bad take for some of the customers..." The BUT negates the sentiment even more than being silent does.

Anything else I would like to say here, I won't because it belongs in the politics thread (even though I don't really know that I agree with it being relegated there).
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Old 06-16-2020, 01:22 PM   #9
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I understand for boycotting a business because you disagree with their politics. For example, Hobby Lobby who gets to ban people who are gay because they disagre with people being gay and it's a religious thing. But for being neutral? That's lame.
People can and do boycott businesses for all sorts of reasons. Some businesses such as Hobby Lobby and Chick-fil-a are pretty open about their religious affiliations. Your choice not to buy from them if you feel offended by that. Hobby Lobby, of course, didn't ban anyone. The Hobby Lobby case was about covering contraceptives in employee health coverage.
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