Although I share your revulsion of Mein Kampf, I have another view of Heather Reisman’s very public decision to ban it from her stores.
As the owner of Indigo/Chapter’s, Canada’s dominant bookstore chain, Heather Reisman had every legal right to banish Hitler’s repulsive Mein Kampf from her stores.
However, by being so vocal about it, she called attention to it.
Is that what she intended? First, there can be no doubt that Mein Kampf is a piece of antisemitic trash; second, since it led to horrible events such as Kristalnacht and the Holocaust, its message was obviously lethal, and probably still is. Therefore, distribution of this awful book must be restricted–legally, of course.
For example, do we not have laws restricting the promotion of hate literature? In any event, under no circumstances should we grant free and unopposed rein to proponents of its hateful message.
If I were a bookseller, I probably would not carry Mein Kampf. I am not sure that I would even provide it on request. If I bought a bookstore that already carried it, I might even remove it from the
shelves. On the other hand, I might allow it to sell out and simply not re-order it.
In any case, my decision would be implemented quietly. However, if my decision to drop Mein Kampf was accompanied by some virtuous and very public explanation, it would certainly be counter-productive. Since everyone knows that I loathe anti-Semitism and anti-Semites, I would have nothing to gain by such a declaration.
Moreover, not only would my posturing draw unwarranted attention to this low-sales piece of trash, it would also probably increase demand for it . . . at competing bookstores. Since my intention would be to decrease demand for Mein Kampf, I certainly would not want to be responsible for in fact increasing demand for it. Moreover, those who bought Mein Kampf at my competitors would probably also buy other books there, books that they would probably have bought from me.
Clearly, I would have nothing to gain by acting like Heather Reisman. In fact, the only winners would be anti-Semites and the publisher of Mein Kampf. And, since Ms. Reisman is reputed to be an astute person, I must admit I have no idea what she intended by her counter-productive declaration.