On Saturday, Denver’s beloved independent bookstore Tattered Cover released a statement “about recent events,” asserting their support for Black Lives Matter, but also defending their silence and explaining that to align the bookstore with any “public debate” is a “slippery slope.”
Bookstore Twitter (and Denver Twitter, and Literary Twitter, and Human Twitter) was not impressed:
“you see, we’re taking a stand by NOT taking a stand, look at all these other times we didn’t take a stand” is not the compellingly principled argument you think it is, @TatteredCover https://t.co/9k2YogozEQ
— Emily Hughes ✨ (@emilyhughes) June 7, 2020
Local bookstore announces "Black Lives Matter" and "We believe there must be systemic change" — then goes on to explain why it must remain neutral on the subject of racial injustice https://t.co/cWs7CaA8YI
— Matt Sebastian (@mattsebastian) June 8, 2020
"It's not for us to determine which ideas in the pages on our shelves are valid and which are not"
Let me know when you have an opinion on whether my killing in the streets a 🙂or a ☹️.
— Ben Philippe (@gohomeben) June 7, 2020
I think I understand your idea of valuing being a neutral space but this reads very badly. Stating your support of BLM and then saying you will not actually show support negates the first statement.
— Small Beer Press . . . Book Moon (@smallbeerpress) June 8, 2020
This is beyond disappointing. Independent bookstores absolutely have the power – privilege – to decide what they put on their shelves and promote. So neutrality in this regard is itself a decision. And not the right one. pic.twitter.com/LjZct0uf0V
— riffraff (@riffraffpvd) June 7, 2020
So "a space free from judgment" means not judging white supremacy & racism? Not judging a system that lets a men die with a knee on his neck? Some things are worth judging. I am so disappointed that a store I loved is failing to stand up for justice.
— katemessner (@KateMessner) June 8, 2020
If you set out to write a statement about Black Lives Matter and find yourself writing the words "Ted Nugent," something has gone wrong and it's time to start over.
— Ian Dickson (@IanJDickson) June 7, 2020
To sum up:
— Maris Kreizman (@mariskreizman) June 7, 2020
Also, just going to leave this list of Black-owned independent bookstores who are open for your online orders here.