again with the monkeys

a barnes & noble window display…


Circulating via email, a photo taken of a window of the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Coral Gables, Florida featuring a display of Barack Obama books into which a book named ‘Monkeys’ has been inserted.

Official statement from Barnes & Noble, Inc.:

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. 

Mary Ellen Keating, Spokesperson
Barnes & Noble, Inc.

sorry mary ellen. i’ve actually been to a barnes & noble before, and i highly doubt that some stealth customer squeezed unnoticed into the window display and made the old switcheroo.

8 thoughts on “again with the monkeys

  1. Jeeeezus!!!

    Those eyes…..

    **head explodes** after looking at that header pic.

    And oh… (from what Grey Matter I have left)… the Barnes and Noble story is yet another sick joke. An opportunity to dehumanize the most powerful Black man in the Country…is just too hard to pass up for some folks. So i’m afraid that we will be seeing more of this in the future.

    It still amazes me how some Whites will bring up George Bush and the many instances when he was called Chimp, caricatured as Curious George, etc…as a way to defend the use of Monkeys to symbolize Obama. For some strange reason, they don’t see the difference in context.

    The Curious George thing was brought about as a result of G.W.B being considered a dunce and more of a weak figurehead earlier in his Presidency (which he was). That’s a simple political context…and everyone understood it as such.

    In Obama’s case there is a well documented racial context that goes back several decades… that somehow Whites aren’t able to see. You will continue to see folks make excuses for this and use the G.W.B. example as a way to brush it aside as no big deal.

    As bloggers, we have to keep pointing out that the contexts in which these images are used are very different…and therefore the meanings aren’t going to be the same. Perspective changes perception. Historical context often changes the meaning of words and symbols.

  2. goodness they just cant give obama a rest. goodness. i think this book arrangement is so off. how a store blame it on the customers without being notice. i wonder how long it was up before they noticed it. hmmm. that might tell if this was intended or not. idk

  3. It depends on the design of the B&N. I know there are some where I’ve seen customers able to grab the book right off the display. I’ll give B&N the benefit of doubt.

  4. it is possible. it just looks to me like it’s one of those tight areas very close to the window and the monkey book is in the middle so it wasn’t just reaching over the top and switching the top row. i think that’s what one would do if they had no right to be messing with the display and didn’t want to be caught. i guess we’ll never know for sure 🙂

  5. Grinsteads and the Driggers’ ancestors are not going to like this due to the offensive nature for calling an African-American person a rude remark.

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