Walmart has announced it will no longer sell products that feature the phrase “All Lives Matter” because, the retail giant claims, it minimizes “the focus on the painful reality of racial inequity.”
In its announcement to indefinitely discontinue sales of all third-party merchandise with that particular language, Walmart claimed it “fundamentally” agreed with the sentiment, but wanted to be respectful of the sensitivities of the current climate.
“We came to understand that the way some, but not all, people are using the phrase ‘All Lives Matter’ in the current environment intentionally minimized the focus on the painful reality of racial inequity,” the statement continued.
CNN reports Walmart had been accused recently of undermining the Black Lives Matter movement by selling merchandise with phrases such as “Irish Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” on Walmart.com and its Canada online store.
“The backlash erupted on social media,” CNN reported, “where users criticized the world’s largest retailer for allegedly ‘mocking’ the Black Lives matter movement.”
Walmart responded by pointing out that many of its online merchandise comes from third-party sellers, all of whom are required to meet a number of criteria in order to sell on Walmart.com. Such criteria includes ensuring the products are not illegal and that they generally comply with acceptable industry standards.
Still, the retailer found itself in a defensive position following the social media backlash.
In a statement to CBC, Walmart Canada said it "stand[s] against any form of racism or discrimination." "We promote listening, seeking to understand and embracing individual differences. Today, our third-party marketplace has a number of items with variations on the phrase 'lives matter.' We will continue to review those items to ensure compliance with our terms and conditions."
In its latest announcement, the retailer stated it will continue to sell variations of the phrase, such as “Blue Lives Matter,” but it will halt all sales of items that declare “All Lives Matter.”
According to NJ.com, critics of the phrase “All Lives Matter” claim it “dismisses white privilege” and “devalue[es] black lives.” In an opinion piece for CNN, writer Paxton K. Baker claimed responding to “Black Lives Matter” with “All Lives Matter” “delegitimizes the movement.”
Of course, critics of the Black Lives Matter movement argue the term “Black Lives Matter” has its own set of negative associations. The movement’s connections to well known-Marxist organizations, its radical leftist, anti-White, anti-traditional family agenda, which includes defunding police and wealth redistribution, and its propensity for violence have made it equally offensive to many people.
Others critique the mantra as solely political, given the movement’s failure to address black on black crime and black on white crime.
Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani took the “Black Lives Matter” phrase to task as far back as 2016 during an interview with Fox News following the shooting death of Dallas police officers. Guiliani opined the phrase “Black Lives Matter” was “inherently racist” because it was divisive.
“Black Lives Matter never protests when every 14 hours someone is killed in Chicago, probably 70-80% of the time by a Black person. Where are they then? Where are they when a young Black child is killed?” he opined.
And yet, Walmart continues to sell merchandise with the phrase “Black Lives Matter.” It also sells a t-shirt that rebukes the “All Lives Matter” statement. It reads, “All Lives Can’t Matter Until Black Lives Matter.”
As observed by USA Today, this is just the latest in a series of actions taken by Walmart to prove it is “woke.”
Last month, the store announced it would no longer display the Mississippi state flag in its stores because it features the Confederate emblem. Typically, Walmart displays the local state flag in its U.S. stores.
"We know the design of the Mississippi state flag is being discussed by various stakeholders," Walmart said in a statement to CNN Business. "While the issue continues to be discussed, we've made the decision to remove the Mississippi state flag from display in its current form from our stores."
Breitbart News also observed that Walmart’s President and CEO Doug McMillon announced in early June that the company was working to “create a more diverse and inclusive team at Walmart at every level.” McMillon elaborated:
While we will first look to address racial inequity through these business initiatives, we will also extend and accelerate our impact on society through the new center for racial equity. One of the center’s primary responsibilities will be to direct the $100 million commitment to support philanthropic initiatives that complement Walmart initiatives to shape the four national systems we’ve identified above.
“Black Lives Matter. It is all our responsibilities to embrace that fact in what we say and what we do. There’s no way to live our values if we don’t,” McMillon concluded.
Photo: Andrei Stanescu/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus
Raven Clabough acquired her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English at the University of Albany in upstate New York. She currently lives in Pennsylvania and has been a writer for The New American since January 2010.