An Alaskan journalist's perspective on local and national issues

A story that needs to be addressed but is being rather underplayed is of a recent decision by Barnes and Noble.  A Scottsdale resident has accused the chain of descrimination after he was kicked out of the store for being alone in the children’s section.  On the surface, that sounds like there is something to that.  Dig a little deeper, it gets annoying.

The man’s name is Omar Amin.  He is 73 years old.  He was shopping at the store for his grand-children.  An employee escorted him out after a customer reported that he was in the children’s section, alone, which is apparently against store policy because some stores had had problems with sex offenders.  First off, something that needs to be addressed – does Barnes and Noble not realize that there are female sex offenders out there?

The man has claimed that he is being descriminated against, and from where I sit, that is exactly what this is.  The good intentions of the store to protect children are completely irrelevant.  Barnes and Noble commented that they believed that this was the right decision.

By saying that, the second problem comes up – that they believe that blanket villifying of a gender is okay, which it most certainly is not.  This store has openedly endorsed the stereotype of the “dirty old man,” which is not okay.  But more importantly, this draws attention to the issue at hand – we need to STOP being so PC.  This country’s obsession with overreacting and overprotecting and being over-emotional about things is ruining this nation.

Yeah, protecting kids is a good idea, the thing about this is – the kids are not in danger in this instance.  Grandpa shopping for his grandkids is no more of a danger than a raindrop is to an elephant.  These kinds of things have to be taken on a case by case basis.  In fact, most everything has to be taken on a case by case basis.

Part of the problem in America these days is that everybody is so terrified of saying the wrong thing to the wrong person.  Since when did people’s feelings govern how this country conforms?  There are times when it makes sense to be a little bit cautious about an issue, but then there are times like this, where this store wanting to cover it’s rear-end and not be liable has fed into a cultural stereotype that clearly does more harm than good.

It’s ironic that while mega-corporations are desperately trying to cover their respective asses from problems, the rest of us are getting more annoyed at how dumbed-down our culture has become.  It’s all over the place.  TV has become a wasteland for the PC culture.  Film is starting to follow suit, although the racism and sexism of Michael Bay may mean that it isn’t totally over for film yet.

In the book “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” there was a scene where Huck and his gang have a cave.  They would gather there and talk about planning all sorts of crimes like murder and robbery and kidnapping of women to take the cave and seduce.  Could such a book get published anymore?  Not likely.

There are NO polarizing figures in the media anymore.  Back in the 90’s, there was Marilyn Manson, who parents believed was going to cause Columbine and crazy murders (even though the children who were responsible for Columbine were found out not to be Manson fans).  No such figure exists anymore.  The closest that we’ve got is Lady Gaga, and that is a joke.  A completely worthless joke.

America is getting dumber every day, and there is real social and cultural damage being done by stores like Barnes and Noble.  With that said, Amin should sue this store for as much as he can because he was obviously descriminated against, and deserves some compensation from this store for this, because this is absolutely wrong.

But on a larger scale, America needs to stop being scared of offending a soccer mom somewhere.  They aren’t that important, and maintaining a healthy culture and open discourse to ideas and ways of being is far more important.  Protecting kids is great, but we have to be smarter than just to stereotype.

Of course, this America.  That may be asking too much.


Comments on: "Barnes and Noble and the PC culture of America" (1)

  1. Reblogged this on Lucien Maverick's Blog and commented:

    This is ridiculous.

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