Following protests and public outcry, Powell's Books announced last week it won't carry conservative activist Andy Ngo's new book in its stores but will continue to sell it online. Ngo's media coverage of Portland protests has been repeatedly criticized for exaggerated and selective reporting, and for sharing the mug shots and personal information of protesters. His book, Unmasked: Inside Antifa's Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy, is due out from Hachette next month. Powell's announcement it would not promote the book and would sell it only online did little to deter public dissent or protests outside the store on West Burnside Street. Here's what our readers had to say:
mycentstoo via wweek.com: "We've now come full circle. Remember the good old days when it was the Bible thumpers and do-gooders who wanted books removed from shelves? I really don't know why the two extremes are fighting with each other. They are the same."
Justin Siewert via Facebook.com: "Just because he wrote a book doesn't mean they have to sell it. Yes, he certainly has free speech and can write and get it published. It is not his right that they sell it."
Circe2020 via wweek.com: "Ngo is a troll and distorts facts. And Powell's should carry his book in-store if they carry others like his. They should not give in to bullies on either side of the political spectrum."
Luke Smith via Facebook: "Jokes aside, I think this is some wishy-washy stuff Powell's is putting out. It's one thing to pretend this is all a big hypothetical trolley problem where Ngo has a right to put out a book somewhere in the world, but that's not what is being discussed in this article. What's on the line is a private business seeking out and choosing to sell a book for their own enrichment. This isn't a historic document, there is no extra context Powell's is providing, but they would be getting a paycheck for sales and distribution. This guy has done a lot to undermine and de-legitimize the voices of Black America and the left in his gross little existence the past few years. I'll be blunt: I don't think you can stock Ngo's book and, at the same time, mean it when you say 'Black lives matter.' It saddens me to see them take this stance."
@TheBots567483 via Twitter: "Look, Powell's is in some ways problematic. They carry The Turner Diaries online as well. And while I am no fan of Ngo, I think it's within their right, and I can see how they would feel it is their duty to stock such an item."
Loren Guerriero via Facebook: "Don't forget that grievance artists like Ngo feed on attention from their persecution narrative. There is nothing interesting about this man other than his success at trolling left-wing activists. Ignore him and his power disappears."
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