Saturday, March 20, 2010

Bluntly Racist Public Announcement at Wal-Mart Store

Last week, I wrote about Racism: A Taboo in the U.S. and a Celebartion in Europe. Little did I know that Racism would become a frequent topic, On The Road To Success.

As an unapologetic black man living in a land where the majority of people don't look like me, I have heard all sorts of unspeakable utterances directed at blacks, but I must tell you - news of a bluntly racist public announcement at a Wal-Mart store in New Jersey left me wanting.

Customers at a Wal-Mart store in New Jersey were stunned by a public announcement - ordering black people to leave the store on Sunday 14 March, 2010. Many even thought they misheard the announcement. The racist announcement came from the public address system and it went thus:
"Attention, Wal-Mart customers: All black people, leave the store now."
The announcement left Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. officials apologizing once again and black customers devastated. Investigations are underway - with security tapes being reviewed to determine who made the racist announcement.

Many Americans depend on Wal-Mart for all their needs, but some customers who were at the store on that fateful day have done what I would do - express anger and plan to boycott Wal-Mart until the issue is addressed.

Although Wal-Mart officials have condemned the announcement, more needs to be done - the perpetrator should be brought to justice! Racism is unacceptable and perpetrators should bear the full weight of the law.

According to the Associated Press, the Gloucester County Prosecutor began an investigation on Monday and said on Thursday that some public address system phones are accessible to the public and security cameras do not survey all of them. How unfortunate!

Keep in mind that this is not the first time Wal-Mart has ran into problems with black customers; black employees have had their share of problems with the retailer - Felicia Gray-Watson, dragged Wal-Mart to court in 1996 for racial discrimination in the workplace.

In February 2009, barely one year ago, Wal-Mart paid $17.5 million to settle a racial discrimination lawsuit - over truck driver discrimination. It is alleged in a lawsuit of May 2009, that Mexican employees face repeated verbal harassment.

Discrimination at Wal-Mart is not limited to race. The retail giant has also faced charges of sex discrimination - Wal-Mart agreed to pay $12 million to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit.

All in all, you would agree that discrimination is what Wal-Mart is made of. The recent bluntly racist public announcement at Wal-Mart store is just a reminder of the fact that the retailer does not welcome diversity.

What are your thoughts? Do you still think Wal-Mart treats people with dignity and respect?


  1. JEE Tegha!!! I dont believe you??!!! I dont care if it was just a customer in the public; if walmat cannot produce the perpetrator, then they should be held responsible. Mics that allow public users to make announcements in public SHOULD BE MONITORED! I know that, and yeah THEY know it too. So that is no excuse!!!

  2. Disturbing. I know a number of 'colored' folks who have worked at walmart and made allegations of being discriminated against. Another angle which might make sense is that this is a multi-billion dollar giant and somewhere somehow things like this are bound to happen ... is that a viable possibility?
    Anyway, here's an update


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