• Westish Contributor

Tattered Cover Releases Statement on Racism: “But We Sell to Kill a Mockingbird”

By Steve Vanderploeg


Last week, companies across America began releasing statements regarding recent national protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death. While many companies felt it was their duty to rise against racism, Denver’s Tattered Cover bookstore released their own message - one that literally nobody asked for.


“Dear Tattered Cover Customers,


We’ve been fairly quiet lately, so we thought that this would be a great time to remind Denver that we’re a different kind of bookstore. Most bookstores exist to spread education, stories, information and knowledge in general through the love of literature. We exist because we like getting money.


Let us make one thing clear: When it comes to racism, we acknowledge that it’s probably a thing. Luckily, if racism does exist, we believe that we’re on the right side of it. Although, we’ve never read any of them ourselves, we continue to help our community by selling books about racism. That, in turn, means we can’t be racist. In fact, last April, we celebrated Black History Month by offering Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ at 10% off.


We find that during these times, it’s important to remind everyone that we don’t care what color your skin is, as long as you’re not homeless.


We care about you. We care about your pockets.


Len & Kristen”


The statement caused discomfort and anger citywide, it was eventually retracted by the bookstore after half of the city had already taken screenshots. After reaching out to the Tattered Cover for a follow-up, they responded to us via email:


“Maybe we deserve the outrage, but you know what else we deserve? Hard earned American dollars. We don’t care if you’re black, white or any other race. We’re happy to take your money.”


Steve Vanderploeg is a stand-up comedian based in Denver, Colorado where he is a regular at Comedy Works, and creator of Rotating Tap Comedy.

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