One of my pet peeves is when people cry ‘racism’ on something that doesn’t deserve it.
Two stories today fit the mold.
Sunday evening, Washington Township, New Jersey. A male voice comes over the loudsystem to announce:
Attention, Walmart customers: All black people, leave the store now.
Obviously, not cool. My guess? An ill-timed, inappropriate joke.
Everything within me pictures a teen who was put up to it by a friend. The article itself doesn’t give details and says that Walmart is looking into it. It isn’t even clear if the person that did it was associated with the store.
Do I think that a black person that was in the store has the right to be upset about it? Sure, but the article interviews a woman who says that she and her friends will boycott the store until they are satisfied with the result.
What actually needs to be done?
Assuming it was an employee, I can guarantee you they are getting at least a heavy reprimand, if not being fired. If it wasn’t, I imagine that Walmart (and especially this store branch) will seriously look at how one accesses their PA system. I cannot conceive of a situation where this is not handled far beyond the needs of the customer.
Walmart gets a bad rap for things that are beyond its control or simply how business works. This is not to excuse the blatantly illegal, such as falsifying records and asking employees to lie about breaks, but to not viciously demonize an organization in every circumstance, no matter where the fault actually lies.
Update: The branch is cutting back on public access to phones which can use the PA system. Apparently, they have phones that can use the system, but can’t be seen on security cameras. More info here.
2nd Update: 16-year-old kid charged with a crime. Not an employee.
The health care debate is contentious, with all sides trying to paint as clear a picture as possible of their side. With that, comes metaphor.
Here’s Senator Graham’s:
Nancy Pelosi, I think, has got them all liquored up on sake and you know, they’re making a suicide run here.
Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), a Japanese-American who was put in an internment camp during WWII, was not particularly pleased.
I am disheartened that Senator Graham chose to use racially tinged rhetoric to express his opposition to health care reform.
How does race come into this in any way? It is historical fact that Japanese pilots drank sake before making a suicide run. Graham doesn’t say that the Japanese are bad, evil, stupid or anything negative. Had he said “You’d have to be a drunk Jap to want this bill to pass,” yes, that would be blatantly racist. What he said is not even close to the line.
What better analogy can one come up with to make the point that a group of people must be under the influence of some sort of substance to make a crazy, suicidal decision? Graham picked the perfect metaphor to make his point, whether you agree with it or not.