Is This a Subtle Form of Racism? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-22-2007, 01:43 PM
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I check out CD's at my local library and they have all of the CD's out except for the rap CD's. If you want to see the rap CD's you have to go up to the counter and ask to see them (I assume they're in some kind of binder).



I'm not sure exactly what their rationale is. Is it because they may not be appropriate for children? Not sure because all of the other CD's are out. Why not put the inappropriate CD's behind the counter instead of limiting it to all rap CD's?



Or is it because they're more likely to be stolen? Even bicycles are frequently stolen from the library and it's right across the street from the police station. Anyway, the other CD's have theft-prevention cases that have to be unlocked at the counter so I don't know.



If it's the likelihood of theft, and I assume it is, is it fair to single out people who listen to rap (which I assume are predominantly African-American especially given the neighborhood) as people who are likely to steal?



It's kind of along the same lines of charging people of one race more for insurance, etc.

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#2 Old 08-22-2007, 01:46 PM
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Do they at least have a sign somewhere stating "For rap CDs, ask a staff member" or would a patron be likely to conclude they don't have any rap CDs?

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#3 Old 08-22-2007, 01:50 PM
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Do they at least have a sign somewhere stating "For rap CDs, ask a staff member" or would a patron be likely to conclude they don't have any rap CDs?



Yeah, there is a sign that says you need to go up to the counter and ask for them. That's why I think they're probably in a CD binder.

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#4 Old 08-22-2007, 02:26 PM
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Why didn't you ask them why they have that sort of system ?
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#5 Old 08-22-2007, 02:49 PM
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My library keeps all DVDs behind their counter. No big deal.
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#6 Old 08-22-2007, 02:50 PM
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^ But they haven't picked out a certain genre.



Could be fear of theft, or maybe they want to check how old the person getting it out is. Either way, sounds a bit dodgy.
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#7 Old 08-22-2007, 04:02 PM
 
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I too, would ask why they are behind the counter.



If it is the likelihood of theft that earns them the spot behind the counter, it may be just practicality. All sorts of stores take precautions with the "most likely to get ripped off" merchandise.



Also, I'm not sure that I agree that in 2007, even in middle Illinois, that rap afficionados are more likely to be black than white.



If it turns out that it's an issue with content, will you ask that all the hoochy country CDs be put behind the counter as well?

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#8 Old 08-22-2007, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by sarahjayn1980 View Post

You seem to be making some sort of connection between rap and race. I think THAT'S a little racist, actually.



No it isn't. While a large number of hip hop CDs are purchased by white kids in the 'burbs, hip hop would be found to be more popular among those in the black community as compared to the white community. Also, when you look at thos in hip hop, well, Eminem is an exception and not the rule.



As IAJ said, they may have had experiences that have led them to make this decision. If were them, I would place all CDs with explicit lyrics behind the counter, to take the edge off a little.
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#9 Old 08-23-2007, 12:09 AM
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If I were the librarian, I'd 'file' the rap CD's in the recycling bin.
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#10 Old 08-23-2007, 12:11 AM
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If I were the librarian, I'd 'file' the rap CD's in the recycling bin.



Why?
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#11 Old 08-23-2007, 12:14 AM
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Because some people take issue with the truth that rappers speak. Yes there are exceptions but people could learn a lot from this genre of music.



My library keeps all their C.D.s in a locked case so you have to go to the counter and ask. From Bach to Stevie Nicks to Snoop Dogg.



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#12 Old 08-23-2007, 12:36 AM
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Why race instead of class or subculture?



And more importantly: why does it matter where they put CD's?
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#13 Old 08-23-2007, 03:54 AM
 
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It matters, imo, because having to ask for it at the counter could be a deterrent to some, from borrowing the CDs (especially, say a dorky, shy pre-teen).

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#14 Old 08-23-2007, 04:20 AM
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My library keeps everything locked away and you bring the case and they put in the cd/dvd. But to me just selecting one type of music to do that with is suspcious.

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#15 Old 08-23-2007, 04:59 AM
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Have you asked the library the reason for this?
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#16 Old 08-23-2007, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by IamJen View Post

It matters, imo, because having to ask for it at the counter could be a deterrent to some, from borrowing the CDs (especially, say a dorky, shy pre-teen).



So how do they check something out of the library?
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#17 Old 08-23-2007, 06:13 AM
 
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There's a difference, imo, between taking some items to the checkout counter, and actually having to ask for a specific title. In many areas, I'd think that this carries a connotation of shame/embarrassment. (like asking for condoms at the pharmacy, or putting the girly mags under the counter at the convenience store).



Diana..they do that with the movies and CD's at our library as well. I've not asked, but I assume it's an anti-theft measure.

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#18 Old 08-23-2007, 06:17 AM
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This is interesting. At my library, all CDs are kept in the same area. Pop and Country CDs are most likely to go out and never come back. (Rap CDs are filed under "Pop", as we own too few Rap CDs to designate a new section.)

Some people have even snuck the CDs into the restrooms, broken the security cases and removed the discs.



Because the CDs are constantly being ripped off or damaged, the library purchases very few Pop or Country selections these days, and has basically nothing recorded within the last five years. Even so, albums by very popular artists, like Elvis and the Beatles, continue to disappear.



Frankly, I wonder why the library does not choose to place all Pop and Country CDs in a closed-stack area or just do away with the music-CD section altogether.

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#19 Old 08-23-2007, 07:23 AM
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it seems to me that you either put all cd's in a secure area or you put them all in the same unsecured area. to single out one genre is suspicious. the alternative is to put all cd's that have been labled as containing explicit lyrics in a secure area in order to prevent little kids from checking them out. that might be a reasonable altenative.
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#20 Old 08-23-2007, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IamJen View Post

There's a difference, imo, between taking some items to the checkout counter, and actually having to ask for a specific title. In many areas, I'd think that this carries a connotation of shame/embarrassment. (like asking for condoms at the pharmacy, or putting the girly mags under the counter at the convenience store).



Diana..they do that with the movies and CD's at our library as well. I've not asked, but I assume it's an anti-theft measure.



I have never even heard of that... it always seemed a more convenient way than having to go and actually look for something.
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#21 Old 08-23-2007, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by peace View Post

just do away with the music-CD section altogether.



Oh, yes please. It's a library, not a borrowing HMV. My local library is half taken up with the CD/DVD section. I don't even bother going in there any more, their selection of books is nothing other than pathetic.
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#22 Old 08-23-2007, 09:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Scythe View Post

I have never even heard of that... it always seemed a more convenient way than having to go and actually look for something.

Ah. I could see that....if you just had to go up to the counter and ask for Album X, that would be simple.



The way with which I'm familiar involves the empty cases being on display somewhere for everyone to see, only the actual disc is held behind the counter.

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#23 Old 08-23-2007, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by IamJen View Post

Ah. I could see that....if you just had to go up to the counter and ask for Album X, that would be simple.



The way with which I'm familiar involves the empty cases being on display somewhere for everyone to see, only the actual disc is held behind the counter.



I'm lazy. My ways of doing things are generally easier by default.
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#24 Old 08-23-2007, 09:35 AM
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I think all the people who want to make a race issue about this, aught to be locked up. It's probably to keep the white kids from stealing them all. Lets have some statistics.
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#25 Old 08-23-2007, 09:48 AM
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Rap, especially gangsta rap is well known for having explicit lyrics. Its part of the appeal to young kids. Its essentially a marketing tool that increases sales. The kids see it as something thats frowned on by society and therefore cool to listen to.



And its not just dirty words that are the problem. I remember a number of years ago when a rapper wrote a song about killing cops. With that kind of reputation (justified or not), I can see why some libraries have chosen to restrict access.



I think the only other genders of music that may comes close to gansta rap in its explicitness is perhaps heavy metal or punk rock, but those genders dont seem to have the same mass appeal.

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#26 Old 08-23-2007, 10:55 AM
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It's weird, but I'm not sure whether it's racist. Have you tried talking to a librarian about it?



My library keeps educational sex books behind the counter.
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#27 Old 08-23-2007, 12:11 PM
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People still brought and used cds??



It's probably done to make sure kids who aren't suppose to listen to it don't check them out. Why would people steal it when they can just take it home assuming they have computers and just make a copy of it. Our library have them all together and the cds and dvd have those anti lock thingys on it.



I guess it could be because of theft if that is something they found gets stolen a lot. I used to work at a store where pregnancy tests were stolen a lot we decided to keep them under the register actually we lost so much stuff (clothes, shoes, sunglasses) that we had to get a security tag system and tag everything. There are also cold medicine because people would steal cases of them at a time I guess because they made meth out of it even at CVS they put anti theft stuff on black hair care products but not white ones. Sometimes it looks racist but it's just people trying not to lose money it goes on everywhere even those cameras the security guys would focus more on sections where people shoplifted the most.
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#28 Old 08-23-2007, 12:27 PM
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I remember a number of years ago when a rapper wrote a song about killing cops. With that kind of reputation (justified or not), I can see why some libraries have chosen to restrict access.



%#[email protected] The Police! You haven't lived until you've heard Charlton Heston read the lyrics to that song.



Quote:
I think the only other genders of music that may comes close to gansta rap in its explicitness is perhaps heavy metal or punk rock, but those genders dont seem to have the same mass appeal.



I'm not so sure about that, most modern metal songs dwell on themes of emotional pain and isolation rather than incites to violence. Even the forms of thrash metal where the singer growls like a demon and the instruments sound like the workfloor of a foundry, the lyrics are often very simplistic themes of emotion. Most punk rock has been very watered down that it is basically just another form of radio pop. Stuff like the Sex Pistols just seems like an old joke to today's kids.



Back to the original subject, I was uncomfortable when I saw a sign in our lib indicating that the gay-culture magazine was kept behind the desk, while nearly every other magazine was kept on display. Then I was informed that this magazine was constantly stolen when it was displayed in the past. They don't know if it was someone too embarassed to check it out or a moral crusader who thought that nobody should be allowed to read it.

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#29 Old 08-23-2007, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by peace View Post

%#[email protected] The Police! You haven't lived until you've heard Charlton Heston read the lyrics to that song.



It actually was "Cop Killer" by Ice-T that drew the massive protest.
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#30 Old 08-23-2007, 01:23 PM
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Yup and now he plays a cop on Law and Order: SVU funny how things turn out!!
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