Featured image by: Bethany Biron

The disrespect towards blacks by retail stores continues to be an ongoing issue in the United States. We all remember back in 2018 when H&M came under fire for an ad that featured a black child wearing a sweatshirt with the words “coolest monkey in the jungle” etched on the front. 

The image was widely criticized online for its reference to a monkey, an animal that has been associated with derogatory features in racial and ethnic slurs. We are in 2023 and the disrespect has resurfaced again. 

Over the weekend, Walmart removed a pair of boots from its website that had “KKK” written on the tongue.The shoes were suddenly removed after the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) notified the retailer. 

Their removal comes on the heels of a Congressional report that found Black hourly employees at Walmart were fired twice as often as white staffers. The findings were conducted by The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis. 

The investigation showed inequities at 12 major US companies between 2019 and 2021. A spokesperson for CAIR said that the organization contacted Walmart’s corporate offices to respectfully ask that they be removed after receiving a tip about the shoes by email. The spokesperson stated, “We thank Walmart for dropping an online listing for oddly/poorly named ‘KKK’ boots.”

This to me is negligence at the hands of Walmart. In my opinion, I believe they knew the boots were there the whole time but decided to overlook them. Why does it take the pressure of social media or outrage from the public for these retailers to do the right thing? 

This is just another slap in the face to the black citizens of this country. When will it stop?

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