Walmart to Stop Selling 'Bulletproof: Black Lives Matter' Shirts After Police Union Complains
As if you needed another reason not to shop at the obscenely greedy, non-healthcare providing, child labor using, discriminatory monster that is Walmart, here’s another one: Walmart has cowed to requests from the Fraternal Order of Police who asked the company to stop selling t-shirts and sweatshirts that say “Bulletproof” and “Black Lives Matter.” On Tuesday night, the $250 billion dollar company refused to stop selling “Black Lives Matter” shirts, but Walmart agreed to remove the “Bulletproof” shirts from its website.
The Fraternal Order of Police (FOB), the country’s largest police union, is a racist institution. There’s no way around that verifiable fact. The FOP endorsed Donald Trump. Hacked FOP emails revealed unsavory comments about immigrants, Justice Sotomayor and President Obama. It has consistently refused to address the abysmal number of unarmed citizens killed by cops — a whopping 950 people in 2015.
So, asking Walmart to stop telling t-shirts that affirm black lives is right on par with its racism and the white supremacy it upholds.
On Tuesday, FOP president Chuck Canterbury wrote to Walmart CEO C. Douglas McMillon to tell him Walmart was “selling offensive shirts and sweatshirts.” Because, in his tiny brain, professing that black lives matter is offensive. “I urge you to prohibit the use of the Walmart name and website for the retail sale of these products.” Ironically, he has no issue with the “Blue Lives Matter” shirts that Walmart also sells online. Sounds qwhite right.
Canterbury claims the shirts are divisive. Think of the poor cops, won’t you! How will the communities they’re “protecting” (and killing unarmed citizens in nationwide) trust them if Walmart sells these shirts! “I am concerned that allowing these articles to be sold in this way will damage your company’s good name amongst FOP members and other active and retired law enforcement officers,” Canterbury wrote. “Commercializing our differences will not help our local police and communities to build greater trust and respect for one another.”
Nothing about those “Blue Lives Matter” shirts Walmart sells, though.
Because Walmart is almost as terrible as the FOP, the company conceded on the “Bulletproof: Black Lives Matter” shirts while keeping the ones that don’t have the word “bulletproof” on them. In a statement given to The Washington Post, Walmart said:
“Like other online retailers, we have a marketplace with millions of items offered by third parties that includes Blue Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter merchandise. After hearing concerns from customers, we are removing the specific item with the ‘bulletproof’ reference.”
Whoever at Walmart made this final decision is a coward. I am deeply offended by any company selling “All Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” shirts, although it is their right to do so. But since I’m not the head of the FOP, my discomfort doesn’t matter.
See, part of the problem is the FOP has too much goddamn time on its hands. And it’s worried about all the wrong things. Canterbury has the time in his day to send Walmart a letter about t-shirts instead of investigating racism and taking a stand against cops who kill unarmed Americans. Instead of working on solutions so there’s no need to proclaim that black lives matter on a t-shirt, he’d rather have the shirt removed. It doesn’t make a lick of sense, but it’s the FOP way.
To be clear: Walmart just told you it only supports certain kinds of speech as long as it doesn’t offend police officers. This is reason number 1,572 not to shop there. My god, if you’re still shopping at Wally World, I don’t know what to tell you.
And for anyone who thinks “Bulletproof: Black Lives Matter” slogans are anti-police… you need to open your eyes, do your Googles, read a fucking history book. Please! Affirming black lives in a country that has a hard time doing so will never be synonymous with being anti-police. That we’re still explaining this means two things: people are willfully obtuse, and people just don’t give a damn about black lives. It’s that simple.
If you want a “Black Lives Matter” shirt, purchase one here instead. Too bad we can’t all flood the FOP offices with “Black Lives Matter” shirts that aren’t from Walmart. Oh, the Christmas joy it would bring. Seriously, one of you rich allies should get on that. I won’t even charge you for the idea. You’re welcome.