It’s a strange day for me up here in my corner of the world. I need a vacation but that’s not happening for a while so I will take a moment from my busy day to bring some light to some situations that are only now just starting to get national attention.
Many Americans shop at Wal-Mart, some because they like it and some because they have no choice. After all its well-known that Wally comes to a town and often the little homegrown shops go out of business. Me? Well prior to moving to Maine, I had only been to a Wal-mart maybe once if that. I can’t recall. In part because there were no Wal-Marts in Chicago and also because I always associated Wally’s as being the type of place I had no need to go to.
Well after moving to Maine, for the first couple of years living here I started going to Wal-Mart because prices were cheaper but every time I went there, I hated it. There is something about being in Wal-Mart that literally makes me sick. It’s as if they pumped in bad air. I find the whole experience to be unpleasant and coupled with the fact that they are well-known for treating their employees like shit, as well as being anti-union. I started looking for better more sustainable options for shopping. I do a great deal of my shopping directly with small local farmers or small local shops, though I do go to the local big box grocer to round things out. In the end its only a few dollars more but in this case its money well spent.
That said, plenty folks go there and it’s just what they do. I pass no judgement on them….sometimes you do what you have to do. However if you are Black and shopping at Wal-Mart you may get more than you bargained for. Check this story out and this one. In both stories Black folks were shopping and in both instances white folks thought the Black folks cut them in line and well…shit hit the fan. Though in the last story I linked to a young woman who may have been bound for medical school is literally fighting for her freedom. Yep, Heather Ellis is dealing with intimidation from the local KKK and what should have not even been a case or issue is threatening to destroy a life. In that first story a woman old enough to know better thought that calling someone a nigger was appropriate behavior for being slighted.
Um….what the fuck is wrong with people. Are they on dope or dog food? Nope, sadly its that old friend racism rearing its ugly head and in a place like Wal-Mart, I swear there is something about the environment that makes folks just go crazy. You put people together who in many cases are scrapping to get by financially and long lines and its a bad combination. I know I am coming across as rather light about some rather serious situations but shopping in places like Wal-Mart I am aware that you see the intersection of race and class coming together and sometimes it is not pretty.
So I want to do my part and get the word out about the plight of Heather Ellis and send some prayers that this case is dismissed and that another bright young Black life is not lost to the penal system. As for the rest of us, maybe us Black folks should stay the hell out of Wal-Mart…seriously they are not good for our health at all. In fact we should all stay away from Wal-Mart, the country would be a prettier places if there were less Wal-Marts destroying the landscape.
Edited to add, Revvy Rev left me another example of Wal-Mart and Black folks not going well together, check this piece out http://thetoledojournal.com/news/Article/Article.asp?NewsID=99733&sID=4