As it seems, Obama’s Monkey Shines continue. This time, it was at a Barnes & Noble bookstore in Coral Gables: where it showcased a series of books about President and First Lady Obama, with a book about monkeys accentuated in the middle. See for yourself:
Once this photo was leaked, a spokesperson from B&N immediately released the following statement:
Barnes & Noble would like to publicly apologize for what happened in our Coral Gables, Florida store. We believe that a customer played a cruel joke and placed an inappropriate title in the front window of our store, where we were featuring books written by or about President Obama. We want to assure our customers that the book placed by someone other than our booksellers was never intended to be included in our display and was removed as soon as we became aware of the situation. We are looking into it and are taking the steps necessary so that it does not happen again. From time to time customers will move titles from one area of the store to another. In this particular case, we do not condone whatever message may have been intended with the placement of this title in our Presidential display. It certainly was not part of our merchandising and we regret that we didn’t see the placement of this title immediately.
Once again, being absent of complete certainty of what happened, I’m willing to give B&N the benefit of the doubt. You can relax B, I’m not quite ready to terminate my patronage with you. For all I know, this stunt could have been pulled off by a lone, racist employee or a smart alec student at the U (I’m certainly not imply that the University of Miami is a safe haven for racists. Its just that colleges and college towns are notorious for having smart asses). For that matter, the culprit could have been a regular customer, as B&N has suggested.
Outside of having the display case locked at all times, assigning specific people to keep the display stocked, and having a camera focused in directly on the display case, there was not much that could have been done to prevent this. For this reason, I have a hard time putting the entire corporation – on even that location – on trial. The antics of one idiot who may or may not even be affiliated with B&N is not enough to turn me off to the company forever.
What are your thoughts? I’m curious to hear…
Hat tip to a regular reader, Megan, for this story.