Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bookstore 1

     As I entered the B&N bookstore, the first thing I saw was a displayyan all black display. It is February: February's Black History Month," so every book could be called a book with the "black" theme. Everything black is there from the criminal with "a hellhound on my trail" to a Southern Cooking book by "The Neelys," intro by Paula Deen (well, I guess that doesn't count).
     Overall it is a very white society, and if our basic fantasy of a bookstore is to have a lot of fun reading books, it is also a white society and a white fantasy. But, then, what does it mean to announce policy of equality, towards blacks. Of course, the U. S. did that already; this is already 40 or 45 years old. It happened because of King. We were all "converted." It is an "interior" kind of equality.
     Does the complete acceptanceor promotionof a "black" category for M.L.K.jr. Day and Black History Month indicate that, a) there is equality or that, b) there should be? 
     What then does it mean to put a black display up in the white society's market place? This display looks like a museum piece, displaying a profound equality. It is the creation of an interior world. Do the want to act "as if" there is equality, or actively promote it? If they want to actively promote it, do they want to actively promote it in an interior fashion, or in the real world? If they are intent on promoting equality in an interior fashion, what does that mean? Bit wait---no one can judge another's interior dimension. 
     So, we fall back on neutrality. Neutrality is the theme. We fall back on the view that we are objective, neutral.
     The real world is not Barnes & Noble's job.

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