Black Lives Matter activists once praised Walmart’s 2015 decision to remove Confederate flags from its online retail market. However, after Breitbart complained that Walmart sold “Bulletproof. Black Lives Matter” paraphernalia and the national Fraternal Order of Police wrote the retailer to ask for its removal, the multinational corporation decided to drop that merchandise, too. While the merchandise was sold through a third-party merchant via Walmart’s website, it was Walmart’s decision to remove this specific item.
According to James Pasco, the Executive Director of the national Fraternal Order of Police:
“The bulletproof thing goes to the new assertiveness of some violence prone individuals to take action directly against police. We find it offensive for that reason.”
Now, the merchandise isn’t even available with the original retailer, Old Glory. Which is not a black-owned business BTW.
The removal (or prevention) of Black-owned, or Black-related merchandise isn’t anything new. In the Jim Crow Era, Black merchants couldn’t sell their goods in White-owned stores. Further, ethnocentric or activist-oriented paraphernalia was relegated to mom-and-pop shops…much like it is today through individual social media marketplaces.
So, in case you needed yet another reason, please #BuyBlack this season: merchant, retailer and everything in between. After all, our lives depend on it.
Via CNN Money