Walmart finally came to its senses.
Last month, the retail giant had one hell of a time with the release of its “Celebration Edition: Juneteenth Ice Cream,” meant to celebrate “African American culture, empowerment, and enduring hope.”
The ill-conceived idea to market America’s latest vacation fell on deaf ears and prompted an immediate reaction on social media. In the aftermath, Walmart reversed course by halting sales and issuing a mea culpa regarding red velvet-flavored ice cream with its colorful packaging.
“Commercialization for me continues to bring more pain and trauma to a community that has already been marginalized,” community leader Athenia Rodney told the Daily News, adding that she was not at all shocked.
The day is meant to commemorate the day June 19, 1865, when enslaved African Americans learned of their emancipation.
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But in 2022, it turned into a misguided way to move goods, at least for Walmart, which the company acknowledged.
“The June 19 holiday marks a celebration of freedom and independence,” a Walmart spokesperson said in a statement. “However, we have received comments that a few items have caused some of our customers concern and we sincerely apologize for this. We are reviewing our assortment and will remove items as appropriate.
The crude commercialism was no surprise to some.
“I laughed a lot at that, because, OK, anything that becomes a holiday, anything that comes out in the public eye and becomes popular, someone is going to try to market it,” actor James Monroe Iglehart said. at TheNews. I mean, last time I checked, the word Christ was on Christmas, but we don’t hear much about it. We have Santa Claus a bunch of other stuff. Easter has an Easter bunny.
Iglehart, who won a Tony Award for “Aladdin” and also appeared in “Hamilton,” said just because he laughed doesn’t mean Walmart’s actions weren’t offensive.
“Hell no, they shouldn’t have done that,” he said. “And they should never do it again. But am I surprised? No way. I’m not surprised at all.
“Young black people on Twitter, they shut it down fast,” he added. “And they know it’s not a commercial marketing day. It is a day of remembrance of a true day of blood, sweat and tears that we must ensure our young people remember and revere and carry on forever.