Thursday, March 18, 2010

Walmart finally shortens up those check-out lines

I'm actually quite disappointed in the Internet for the less-than-stellar image results for "Angry black man". I'm also surprised that it isn't a Wu-Tang song.

Anyway, race always sells. And me, a white guy from suburban Pittsburgh breaking down all of this blackness for you? Oh man, that's what the Internet is all about. So I'm going to wade right into the middle of this race-fest.

Sunday evening, tragedy struck a Walmart store in beautiful Washington Township, NJ, which is named after Leon Washington. Everybody was minding their own business, taking advantage of the laws of supply and demand and picking up some cheap black Barbies, when a man took over the PA system and racial bigotry ensued:

A male voice came over the public-address system Sunday evening at a store in Washington Township, in southern New Jersey, and calmly announced: "Attention, Walmart customers: All black people, leave the store now."

Whoa! That's insensitive, random prankster! Walmart's insufficient response suggested that they financed the entire operation.

Shoppers in the store at the time said a manager quickly got on the public-address system and apologized for the remark. And while it was unclear whether a rogue patron or an employee was responsible for the comment, many customers expressed their anger to store management.

Jeez, black people. What do you want them to do? No crime was committed. It was obviously some rogue customer getting access to the PA system. Do you want them to protect the phones with fingerprint recognition? Do you want free white Barbies? What do you want?

I know, let's send the media in to blow this whole thing up and really give us an insight into the current state of race relations! That will make everyone happy and we'll all learn a valuable lesson!

Step one in the media handbook for incidents like these: locate angry black people.

"I want to know why such statements are being made, because it flies in the face of what we teach our children about tolerance for all," said Sheila Ellington, who was in the store at the time with a friend. "If this was meant to be a prank, there's only one person laughing, and it's not either one of us."

Let me answer that for you, Sheila...because some people think it's funny. Because no amount of racial sensitivity training in the world will stop certain people from thinking it's funny. It's a joke. Worse racial jokes appear in stand-up routines all the time and people freaking ROFL all over the place. We teach our children that white and black people are not different and that we are all human and that we all have rights and that black people aren't going to just rape your children when they get bored and yada yada. Are you suggesting that the culprit in this prank may have learned this joke from his 5th grade teacher? This is not racial intolerance. It's a damn joke. Racial intolerance is when the Washington Township city council says that you have to use a separate water fountain.

Ellington, of Monroe, and her friend Patricia Covington said they plan to boycott the retailer until they're assured the issue has been addressed so it doesn't happen again.

The pair said they were stunned when they heard the announcement and initially believed they had misheard it. But once the words sank in, they grew angry.

"I depended on Walmart for all my needs, because the store has pretty much everything you could want," Covington said. "But until this issue is addressed in a way I'm comfortable with, I can't walk through those doors again."

What in the horsefuck do you want them to do? Provide racial sensitivity training to everyone that walks in the door? Change the passcode on their PA system daily? This is WALMART. Things are cheap there because they pay the employees in Haitian gourdes. So the code is going to get out. The only way to stop this from happening is to only allow black people to shop in the store. Because then, even if they make the same joke, at least it will be coming from another black person.
But, whatever, Walmart. Gotta satisfy your customers. Your move.

Officials with Wal-MartStores Inc., based in Bentonville, Ark., said that the announcement was "unacceptable" and that they're trying to determine who made it and how it happened.
"We are just as appalled by this incident as our customers," the company said in a statement. "Whoever did this is just wrong and acted in an inappropriate manner. Clearly, this is completely unacceptable to us and to our customers."

Why? Why are they wasting their time? Let me fix this for you, Walmart, free of charge. This incident happened because some people out there make insensitive jokes. I'm one of them myself. And here's how it happened...the PA system has a code you can press that will allow you access, in case, say, an employee needs to call a manager to the condoms aisle. Well...ok, I know that no one would shop in that aisle in the black Walmart, but you know what I mean. To fix this, you'll have to restrict access to employees only, maybe through some kind of card that needs swiped or maybe through a program that can recognize a voice or maybe through dick scanning technology or something of that sort. And this will cost you some money, but you can make it back by raising the price of black Barbie.

Otherwise, you will run the risk of this incident repeating itself through copycat pranksters. One great way to ensure this is to keep talking to the Associated Press about it.

There have been several past instances of black customers claiming they were treated unfairly at Walmart stores, and the company faced lawsuits alleging that women were passed over in favor of men for pay raises and promotions.

In February 2009, the retailer paid $17.5 million to settle a class action lawsuit alleging racial discrimination in its hiring of truck drivers.

And the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued the company in May 2009, claiming some Hispanic employees at a Sam's Club subsidiary in California were subjected to a hostile work environment. That suit alleges managers failed to stop repeated verbal harassment, including the use of derogatory words, against employees of Mexican descent.

All many times more racist/sexist/etc than this isolated incident that had fuckall to do with Walmart itself. This kind of reporting is why we all think that Lyle Alzado died from steroids and that Julius Caesar didn't fuck dudes in water fountains.

However, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has said the company has worked hard in recent years to show it cares about diversity.

Yeah, they probably grew tired of being sued all the time. More angry black people, please:

Bill Mitchell, a former Walmart employee who was shopping Wednesday at the store, said that he was saddened to hear about the announcement but that "as a black man, I've heard worse things."

Yeah, starting with "anything actually hateful". As a white man, I've heard worse things. As a motherfucking human, I've heard worse things. Media, can we find a non-angry black person or would that go against your creed?

As customer Sharon Osbourne, of Williamstown, left the store Wednesday, she called the announcement "appalling, stupid and sad."

Guess not. Listen, black people can be pissed all they want, and maybe I don't get it because I'm not black and can't grow dreads and all that but, I'm gonna say it. Lighten up, black people. Or AT LEAST don't blame Walmart for this one. Save that blame for next month when they pay Mexican employees in flour.

The reactions by the AP to this story and from the parties involved say more to me about current race relations than any sensitivity class could.


Grumpy said...

That post makes perfect sense. Too bad we're all too sensitive to get it. There have to be bigger things than this for the media to cover.

Vern said...

No way! This is big-time news. Pranksters like this EXIST!

price per head services said...

I have seen that image all over the internet and I have to say that I share your same thoughts about this issue