Walmart finds itself at the center of yet another controversy this week after “All Lives Matter” T-Shirts were spotted on its main and Canadian online stores, CNN reports. The graphics, clearly a take on the Black Lives Matter movement, arrived in a number of variations, including the aforementioned ALM design alongside “Blue Lives Matter,” “Irish Lives Matter,” “Drunk Lives Matter,” and more.
The (understatement alert) tone-deaf tees promptly positioned the company at the epicenter of social media backlash, particularly considering they were discovered just weeks after Walmart — aka the world’s largest retailer, which is reportedly double the size of Amazon thanks to $517 billion in global revenue — pledged $100 million towards racial equity.
The $20 designs are courtesy of the brand Old Glory, who flogs other endearing creations on the Walmart Marketplace including Father’s Day delights like “I have a beautiful daughter. I also have a gun, a shovel, an alibi” and “The RodFather” (…ew). There is another design that reads “We Can’t Breath,” which, in addition to being deeply offensive, is also misspelled.
If we’re being real, it’s not really surprising that they were sold in the first place. After all, Walmart Marketplace (a digital platform for third-party sellers) supports a vast number of businesses with no (perceived) interest in, nor the ability to, regulate its offerings. It’s also a company that in the last few years alone has come under fire repeatedly for racial discrimination, gender discrimination, low wages, poor working conditions, environmental practices, spying on employees, bribery, its use of overseas labor … the list goes on and on.
If you, like Old Glory (if we assess this situation with a pinch of salt, although the name kinda says it all), are still unclear as to why All Lives Matter is offensive, we’ve done a whole explainer on that. And if you want to support the fight towards actual equality, you could always start by sending the $20 you could’ve spent on one of the racist T-shirts above, and consider donating it instead.
Not sure where to start? Here are some helpful guides: