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Offensive Bookstore Display Leads to Viral Outcry

By Krissah Thompson
The e-mail begins, "Racism still exists in this country." Attached to it is a photo of a window display at a bookstore in Coral Gables, Fla., featuring eight neatly placed tomes about President Obama and his family. Smack dab in the center of the display is a book titled "MONKEYS." The author of the e-mail then encourages a boycott of the store.

"I am totally disgusted," writes the author of the e-mail, whose name has been deleted.
Vigilant Obama supporters, wary of any hint of racism directed at the country's first African American president, have sent the e-mail so many times it has gone viral. Bloggers have linked to it and, on Friday, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund wrote an article about it on its TheDefendersOnline website. It has been forwarded several times to reporters and editors at this newspaper.

The photo, which is authentic, was taken at a Barnes & Noble store in a Coral Gables shopping mall. It is a result, the company said, of a mischievous customer fooling with its display, which was intended to honor President Obama. Still, the company has been catching heat for weeks.

"The photograph being circulated on the Internet was taken by a customer in one of our stores, who maliciously placed an inappropriate title in the center of a display honoring President Obama," said Mary Ellen Keating, a Barnes & Noble spokeswoman. "The store immediately removed the title from the display."

Passions among Obama supporters run high, and the frequent calls and e-mails that Keating continues to receive in the wake of the incident, which occurred two weeks ago, are proof that they are wary -- and watching.

By Web Politics Editor  |  March 2, 2009; 5:27 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama  
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Comments

It bothers me that people are using this site just to insult each other instead of speaking to the issue, that of racism. But the other issue that has been raised is infuriating: questioning Barack Obama's citizenship. Obama's mother was a citizen of the U.S.; he was born in Hawaii; he has a birth certificate to prove it. What part of that is so difficult to understand? He is a citizen of the U.S.; he is President of the U.S.; deal with it.

And speak to the issues at hand, instead of venting such disturbing stuff. And maybe read up on issues and inform yourself before you start ranting! People keep talking about their freedom to speak up --yeah, that's right. But could you demonstrate a little intelligence?

Posted by: PatriciaT1 | March 4, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

POTUS Obama was not my first pick for this office. I had some doubts about his religion, his connections with ACORN, etc. However, as soon as he was elected, he became our Commander in Chief and deserves our support. This kind of juvenile rascism needs to STOP. I hope his girls remember the good parts of their daddy becoming the President and never have the memories of the AMAZING USA greeting their family with this level of cruelty. To the person that did this to the display - GROW UP! Be a real man or woman and do something with your time - go get a job, go back to school, become a productive part of our society. We have too many people not actively engaging in community and that is what is leading to the problems we have as a nation today. THIS HAS TO STOP. Even if he turns out to be a crappy President - NO ONE DESERVES THIS!!!!!!!!

Posted by: gwoman2 | March 4, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

alaskan2:

The Republican Party didn't bring up Rev. Wright either, probably for fear of being labeled "racists". McCain had his own "natural born" citizenship issue. Regardless, if Obama is not legally qualified to be President, he should not have been elected -- Biden is technically Acting President -- nothing Obama has done as President is legal.

Posted by: JakeD | March 3, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

If you all would quit responding to jaked he will go away. If no one responds he will have to respond to himself.
He is a tool/fool.

Posted by: katerinaDeligiannis | March 3, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

I am constantly amazed that people like JakeD are still walking around this world. Don't you think if there was any inkling of truth to what you, Jake, try to claim about our president, the republican party would have been all over it? Do you really think they wouldn't have? You cannot possibly be that naive or mentally challenged to think otherwise. Just give it up Jake. You don't have to like it, but Barack H. Obama is the President of the United States and you are going to have to live with it. Thank God.

Posted by: alaskan2 | March 3, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

I don't think that Krissah Thompson is trying to annoy anyone either.

Posted by: JakeD | March 3, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't care less about annoying kashabear, but I firmly believe the Constitution is on my side that Obama is not President if he is not a "natural born" citizen.

Posted by: JakeD | March 3, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

"JakeD operates under the very misguided belief that Barack Obama cannot be our legal POTUS because he isn't a natural born citizen"

You are mistaken. He's just trying to annoy you, just like the guy in the article.

Posted by: zukermand | March 3, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

He does look a little like curious george, does he not?

Posted by: goziner | March 3, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

So, for those of you who continue to claim that Obama was not sworn in on the 20th of January, how about checking the news for events that took place on the 21st?

Posted by: Marve1 | March 3, 2009 9:45 AM

----
Marve1 -
the always delusional JakeD doesn't care if there are a million hours of tape showing the ceremony or the election results to prove that Obama was duly sworn in. JakeD operates under the very misguided belief that Barack Obama cannot be our legal POTUS because he isn't a natural born citizen.

If you believe JakeD, Obama has managed to pull off the greatest scam in the country, and JakeD somehow is one of only a handful of people who (think they) know the truth about Obama's real identity. You cannot talk reason to JakeD, so don't waste your time trying. Delusional people don't respond well to reason.

Posted by: kashabear | March 3, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Judge = Chief Justice (unless you simply "cut and paste" that from someone who does not know the difference either?)

Posted by: JakeD | March 3, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Marve1:

Could Gov. Schwarzenegger similarly be elected without changing the "natural born" citizenship requirement?

Posted by: JakeD | March 3, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Well, since Barack Hussein Obama is a gifted individual, he has no problems surrounding himself with excellent advisers. Their advice: have a do-over the next day. While constitutional experts and the White House's own lawyers insisted a repeat of Tuesday's ceremony was not necessary, Obama's team is savvy enough and wanted to stave away any conspiracy theories that ill-informed people would be spreading throughout the internet, questioning the legitimacy of Obama's presidency. So, the next day, Supreme Court Judge Roberts and President Barack Hussein Obama held a second swearing-in ceremony at 7:35 pm ET. This time Roberts -- and Obama -- got the words in the right order.

The Constitution clearly states that a president officially cedes his office to his successor at noon on the 20th of January. The swear-in ceremony is a pomp and circumstance of a fact: the new president will take office officially and the previous president has to vacate the White House.

So, for those of you who continue to claim that Obama was not sworn in on the 20th of January, how about checking the news for events that took place on the 21st? Furthermore, the American people voted and put him in the White House, with ceremony or without.

Posted by: Marve1 | March 3, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Are you saying that raccoons do NOT love raw eggs?

Posted by: JakeD | March 2, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse


At least I wasn't wrong ; (

Posted by: JakeDelusional | March 2, 2009 10:24 PM

---------------------

Wow! Jake is even wrong about being wrong!

How much wronger can that fool be?

Posted by: kevinschmidt | March 2, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

"Barack HUSSEIN Obama Jr. (assuming that Sr. was even his real father) was not sworn in on January 20, 2009. If you don't believe me, ask JRM2.

Posted by: JakeD | March 2, 2009 9:03 PM"
-------
The post below tells you all you need to know about JakeD,
----------
"Raccoons love raw eggs too. Was this one caught in the Oval Office? Instead of the Easter Egg roll, are they going to use watermelons this year?"

Posted by: JakeD | February 25, 2009 4:40 PM

Posted by: JRM2 | March 2, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

I know that Art. II, Sec. 1 of the CONSTITUTION requires the President be a "natural born" citizen.

Posted by: JakeD | March 2, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

"Obama is NOT legally President of the United States (or do you Obamaniacs want to outlaw the rendering of legal opinions now too?)."

No, we'd just prefer them to be rendered by someone with a clue about constitutional law. Or, for the matter, the Constitution.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | March 2, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

At least I wasn't wrong ; )

Posted by: JakeD | March 2, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

JakeD,

I see when you landed it was on your head. So all this time you pretended to be a lawyer, you were actually harboring conspiracy fantasies about about Barack's parentage? I see.

I'd be wasting my time with any attempts at reason then. I don't play with 911-Truthers, Holocaust deniers and similar fools except to ridicule them, and I haven't time for that tonight, so I'll just enjoy the knowledge that you're desperately tilting at windmills instead of doing anything productive with your time. It does give me a great deal of satisfaction after enduring your stupidity during last year's election season, believe me.

Have a great night, although you seem perpetually in Dreamland regardless of the hour. LOL

Posted by: whatmeregister | March 2, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

whatmeregister:

Barack HUSSEIN Obama Jr. (assuming that Sr. was even his real father) was not sworn in on January 20, 2009. If you don't believe me, ask JRM2.

Posted by: JakeD | March 2, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

JakeD,

You unequivocally claimed a couple hundred times (at least) last year that Barack HUSSEIN Obama would not be sworn in as President of the United States on January 20, 2009.

You were wrong a couple hundred times (at least). I and a couple million friends were there on the Mall to see it firsthand.

You can keep whining your denials for the next eight years. Meanwhile, we who still believe in the real America will support our country and its legally and duly elected President. We have a lot of work ahead of us to undo our near-ruination under the Bush regime you so worshipped.

Welcome to the real world. I hope your arrival wasn't too jarring. Maybe Rush has some leftover Oxycontin he can send your way to soften the impact. :-D

Posted by: whatmeregister | March 2, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Sutter:

Are you still confused?

Posted by: JakeD | March 2, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Ombudsman1:

In addition, where does the WaPo get off judging that this was an "offensive" display? Leave that for the Opinion Page.

Posted by: JakeD | March 2, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

RedBird27:

Obama is NOT legally President of the United States (or do you Obamaniacs want to outlaw the rendering of legal opinions now too?).

Posted by: JakeD | March 2, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

"Passions among Obama supporters run high"

Oh, passion is a very "PR" word for these people.

The word "Stupidity" jumped to most people's minds, but they're just not admitting it.

I would never say that, I'm just pointing out what other people are saying.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | March 2, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

BN should make a false confession?!

Posted by: JakeD | March 2, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

"Mischievous customer"? That's a pretty lame excuse. Even if that is true, BN needed to 'fess up and shorten the lifespan of this controversy.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | March 2, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

You get to be President you have to live with this stuff.

If it'd been Bush everybody would have thought it was funny.

Posted by: RedBird27 | March 2, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

PowerBoater:

What kind of boat do you have? Seriously, on topic, is something like that worth getting upset about?

Posted by: JakeD | March 2, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

People are making racial slurs about Rush Limbaugh now? Maybe because he is increasingly perceived as a song and dance man?
But I digress: one way to spread such slurs is to denounce them publicly and send them to everyone you think of, right, left, and center.
When I worked in a bookstore, I upset a few people (they said they were offended) when I put a book advocating Satanism alongside other popular religious stuff in the Religion section. What could be more religious than satanism? Science it ain't. Management warned me against humor on the job and put the book back in the Spirituality section from which I had removed it. Spiritual? What an outrageous accusation.
But there was no outcry, alas! That might have been a real hoot.

Posted by: morphex | March 2, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

P. S. I also hope that Obama fails to turn us into a socialistic country.

Posted by: JakeD | March 2, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

They had the same display up at the Barnes and Noble here in Alexandria this weekend, I should have taken a picture.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | March 2, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

I mean, if you believe in Darwinism, then Obama IS a monkey.

Posted by: JakeD | March 2, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

So it's OK only if you attack Limbaugh or the Cowboys?

Posted by: JakeD | March 2, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

HAHA. I love vandalising store displays, though I usually stick to messing with Cowboys merchandise.

Posted by: ImpeachObama | March 2, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey, there are people who put any and all Limbaugh books in "child fiction."

I'm one of them.

Yeagh!

Posted by: bs2004 | March 2, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

No, I don't.

Posted by: JakeD | March 2, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

JakeD is a man who wishes he were a girl.

Posted by: swatkins1 | March 2, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

vincel:

You have no Constitutional right to libel.

Posted by: JakeD | March 2, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

And Jake D., you can say whatever you want, too, just so long as no one takes away my First Amendment right to say you're a racist, ignorant yahoo. Fortunately, you and your ilk are a dying breed.

Posted by: vincel | March 2, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I think JakeD is thinking of the last President of the U.S., who showed such disdain for the Bill of Rights.

Posted by: Sutter | March 2, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I guess so, since it's gone "viral". Just as long as no one takes away my First Amendment right to call Obama a monkey, go ahead and send around a million e-mails.

Posted by: JakeD | March 2, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, is something like that worth getting upset?

Posted by: BigBubba1 | March 2, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

LOL

Posted by: JakeD | March 2, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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