Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

“Attention, Wal-Mart customers: All Black people, leave the store now.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Yo yo yo yo yo!

Wassup brutha’ and sistas! It be lookin’ like muh folks in ‘da hood wuz dissed in Washington Township, New Jersey!

Yo yo yo yo!

We ain’ down wid it!

Breaking now from the jive blinglish, we shall continue in plain, ordinary, everyday English.

Last Sunday evening at a Wal-Mart store in southern New Jersey’s Washington Township, a calm male voice came over the public-address system and announced: “Attention, Wal-Mart customers: All black people, leave the store now.

Moments later, a store manager quickly commandeered the PA system and apologized for the remark. It was uncertain if a shopper or store employee made the remark.

Shoppers expressed various emotions ranging from outrage to disgust, some vowing not to return until they were satisfied with as-yet-unnamed actions the world’s largest retailer may take.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. officials in Bentonville, AR issued an official statement that said in part that, “We are just as appalled by this incident as our customers. Whoever did this is just wrong and acted in an inappropriate manner. Clearly, this is completely unacceptable to us and to our customers.

WMT store officials are trying to determine who made the remark and how it happened. (ed.: Here’s a clue… watch your videotapes!)

However, this is not the first time Wal-Mart has had race relations problems.

There have been several instances of Black customers claims of unfair treatment at WMT stores, and the company has faced sex-discrimination lawsuits that women were discriminated against in pay raises and promotions.

In February 2009, WMT paid $17.5 million to settle a class action lawsuit alleging racial discrimination in its truck driver hiring practices.

And in May 2009, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued WMT claiming Hispanic employees at Sam’s Clubs in California were subjected to a hostile work environment, alleging managers failed to stop repeated verbal harassment against employees of Mexican descent.

However, The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has said WMT has been diligent in recent years to demonstrate they care about diversity.

Bill Mitchell, a Former Wal-Mart employee shopping Wednesday at the Washington Township, NJ store, said he was saddened to hear the announcement but added that “as a Black man, I’ve heard worse things.”

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