Remember in the summer when all the good-comrade allies, including me, ordered a bunch of anti-racism books from Black bookstores? Turns out quite a few people never showed to pick them up and actually pay for them. Dudes. Years ago, before Facebook and Twitter even (I know, my Millennial friends… THE BEFORE TIMES), I wrote an article on how easy “activism” has become in an age of point-and-click. It’s a little dated, but threads follow through. If there’s anyone who hates me being right more than my two or three stalker-like enemies, it’s me. Especially about shit like this, given what a pessimist I am. Go pick up, pay for, and read your damn books, people. It’s not a donation pot. It’s a chance to better ourselves.
“We have two full walls of orders not picked up between the two stores, and the vast majority are titles from this summer,” Oliver Depp remarked.
As for Subtext, Keliher is “looking at the stacks of books still needing to be picked up from web orders placed in the days and weeks following the uprising here.” When I asked what will happen to the books if the customers never pick them up, he remarked that he “hadn’t really figured out what to do.” Mullen believes that about 30 percent of those orders never even get picked up from her store. She took the practical approach though, sending the excess books back because “there was no real need to hold on to them.”
Now that the election is over, it’s hard to know what to feel. While I do appreciate the white people who marched beside me, yelling that Black lives did indeed matter, I worry that some of them went home, placed their handwritten signs down, and will never pick them up again, except to place them in the trash. I worry that white customers ordered these books and simply thought “I did a good deed today,” and rolled over to sleep.