What exactly is peopleofwalmart.com?:
“We personally have nothing against Walmart. We, along with most of America, shop at Walmart for nearly everything we need. This site is simply a satirical social commentary of the extraordinary sights found at America’s favorite store. Walmart is Americana baby, Enjoy!”
What exactly are we about to discuss here at SBPDL? Wal-Mart is a much maligned company, and the store receives the type of envy and derision the New York Yankees find themselves constantly encountering. Why? Because Wal-Mart is the biggest company in the world (revenues of $378 billion in 2008):
“A facelift and even lower prices kept the world’s largest retailer afloat in a troubled economy.Staring down the barrel of brutal fourth-quarter retail forecasts, CEO Lee Scott dramatically cut prices on 15,000 items – including popular toys and electronics – by 20% more than usual to lure holiday shoppers. That rocked the industry, pressuring other retailers to squeeze already tight margins.The tactic worked: Wal-Mart grossed $100 billion, breaking its fourth-quarter sales record, and soundly beat Target in same-store holiday sales for the first time in nearly a decade.”
Interestingly, the customer base of Wal-Mart (if one decided the test samples at peopleofwalmart.com are an accurate portrayal of the cross-geographical pool of consumers for its low prices) represents the diversity of the United States perfectly:
“Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will retool its 3,256 U.S. stores over two years to give them a more customized mix of goods and layout for six key groups of customers, including Hispanics, African-Americans and affluent shoppers, the executive in charge of Wal-Mart’s U.S. operations said Thursday.The move is the latest strategy twist for the world’s largest retailer as it struggles to revive growth rates that have fallen behind smaller rivals such as Target Corp. and after the company’s first quarterly drop in profits in a decade.The approach, called segmentation, follows months of new initiatives from Wal-Mart to make sure each store is better tailored to its locale and to lure more affluent shoppers, who may come to Wal-Mart for groceries and basics but skip the company’s more profitable aisles like apparel and electronics.Eduardo Castro-Wright, president and chief executive of Wal-Mart U.S., said stores will get a more specific mix of products and layout to appeal to one of the six target groups — based on what market research showed was the best approach for that location.“Driving customer relevancy will drive growth,” Castro-Wright said in a Webcast of a presentation to financial analysts.The target groups identified by Wal-Mart’s market researchers are Hispanics, African Americans, “empty-nesters/boomers,” affluent, suburban and rural shoppers, according to Castro-Wright’s slide presentation.”
Everyone loves low prices and nearly 100 million Americans enter a Wal-Mart store each week searching for discounted goods and merchandise, all in an environment where the most garish and outlandish individual can shop without fear of persecution or ridicule.
You see, Wal-Mart is the ultimate manifestation of America, where the pursuit of happiness is a virtue and individual liberty to wear any accoutrement in public is encouraged and scorn is heaped upon those who point the prole takeover of the nation.
Newsflash: proles run this country. They are the life-blood of this nation. Visiting peopleofwalmart.com, one is shocked to see the incredible obesity represented within the pages of that website. Is this an anomaly? No. As we stated in passing on seconds, an unbelievable rate of Black people find themselves classified in the morbidly obese category. White people, always wishing to emulate Black people, work diligently to increase the turgid nature of the average American:
“The rates of adult obesity in the United States increased in 23 states during the past year and did not decrease in any state. And the number of obese and overweight children has now climbed to 30 percent in 30 states, a troubling trend that could signal decades of weight-related health problems such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease as these children become adults.”
For the fifth year in a row, Mississippi topped the list as the state with the highest rate of adult obesity, at 32.5 percent, according to the report, F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies Are Failing in America 2009 . Besides Mississippi, West Virginia, Alabama and Tennessee have obesity rates above 30 percent. Eight of the 10 states with the highest number of obese adults are in the South. The state with the lowest adult obesity rate is Colorado, at 18.9 percent, according to the report.
Remember, the least healthy geographic regions of the United States are in the south, which coincid entally has the highest percentage of Black people in the nation (click here to see how many Wal-Mart’s your state has operating).
Interestingly, this map illustrates where Wal-Mart stores are most frequent and not surprisingly, the south finds itself inundated with Sam Walton’s mad creation.
Again, no store more perfectly symbolizes the United States of America than Wal-Mart does and a quick look at the store will crystallize this metaphor for everyone:
Wal-Mart’s dedication to the African-American community is evident throughout our company.
- Wal-Mart is a leading employer of minorities in the U.S. and has more than
257,000 African-American associates.
- The company offers its Diversity Development Series seminars to assist our associates in their understanding of diversity trends and challenges. These sessions help to provide key information, tips and skills to empower associates to use their unique talents and ideas to contribute to their professional growth. As a result of these efforts and many others, more than 25 percent of all Wal-Mart managers and officials are minorities, including African-Americans.
- Wal-Mart actively recruits associates from minority-serving institutions, including historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). In fact, more than 5,400 of our associates are graduates from 73 HBCUs across the country.
Uh-oh. Recruiting from Historically Black Colleges and Universities can be a risky proposition, considering how many of them are losing their accreditation.
Worse, Wal-Mart can’t employ all Black people:
“Joblessness for 16-to-24-year-old black men has reached Great Depression proportions — 34.5 percent in October, more than three times the rate for the general U.S. population. And last Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that unemployment in the District, home to many young black men, rose to 11.9 percent from 11.4 percent, even as it stayed relatively stable in Virginia and Maryland.”
Beyond that local effort, Wal-Mart has taken its romance national, setting up scholarships for minorities, donating to the United Negro College Fund and writing checks for several black Congressmen. Patronage has its benefits. In May Black Enterprise, the venerable periodical of Afro-America’s business class, announced that Wal-Mart would be a sponsor of its 10th Annual Entrepreneur’s Conference. In its June issue, Black Enterprise listed its “30 Best Companies for Diversity.” Guess who made the cut? But Wal-Mart’s move into the inner city has set off a debate in the black community about economic development. Traditional activists see the company as a corporate parasite. “Desperate people do desperate things. People would rather have a supermarket than not,” says Jesse Jackson, whose Rainbow/PUSH Coalition is headquartered in Chicago. “But the point is that employment and development must go hand in hand. We need work where you can have a livable wage and health insurance, and retirement.”
Wal-Mart bends over backwards to placate and pander to the minority community, which is a tactic as American as apple pie.
Not everyone is happy about this however:
As Jesse Jackson and other black leaders have pointed out in response to this boast, the slave plantation was once a “leading employer” of African-Americans as well…
Many black community activists were appalled that black leaders were so easily bought off. “I was ashamed to be black!” says Elce Redmond of the South Austin Coalition, a Chicago neighborhood organization, describing how the clergy and elites rolled over…
There are clearly profound racial tensions in the labor movement, and as Wal-Mart continues to move into cities it is likely to continue to exploit these tensions. Warren, a public policy scholar at the University of Chicago, says, “I’ve been at a loss to figure out why the labor movement can’t have an honest conversation about race.”
An honest discussion of labor and race in America? We can’t even have an honest discussion of race by itself in this nation, let alone compounding the issue with labor issues.
Let’s be honest for a moment. A trip to Wal-Mart is akin to watching Idiocracy, a movie that paints a dystopian portrait of the 25th century and the average IQ level of future inhabitants of this nation:
The film tells the story of two ordinary people who are taken into a top-secret military hibernation experiment that goes awry, and awaken 500 years in the future. They discover that the world has degenerated into a dystopia where advertising, commercialism, and cultural anti-intellectualism run rampant and dysgenic pressure has resulted in a uniformly stupid human society devoid of individual responsibility or consequences.
Watch the movie, then venture into a Wal-Mart. The similarities will startle you.
Black people make up a significant portion of Wal-Mart employees and a large portion of the patrons who help make that corporation the worlds biggest. And yet, the average Wal-Mart experience – as lampooned by peopleofwalmart.com – is laughable and unpleasant in a macabre sort of way.
Remember that Wal-Mart represents America beautifully in all its splendid grotesqueness and that the store – which we have discussed in our Black Friday and Waiting in Line entries – paints a clear picture of the blanket barbarism that exists within our borders:
“Family members of the fatally trampled Wal-Mart worker are suing the corporation for not protecting their employees from potential harm from their own customers. Is a lawsuit preferable?
There are Wal-Marts all over the country. There were Wal-Marts that offered the same discounts and had the same crowd issues. Out of all of those Wal-Marts nationally, how many had the doors pushed off the hinges by their customers, trampling employees and customers alike? This was obviously an unfortunate anomaly. BUT if Wal-Mart turned their parking lot into a police state that Thursday night/Friday morning, just what do you think people like Jesse Jackson would be saying? The majority of the people in the pictures rushing the Wal-Mart doors were black. A pre-assumption they would behave unruly would have been seized on by civil rights ambulance chasers as racism.”
Or how about this
one – already discussed at SBPDL – which tells the tale of an individual who couldn’t wait her turn in line:
“This much isn’t in dispute: Heather Ellis joined a line at a Wal-Mart nearly three years ago. Whether she cut in line or merely switched checkout lanes to join her cousin is in dispute, and the accounts of what happened next vary greatly. The debate has divided this economically struggling town of 11,000 along racial lines. Ellis, then a college student with no criminal history, said some white patrons shoved and hurled racial slurs at her when she switched checkout lines at Wal-Mart in January 2007. Store employees refused to give her back her change and called police, she said. And when she was taken outside to the parking lot, an officer allegedly told her to “Go back to the ghetto.” Another roughed her up, she said.”
We haven’t discussed this story yet, because the implications of said event shock even us:
“An elderly Wal-Mart greeter was punched in the face and seriously hurt outside the store in North Versailles.Channel 11 News got surveillance video of the incident, which happened Tuesday night. The video shows a man walking up to Thomas Jenkins, 72, of McKeesport, and knocking him to ground. Police identified the suspect as Paul Washington, 55, of North Versailles.
Jenkins was taken to UPMC McKeesport Hospital and then to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital because of the severity of his injuries.Jenkins’ twin sister, Betty Evans, said there was blood everywhere.”There was blood everywhere. He suffered a stroke and was on blood thinnner (before the attack), so there was blood everywhere after the attack,” said Evans. “Whoever did this was very cruel.”Evans said her brother’s mouth is so swollen that he can’t talk. She said the bones in his face are swollen and surgery has been postponed.”
Wal-Mart greeters happen to be one of the few enjoyable aspects of a trip to Wal-Mart, for they usually
a gregarious senior citizen that just want contact with the outside world. Being punched for “bumping”into a Black person is just another example of living in a Black world.
Or, if you fail to provide goods for a check that can’t be certified and the individual offering that check is Black, you better be prepared to be fired:
“Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has fired the manager of a supercenter here for “poor judgment” after he called sheriff’s deputies to apprehend a black manager of a business whose $13,600 company check could not be verified. The decision came after a two-week internal investigation concluded the store manager violated Wal-Mart’s procedures but found no evidence of racial discrimination. The store manager, Mark Cornett, could not be reached for comment at his home. Company officials said another, unnamed member of the management team at the 11110 Causeway Blvd. store also will be disciplined, but declined to say more. And all Wal-Mart store managers in the Tampa area will get racial sensitivity training next month, although it had been previously scheduled. Reginald Pitts, a 34-year-old human resources manager for GAF Materials Corp., suspects he was singled out for extra scrutiny because he is an African-American who tried to buy 520 gift cards for employees on Nov. 23. But he is still waiting for Wal-Mart to fully explain why he was threatened with arrest after the store said it could not verify his employer’s $13,600 check. Pitts’ case has generated a national firestorm of bad publicity for the retail giant at a time when there are some signs it is losing a high-stakes public relations war with its critics. The treatment Pitts encountered, meantime, was familiar to many minority customers who say they are too often treated like prospective thieves by retailers such as Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart has a zero tolerance policy for racial discrimination and racial profiling, and it called the Brandon firing evidence of how seriously it takes complaints.”
Crime in America is bad, and yet Wal-Mart – the ultimate corporate manifestation of America – is a haven for the criminally gifted:
Among the critical findings of the “Is Wal-Mart Safe?” study:
- Wal-Mart stores experience a significant number of police incidents. In 2004, police received 148, 331 calls for service for the 551 Wal-Mart stores analyzed;
- The average number of reported incidents per store for the 551 stores analyzed was 269;
- The Wal-Mart stores in our sample that reported the most incidents in 2004 experienced higher average rates of reported police incidents than nearby Target stores;
- Based on the average rate of reported incidents for the 551 Wal-Mart stores analyzed in this study, we estimate that in 2004 police may have received almost 1 million calls for service at Wal-Mart stores or parking lots – or 2 reported police incidents per minute in 2004;
- Nationally, Wal-Mart stores cost local taxpayers an estimated $77 million in increased policing costs in 2004
Yes, Wal-Mart is American as apple pie. And yes, crime committed by those who frequent Wal-Mart is a major problem, just like crime committed in any part of America.
Wal-Mart is a corporate giant, offering low prices to a broad range of consumers across the nation – nowhere more so than the obese south – and many people enjoy poking fun at the biggest company in the world by calling it a “redneck” gathering place.
Peopleofwalmart.com does a good job of showcasing the obese white people who frequent the store and the other unusual creatures that pass for bipeds who slither out of strange cracks in the small towns to showcase their cracks for the internet world, but the site misses the point.
The data points to something disturbing, the kind of information that is included in Stuff Black People Don’t Like. If our future is Idiocracy, then a trip to Wal-Mart is like visiting days of future past, for SBPDL has to include being the real peopleofwalmart.com.
Whether it is stampeding fellow Black people on Black Friday; crying racism over cutting in line; punching elderly greeters; or working the check-out lanes, Black people find themselves constantly at the center of the Wal-Mart publicity world.
Worse, is this story out of flood-savaged Katrina:
The Wal-Mart store in uptown New Orleans, built within the last year, survived the storm but was destroyed by looters.
“They took everything, all the electronics, the food, the bikes,” said John Stonaker, a Wal-Mart security officer. “People left their old clothes on the floor when they took new ones. The only thing left are the country-and-western CDs. You can still get a Shania Twain album.”
Black people are the real peopleofwalmart.com, whether they will admit it or not.