On Monday (June 29), Walmart announced that it would stop selling merchandise that displays the “All Lives Matter” slogan, which has been commonly used as a counter-protest to the Black Lives Matter movement. According to USA Today, the “All Lives Matter” merchandise available on their website, which is sold by third-party sellers, will be halted “indefinitely” after hearing from employees and customers who were concerned about the meaning behind the controversial phrase.
“We fundamentally believe all lives do matter and every individual deserves respect,’’ the corporation said in a statement. “However, as we listened, we came to understand that the way some, but not all, people are using the phrase ‘All Lives Matter’ in the current environment intentionally minimizes the focus on the painful reality of racial inequity.”
The multinational chain will also reportedly put more “emphasis” on Black people whose lives are “impacted by ongoing racial injustice.’’ However, Walmart’s other online merchandise that includes the “Lives Matter” phrase, including “Blue Lives Matter” and “Irish Lives Matter,” is still under review.
Last week, the company also announced it would no longer display the Mississippi state flag at its stores, due to the flag’s Confederate imagery.
“We know the design of the Mississippi state flag is being discussed by various stakeholders,” Walmart said in a statement to CNN Business. “While the issue continues to be discussed, we’ve made the decision to remove the Mississippi state flag from display in its current form from our stores.”
On Monday (June 29), Mississippi state legislature voted to change the flag and remove the Confederate emblem. The bill will still need to be approved by Gov. Tate Reeves, who is expected to sign it into law.
“This is a long time coming,” NAACP president Derrick Johnson told CNN after the bill passed. “Finally, Mississippi decided to be one of the 50 states, and not the one state standing alone still bearing the emblem of a segregated society.
Mississippi voters will decide on a new flag this November.