Walmart Canada is receiving criticism for clothing items that some say trivialize the Black Lives Matter movement.
Twitter users were quick to point out that the retailer’s online website was selling clothing with “All Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” alongside their “Black Lives Matter” products.
— Beth MacDonnell (@bethmacdonnell) June 23, 2020
Your company should have control and a say over what is sold on your site.
— M (@mmeekks) June 23, 2020
Walmart Canada: We are taking steps to address racism.
Also Walmart: This ALL LIVES MATTER merch is available for pick up in three locations near you.
— Farzana Khan (@_Farzanakhan) June 23, 2020
All Lives Matter and White Lives Matter have historically been used to discredit the Black Lives Matter movement and have been used by white supremacist groups, including Ku Klux Klan.
Blue Lives Matter has also been co-opted by counter protestors opposing Black Lives Matter, and according to Oxford Dictionary, the “thin blue line,” which can be seen on some of the products, is “used to refer to the police, typically in the context of maintaining order during unrest.”
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Blue Lives Matter has also been used interchangeably with White Lives Matter in some protests.
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In addition, the company also featured “Irish Lives Matter” and “Homeless Lives Matter” on certain products.
The company responded to the tweets by saying these products are sold through third-party retailers.
Hello Kate. This item is sold and shipped by a third party seller. We’ve forwarded your comments to the appropriate department to look into further. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
— Walmart Canada (@WalmartCanada) June 23, 2020
“At Walmart Canada, we stand against any form of racism or discrimination,” the company wrote in a statement to Daily Hive on the matter. “We promote listening, seeking to understand and embracing individual differences. Today, our third-party marketplace has a number of items with variations on the phrase “lives matter.’ We will continue to review those items to ensure compliance with our terms and conditions.”
At the time of publishing, the products were still available on the company’s website.