March 31, 2006

Closed Borders

You may recall that a Borders bookstore was destroyed on 9/11 in the attacks on the World Trade Center.

You would then be surprised to learn that Borders has almost no books on the events of 9/11 in its New York City bookstores. I don't know about elsewhere, I have only the report of Van at Kesher Talk of his search at

bizarro-world bookstore, where the most fateful world-historical event of our times did not occur. A visitor to either store would find it almost impossible to learn what happened that day -- what happened to set in motion the chain of events that led to many other books that Borders is happy to carry, such as plans to impeach President Bush.

Then I learn from Sisu that a Borders employee reports that they are not allowed to put their copies of the Koran on any shelf other than the top.

And now Borders and Waldenbooks has banned the April-May issue of the magazine Free Inquiry because it reprinted the Danish cartoons inside its covers. The reason Borders gives is its hypothetical fear of violence from radical Muslims and its desire to protect customers and employees. This confused moral stand is nothing but a craven capitulation to perceived threats and possible bullying.

Robert Bidinotto rightly asks what next? Banning Jewish books because of threats by skinheads? Books on abortion because a pro-life fanatic might threaten you? Books on organized crime because some Mafioso could scare you? Pornographic books because some crazed feminist might threaten harm?

Could it be that Borders' recent MOU with the United Arab Emirates has anything to do with it?

Remember when Borders hosted events to highlight the tragedy of banned books? Tim Blair does.

I watch American corporations like Yahoo! supply the Chinese government with its list of cyberdissidents from their email database. Some of those dissidents are now in jail. To their credit, neither Google nor MSN have stooped so low. Unable to make moral distinctions, Yahoo! founder Jerry Lang shrugs it off reports Rebecca MacKinnon in Yahoo! Abomination.

Stephen Green at Vodkapundit drives it home.

President Bush isn’t a fascist, and I can prove it.

We’ve seen what American bookstores and publications and universities do when confronted with real fascists: they knuckle under. You might not be able to find those Danish cartoons anyplace respectable, but you’ll sure find lots of anti-Bush stuff.

Ipso facto, America is doing just fine, thankyouverymuch.

After 9/11when terror was brought to our door, many of us wondered what we could do as individuals. What I plan to do and what you can do is NOT PATRONIZE those companies or stores that knuckle under to fascist threats or perceived threats. Borders is adding to the climate of fear by undermining our freedom of the press. They are making it easier for any thug to threaten violence to get books they don't like removed from shelves.

Don't go there. Don't patronize bookstores that are afraid. Don't buy books at stores that undermine our liberal values.

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Posted by Jill Fallon at March 31, 2006 07:42 PM | Permalink

Its really easy to search on-line for what books are carried at borders stores. I look on-line at at 6 different borders stores including two nyc locations. I'm not sure exactly what books were looked for but i did find some available at the nyc locations... They did all have the 9/11 commission report: in History and politics. I am always amazed at how stupid many bookstore employees are. I've on more than one occasion gone up to a customer confused by what the employee has said to correct said employee. the only way to ask for anything at a bookstore is to march in with ISBN in hand to a kiosk to search for yourself. that said, i've been wary of borders for awhile. I see their magazine selection, what is not carried and the layout (liberal/anarchist mags to the front, National review one copy in the back)... Same thing with the books... 20 copies of michael moore out on an end cap table, vs. one copy of O'reilly or coulter on the bottom shelf (not to mention the wall o'chomsky).... and for the record... all the stores carried Robert Spencer books and Oriana Fallaci.

Mein Kampf was also in every store.


Posted by: teri at April 1, 2006 12:14 AM

Nice roundup. Thanks for the link. :)

Posted by: Sissy Willis at April 1, 2006 06:58 AM