One of the nation's leading voices on racial justice recently had his new children's book pulled from the shelves of Safeway's Oregon stores.
Ibram X. Kendi, the Boston University professor and author of the bestsellers Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, and How to Be an Antiracist, among others, last year wrote a board book for young children titled Antiracist Baby.
Last month, that book, which its publisher, Penguin Random House, says is a New York Times bestseller, mysteriously disappeared from Safeway shelves across Oregon.
In an emailed statement, Safeway Oregon spokeswoman Jill McGinnis explained to WW what happened.
"Last month, we received a complaint regarding the book "Antiracist Baby" from a customer. As a retailer, we often get comments about products we carry, and in this case, a local decision was erroneously made to pull this book from our shelves, which ultimately cascaded throughout our stores across Oregon," McGinnis said.
"Our leadership team is reviewing internally why that decision was made, because clearly, it was a mistake. At Safeway Albertsons we strongly condemn racism of any kind, and we work hard to ensure that we foster an environment of courtesy, dignity and respect. We will use this as an opportunity to learn and do our part to ensure inclusion, equity and fairness are evident in the stores we operate. We look forward to having the "Antiracist Baby" picture book return to our Oregon shelves."
McGinnis adds that the company has 124 Oregon stores and about 56 of them have "book bins" where the title would have been stocked.
A Penguin Random House spokesperson didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.