barnes and noble

A fight rages on about a grandfather in Scottsdale, Arizona, who was kicked out of a Barnes & Noble store on May 4 after the heinous and unforgivable crime of shopping for his grandchildren.

The man, 73 year old Dr. Omar Amin, was looking for books for his two grandsons in the children’s section, when a B&N employee approached him, told him that “men alone cannot be by themselves in the children’s area,” and was forced out of the store.

We weren’t going to bring this up, but since you asked, yes, there was a complaint made that day by a woman – and yes, that was the real reason why Amin was removed.

If you want to read a little background on Amin, check out the AZ Central article listed below. We didn’t include that info here because the only important thing here was what was important to Barnes & Noble: his gender.

Todd Voris was the Barnes & Noble employee who forced Amin out of the store. Voris said that a female shopper had complained about a man alone in the children’s section. Last week, The Arizona Republic tried to contact Voris, but he referred the call to a district manager. That district manager escalated the matter upstream, and a Barnes & Noble spokesperson eventually e-mailed Arizona Republic and said that they had no comment and felt that Voris “acted appropriately.” Which, of course, means they had a comment.

HLNtv has the story up as well (linked below), and says that Barnes & Noble later issued a statement saying that they want to apologize to Amin, and that “it is not our policy to ask customers to leave any section of our stores without justification.”

Arizona’s Civil Rights Laws, Article 3, section 41-1442.A states, and I quote:

Discrimination in places of public accommodation against any person because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin or ancestry is contrary to the policy of this state and shall be deemed unlawful.

The 8BD Legal Department told us that in Barnes & Noble’s removing Amin with no evidence other than a vague complaint that cited no infraction other than a fear of gender, Barnes & Noble has clearly violated Arizona state Civil Rights. Would Barnes & Noble have removed a woman from the children’s department if she were alone?

Our guess is no. Either way, it’s illegal.

What’s even worse is that the woman that accused Amin will go unpunished. She got to buy her books, unharassed and go home. She got to accuse someone of a very serious thing with no evidence in her favor. She’s not even named in any of these articles – so she can’t even be shamed the way that Amin was. Frankly, Amin should sue the woman. Not for much, but for the embarrassment, harassment and removal from the store. Amin should then be given a proper apology from the manager of Barnes & Noble and a gift card, so that he’s welcome to come back and shop as he pleases.

Amin says that he wants an apology, “in person, in public, in the store and on camera,” according to AZ Family. If he doesn’t get that, he’ll go to court.

This is not a complete gender war, and though we’re seeing cases like this spring up, it’s not a product of all women. There are a lot of wonderful women who are fighting for their husbands’ rights and respect in the home – and 8BitDad salutes you! But to you other ladies: stop doing this. You want your husbands to step up and not just avoid being fathers in favor of a night out with the guys, but then when we do, we’re reported as sex offenders. Stories like this, and the one we covered recently about the suspicious man talking to kids in a food court, make us pretty sure that if you’re a man and plan on doing errands or having lunch in a place where kids will also be, you should just bring your own handcuffs. At least then, you’ll know they fit.

In fact, if you’re as mad as we are about this state of affairs, you can own our extra special shirts we made that – we think – drives the point home nicely:

8BitDad Call the Police Shirt

This is perfect for the dad who can’t seem to play with his kids at the park without critical eyes on him. It’s for the dad that does the grocery shopping with his kids. It’s for the dad who goes to the very few book stores left to buy his kids something to enrich their reading skills.

In the meantime, we sincerely hope Omar Amin gets his apology.