by Max Brantley
I tried to purchase some BLM T-shirts at the MTCC today after someone told me they were not being sold. When I entered the gift shop area and told the receptionist I wanted to purchase BLM T-shirts, she politely told me no shirts were on hand, that the last shirts were sold a week ago, and that no more shirts have been ordered. She was unable to tell me why this popular selling and culturally relevant item was not re-ordered. She could not tell me who decided to not re-order the BLM T-shirts.Griffen surmises that someone in the "hierarchy" doesn't want the shirts sold in the state museum. He urges calls to the governor, Heritage Department Director Stacy Hurst and Mosaic Templars director Christian Shutt.
Yes, we could order BLM T-shirts on-line from another vendor. But as I told the nice receptionist, my online order would not benefit the MTCC. I purchase BLM T-shirts from the MTCC as a way to support its mission.
Stacy Hurst, director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, submits the following statement in response to inquiries by the Arkansas Times about the sale of Black Lives Matter T-shirts at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center museum store:I asked the spokesman for Hurst if there was a pending order to restock the shirts. I'll let you know if I get a response. She said she had put the question to Hurst.
"No item at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center museum store has been 'banned.' Black Lives Matter T-shirts were re-ordered several months ago and, as of June 30, there was still an inventory of 64 shirts. Last week, an individual bought a large quantity of shirts at one time, depleting inventory.
"Our Arkansas Heritage museum stores provide an opportunity to help tell the story of the museum, but also to provide needed supplemental income for these facilities. We will continue our evaluation of museum store items with an eye toward these goals."