Black pastor calls Wal-Mart ‘A little bitty cracker corporation from Arkansas’
By Yvette Carnell
In Washington D.C., activists are fighting to convince Mayor Vince Gray to pass the Large Retailer Accountability Act, which would require large retailers with corporate sales of $1 billion or more and operating spaces 75,000 square feet or more, to pay its work force a minimum-wage of $12.50 an hour. According to the Washington City Paper, Gray may be signaling that he will capitulate to threats made by Wal-Mart to close stores in the area if the bill passes.
A group met this week in Ward 7’s Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church, where tensions overflowed.
Rev. Graylan Hagler asked why the mayor was letting a “little bitty cracker corporation from Arkansas” push the District around.
The Wal-Mart heirs have more money than 41 percent of American families combined, which is more than enough to pay a living wage. Are the heirs themselves racist? Who knows? (And for the record, pointing out that one of the heirs made a donation to the President Obama campaign doesn’t mean anything, especially since most of the family supports Obama’s opposition.)
But before you bash the good minister as a racist for calling Wal-Mart a “little bitty cracker corporation,” consider this:
* Wal-Mart settled a $17.5 million dollar lawsuit in 2009 after being sued for discriminating against African-Americans who applied for work as truck drivers.
* In a 2011 lawsuit against Wal-Mart, it was revealed during pre-trial testimony that the store racially profiled and spied on African-Americans who visited their clinic.
* Also in 2011, Wal-Mart settled a racial discrimination lawsuit brought by Hispanics employees.
* Wal-Mart was also sued by a man who said he was of-fended by a racist message over Wal-Mart’s intercom.
It would’ve probably been more productive if Hagler hadn’t used a slur when referencing Wal-Mart, but doesn’t he have a point about the D.C. government’s capitulation? Why should a mostly African-American city allow itself to be pushed around by a company that pays servitude wages and has an abysmal record on race?
But on one issue I vehemently disagree with Hagler: Wal-Mart is not little. As a matter of fact it’s too big for its own good and probably needs to be knocked down a peg. Best of luck.
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