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Portland Powell’s Bookstore announces it won’t sell Andy Ngo’s book in store

LOLCats

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Sep 5, 2013
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not shocked. so tolerant, force a bookstore to close because they sell a book you disagree with.
Portland icon Powell’s Books said Monday it would not place “Unmasked” by Andy Ngo on store shelves, though the anti-antifa book will remain in its online catalog.

The announcement followed calls online for the store to be “picketed.” Despite Powell’s decision to keep the book off its shelves, a small crowd of protesters gathered outside the store’s flagship location on NW 10th Ave. and Burnside St., plastering the windows with signs and prompting the store to close early for the day.

 

Iorv3th

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I saw a tweet earlier with them being picketed and forced to close the store for the day.
 

Heavy_D206

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My gf goes to the book store pretty often and she said it's getting really annoying seeing the White Fragility crap displayed all over the front when you first walk in. I'm guessing woke white people buy those books to display in their living room as a silent sign to everyone how "cool" they are with other races. Stocking Andy's book would definitely be violating their safe space.
 
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Cato

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So the theory goes like this then:
"... and then when Antifa comes to burn down and smash all the small businesses on this block, they will recognize our name and shout
'hey guys, leave this store alone, they have cancelled Andy's book, lets only destroy and burn all other stores, ok?'"

Interesting theory. Lets see how it works out.
(and it is portland, how brave of them to cancel a book that they will never sell a single copy of.)
 
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JSoup

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What....are they protesting, exactly?
The book isn't even out for another three weeks.
Kinda jumping the gun here.
 

AV

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Back in reality:

 

Cato

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Back in reality:


Yeah, jeez. Just imagine how many of these books, with this cover, a bookstore, in central portland would sell.
Will he be laying off staff to compensate from the loss of revenue now the he will not sell it? /s

In other news, I think Amber Heard seems to be completely mental so I will never go out on a date with her ever. Take that Amber!!! Feel the burn!!!
 

Boss Mog

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Force all the small businesses to close and you're left with Amazon, which you can't protest or smash and does nothing for your local community.
This is why I believe huge corporations have suddenly embraced the left. Traditionally corporations have leaned right due to fewer regulations and more freedom to make profits. But companies like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, etc... have so much money now that they can't really get any bigger unless they remove all other competition and help directly establish policy themselves. Why bother having middlemen lobbyists begging government officials for favors on your behalf when you can just become the government officials yourself and make sure you stay there by censoring any opponents and labeling them as dangerous extremists. We've seen it with a number of former big tech execs being given posts within the Biden administration. The left in turn gets to have their opposition silenced and can use big tech to completely control it's citizens and keep them in check. I'm not one for conspiracy theories but even I have to admit that the timing of covid was absolutely perfect for them because let's face it if covid didn't happen Trump would've most likely won the election. It doesn't really bode well for the future.

Back in reality:

I like how it's classified as "Radical". Imagine a world where thinking antifa was bad is considered "radical" or "extreme"; well we're there apparently...
 

AV

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I like how it's classified as "Radical". Imagine a world where thinking antifa was bad is considered "radical" or "extreme"; well we're there apparently...

In fairness, #3 is "The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America".
 
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Boss Mog

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In fairness, #3 is "The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America".
Oh so you're saying it's a section about radical political movements and not the books themselves being classified as radical then? If so then that makes sense and I misinterpreted it.
 
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Ogbert

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This is why I believe huge corporations have suddenly embraced the left. Traditionally corporations have leaned right due to fewer regulations and more freedom to make profits. But companies like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, etc... have so much money now that they can't really get any bigger unless they remove all other competition and help directly establish policy themselves

I think people are slowly waking up to the problem. Big Tech has jumped on social justice because it drowns out any potential discussion of their financial structure and tax dodging.

The proliferation of their power is, ironically, down to the failure of the left. When was the last time you heard anyone left wing talking about economics? It’s disappeared. They lost the economic argument so their politics have been overrun by ‘progressives’ who push ever more fucking insane ideas.

If you actually take a step back. Why in Good Christ’s name are Starbucks lecturing people about Trans rights? Shouldn’t they spend more time paying tax for schools and hospitals?

But, like the smart capitalists they are, they’ve worked out that all you need to do is keep the woke mob onside to drown out any valid criticisms.
 

Boss Mog

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I think people are slowly waking up to the problem. Big Tech has jumped on social justice because it drowns out any potential discussion of their financial structure and tax dodging.

The proliferation of their power is, ironically, down to the failure of the left. When was the last time you heard anyone left wing talking about economics? It’s disappeared. They lost the economic argument so their politics have been overrun by ‘progressives’ who push ever more fucking insane ideas.

If you actually take a step back. Why in Good Christ’s name are Starbucks lecturing people about Trans rights? Shouldn’t they spend more time paying tax for schools and hospitals?

But, like the smart capitalists they are, they’ve worked out that all you need to do is keep the woke mob onside to drown out any valid criticisms.
Very well said.
 

Maiden Voyage

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Powell's full statement:
At Powell’s, a lot of our inventory is hand-selected, and hand-promoted. And a lot of our inventory is not. With several million titles available online at any given moment, complete hand-curation is not possible. Unmasked by Andy Ngo came to us through an automatic data feed via one of our long-term and respected publishers, Hachette Book Group. We list the majority of their catalogue automatically, as do many other independent and larger retailers. We have a similar arrangement with other publishers.

This book will not be on our store shelves, and we will not promote it. That said, it will remain in our online catalogue. We carry books that we find anywhere from simply distasteful or badly written, to execrable, as well as those that we treasure. We believe it is the work of bookselling to do so.

Decades ago we received credible bomb threats for selling the work of Salman Rushdie, and yet we carried on. We cannot behave any differently today when we feel differently about the book or writer in question.

Please see our full commitment to free speech below.



As an independent bookstore, Powell’s believes that it is our responsibility to respect your choice of reading material. We are dedicated to providing a wide array of books, authors, viewpoints, and voices, and our selection is one of the things that sets Powell’s apart from our peers in bookselling. We provide these options out of deference to the First Amendment, but just as importantly, because we believe that exposure to a multiplicity of writing — in fiction and nonfiction alike — facilitates critical thinking and spurs conversation and growth.

There are books in our stores and online inventory that contain ideas that run counter to our company’s and our employees’ values of safety, equality, and justice. However, many of us also read these books to inform ourselves about events; learn about local and global history; and to understand the arguments of people and groups with whom we disagree. While we understand that our decision to carry such books upsets some customers and staff members, we do not want to create an echo chamber of preapproved voices and ideas. It is not our mission or inclination to decide to whom our customers should listen.

Our reading lists, blog posts, and store displays highlight and promote our support for minority voices, racial justice, and human rights. We will use our platform to amplify righteous causes. We will, however, also continue to carry a broad inventory because we believe it is the best way to do the fundamental work of bookselling, which is to make available and disseminate ideas and foster dialogue.

Interesting to bring bomb threats from one of Salman Rushdie's book launches. I can't imagine ever protesting the selling of a book. Seems counter to the first amendment, but this is also a group that wants to dismantle the government so less surprising.

I hope the Antifa people can get the education they so desperately need.
 

TKOFromTokyo

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They’re free to sell the book in store and face the consequences of being cancelled by the angry mob for selling a book that is not part of the group think because they must be assholes who deserve it. - People literally think this way
 

njr

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How the hell does Andy Ngo safely live in Portland? These people are absolutely demented.

 

Ogbert

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Powell's full statement:


Interesting to bring bomb threats from one of Salman Rushdie's book launches. I can't imagine ever protesting the selling of a book. Seems counter to the first amendment, but this is also a group that wants to dismantle the government so less surprising.

I hope the Antifa people can get the education they so desperately need.
Ironically, if you pointed out who was calling in those bomb threats and questioning the role of that ideology, Antifa would call you islamaphobes and come and throw a brick through your window.

What tiresome clowns they are. Are we not yet at the point where we simply tire of their antics? The city of Portland is being held hostage by a bunch of middle class performance artists.
 

Maiden Voyage

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For those too young to get the connection Powell's made to Salmon Rushdie:

In the United States, the FBI was notified of 78 threats to bookstores in early March 1989, thought to be a small proportion of the total number of threats. B. Dalton bookstore chain received 30 threats in less than three hours.[citation needed] Bombings of book stores included two in Berkeley, California. In New York, the office of a community newspaper, The Riverdale Press, was all but destroyed by firebombs following the publication of an editorial defending the right to read the novel and criticizing the bookstores that pulled it from their shelves.[31] But the United Kingdom was the country where violence against bookstores occurred most often and persisted the longest. Two large bookstores in Charing Cross Road, London, (Collets and Dillons) were bombed on 9 April. In May, explosions went off in the town of High Wycombe and again in London, on Kings Road. Other bombings included one at a large London department store (Liberty's), in connection with the Penguin Bookshop inside the store, and at the Penguin store in York. Unexploded devices were found at Penguin stores in Guildford, Nottingham, and Peterborough.[32]

In the United States, it was unavailable in about one-third of bookstores. In many others that carried the book, it was kept under the counter.[33]
 

TheContact

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businesses have the right to not sell his book, but when public pressure forces them to do so it becomes a problem. though, how do you fix that? capitalism is based on the will of the people.
 

JSoup

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All protesting a product does is get more people to consume the product cause now they know about it.
I experienced this first hand. I remember the bombings over Rushdie in 88'/89'. I remember kids at school talking about the bombings over the "satan magic book". I remember asking my uncle, who was in several of those months book club order things, to add the book to his monthly book orders so I could get a copy.

So we're clear, I was born in 84'. That's how powerful the Streisand Effect is.
 

Woo-Fu

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If it was a choice between one author and my store getting trashed weekly if not daily I'd say goodbye to that author.

It's easy for people to take a stand on a forum when they're not risking anything to do so.

And hey, if there's one city in the world you don't need a book to learn about Antifa it is Portland.
 
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desertdroog

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businesses have the right to not sell his book, but when public pressure forces them to do so it becomes a problem. though, how do you fix that? capitalism is based on the will of the people.
It is one thing for a product or book to fail because it can't sell, it is another thing entirely when businesses are intimidated by threat of violence to completely shut down from doing business because a book is being targeted by a criminal group.

Capitalism is not based on the ability for someone's livelihood to be shut down for selling legal wares, because mobs have a different political ideology and use threat of violence to destroy that persons business. You cannot engage in free enterprise if your freedoms are being curtailed via extrajudicial means due to a terrible city/state leaders and a useless police force.
 
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If a bookstore refuses to put a book on it's physical shelves..
But is still prepared to sell it online..
And online customers would likely have to give a delivery address for their purchase to be sent to..

..who has confidence that the addresses or details of those customers wouldn't find themselves put onto some list of dissenters?

I appreciate there are laws governing the protection of personal information.
But there are also laws saying "don't assault people, don't burn stuff down".
And we've seen plenty of "Oops, sorry - but I guess the damage is now done. Oh well!" efforts from 'disgruntled employees' in recent times.
 

MrMephistoX

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Force all the small businesses to close and you're left with Amazon, which you can't protest or smash and does nothing for your local community.

Powell’s is a national treasure I spent many happy hours there growing up in Portland. It’s located in a part of town that probably won’t really protest this so hopefully they’re safe if wrong headed in this. Ironically they had an extensive collection of used copies of Mein Kampf last time I was there to say nothing of the collected works of Marx and Engels.
 
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I'm also of the opinion that, as a publicity stunt, Andy Ngo and his publisher should place a palette of his books down in front of the bookstore anonymously.

It would be amazing to grab a photo of short-sighted history-ignorant reactionary Antifa goons setting it ablaze.
 
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You know these antifa jerks should just get their asses kicked. Don't fuck with my store or you get a lead pipe in the head.

That will save the middle class real soon I wager.
 

Boss Mog

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How the hell does Andy Ngo safely live in Portland? These people are absolutely demented.

It's scary to think that demented degenerates like this guy are free to walk around instead of being institutionalized. Not only free to walk around but influencing what you can and can't say, read, buy, etc... I don't know how any decent person can support Biden and the Dems knowing they are supporting these kinds of people.
 
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Magenta Mage

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Businesses can choose to refuse service to anyone for any reason. Stores can choose to stock or not stock whatever they want. Or so I've been told.
 

Boss Mog

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In a decent world ambulances would show up to put these people in straight jackets and take them away so they can get the help they desperately need so that they may one day rejoin the society they're currently not fit to live in.

Who knows how many books are out there that express ideas i disagree with? Tens of thousands? Hundreds of thousands? Millions? Imagine if I went to local bookstores and shouted like a deranged lunatic for them to remove them every time one came out. Would i even have time to do anything else, would it define my whole existence? It's scary to think about the lives of these people, they must be very desperate to reach such levels of insanity. They must have this notion that if things they don't like are banned, their lives will somehow magically and radically improve, but we all know that's not true, they'll always be miserable until they get help from professionals who can put things into the proper perspective for them.
 
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