Walmart Canada is getting some serious backlash for selling T-shirts with the phrases "All Lives Matter" and "Blue Lives Matter" printed on them.
Walmart Canada is in the hot seat after it was discovered that the retailer is selling T-shirts with the controversial slogans "All Lives Matter" and "Blue Lives Matter" printed on them. Many people took notice of the various items sold on the Walmart website that bore a "lives matter" phrase, and expressed their outrage at these products on social media. The T-shirts were seen as offensive and racist, as these phrases were famously coined in resistance to the Black Lives Matter movement.
"Walmart Canada: We are taking steps to address racism. Also Walmart: This ALL LIVES MATTER merch is available for pick up in three locations near you," wrote one Twitter user. Absolutely disgusting. Remove this right now @WalmartCanada." A few weeks ago, Walmart made a statement pledging to "tak[e] steps to address racism head-on and accelerate change," which included "committing $100 million over five years through a new center for racial justice." They also insisted that their doors are "open to everyone" and that their "stores should be a place where every individual can feel welcome and know they will be treated with respect as they work or shop."
Walmart responded to the controversy on Tuesday (June 23rd), indicating that they will be launching an investigation to determine whether these products breach the company's "terms and conditions." They also specified that the items are "sold and shipped by a third-party seller and [are] currently being looked into."
"We stand against any form of racism or discrimination," the company stated. "We promote listening, seeking to understand and embracing individual differences. Today, our third-party marketplace has a number of items with variations on the phrase 'lives matter.' We will continue to review those items to ensure compliance with our terms and conditions."
On the same day, Walmart also announced that it will no longer be putting the Mississippi flag on display in its stores due to the flag's inclusion of the Confederate battle emblem. "We believe it's the right thing to do, and is consistent with Walmart's position to not sell merchandise with the confederate flag from stores and online sites, as part of our commitment to provide a welcoming and inclusive experience for all of our customers in the communities we serve," a spokesperson said.