Walmart under fire for using “n-word”

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CTJJ5N Front view of a Walmart supercentre store exterior sign logo Ontario Canada KATHY DEWITT. Image shot 05/2012. Exact date unknown.

American supermarket chain Walmart recently came under fire after a product description featuring a racial slur appeared on their retail website. A wig cap made by brand Jagazi Naturals was available for purchase on the website. The product description described the shade as “N****r Brown” which has since then been removed.

The product was brought to notice by Haitian-American author Roxane Gay through her Twitter account. It is reported that the wig cap is a third-party product, thus Walmart does not take responsibility for the product description, however many people took to Twitter to demand how this product description went unnoticed. Walmart responded with an apology, however not before it created an uproar amongst consumers.

This is not the first time Walmart has been criticized for racial and cultural insensitivity. Earlier this week Twitter user @gindaanis shared an image of an offensive item found in the children’s department at Walmart Canada.

Elizabeth Sault, the woman who posted the image, considered this onesie offensive towards the Indigenous communities of North America, many of whom are internally displaced – leading several Native American children towards foster care.

Many others also responded to Roxane Gay’s initial tweet with their own findings. As it turns out, Walmart still retails questionable items targeted towards marginalized communities in North America.

 

Racism has increasingly become an epidemic in the age of social media – where once globalization aimed to break barriers between people, it is now reinforcing racial stereotypes to the point where offensive and questionable products often go unnoticed.