Join the news democracyWhere your votes decide the Top 100
Poor fashion choice of the week – Walmart Canada has undergone a social media firestorm after it was discovered that a T-shirt bearing the phrase “All Lives Matter” was being sold on their website.
For those unaware, “All Lives Matter” has come to be associated with prejudice, as it’s often uttered as a rejoinder to the call “Black Lives Matter”.
It erases the specific meaning of “Black Lives Matter” which is to highlight anti-black racism in society.
As Ryan Kelly writes for Goal.com:
The message of [Black Lives Matter] is not that Black lives matter more. It is not that the lives of Caucasian people don't matter. It is that Black lives matter just as much.
The message of [Black Lives Matter] is not that Black lives matter more. It is not that the lives of Caucasian people don't matter.
It is that Black lives matter just as much.
So a shirt on sale at Walmart, with “All Lives Matter” emblazoned across the chest, in the midst of global protests against racism, is bound to ruffle feathers.
People discovered several lines of clothing appropriating the “...Lives Matter” phrase, in ways that were pretty offensive.
Like “Bartender Lives Matter” which clearly makes light of the BLM movement.
Why Walmart?.... why? @Walmart https://t.co/ujsWPBfQWO — Lucy B. (@Lucy B.)
Except no one’s laughing here.
Other users said they found garments with “White Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter”, one a phrase associated with white supremacists and the other seen as defending police brutality.
@DericoSymonds @TorrensJonathan @Walmart @WalmartCanada @WalmartInc No joke, you can get a plain white apron with p… https://t.co/jtLK7KUz80 — PigeonFeed (@PigeonFeed)
In short, people were furious at the tone deaf and ‘racist’ clothes being so easily available.
Someone else pointed out that Walmart had recently pledged to do better at tackling racism and yet had failed to clear the first hurdle.
After a social media outcry, Walmart removed the T-shirt from sale and claimed they weren’t directly responsible for the garment as it was retailed via a third-party.
"We stand against any form of racism or discrimination. We promote listening, seeking to understand and embracing individual differences,” a spokesperson told CBC Canada.
"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”.
However, review the items does not mean they won't initially be available for sale.
Which, unfortunately, makes it look like this particular issue could rumble on...