Posted by: Bill Tracy | March 20, 2010

Don’t Mess with God Walmart

The God Walmart is offended. This God is the equal of any Old Testament God of wrath, and is easily offended. A 16-year-old boy in sleepy southern New Jersey picked up an openly available public address system microphone in a God Walmart store last Sunday evening (March 14, 2010) and announced: “Attention, Walmart customers: All black people, leave the store now.” Apparently, the kid then giggled and ran out of the store – a felony suspect on the run! But you cannot escape God Walmart. You can run, but….

FrownImmediately a customer called the 911 emergency number and reported that black people were being told to leave the store. Police responded to this emergency. A search and investigation immediately ensued. Detectives were assigned. God Walmart furnished all video surveillance tapes from around the time of the incident to help the police. An online investigation commenced; diligent police detectives scoured social networking sites (like Facebook) for kids bragging about such a thing. They put pressure on their confidential informants. They took anonymous tips. The Washington Township, NJ police force gets serious and gets down to business when it comes to messing with God Walmart. After five days of feverish detective work, they got their man, boy that is. He was arrested yesterday (Friday, March 19, 2010). Prosecutors were ready too. He was immediately charged with “harassment and bias intimidation,” according to news reports. When found guilty, he can be sent to a juvenile detention facility for up to a year.

If you’re tempted to think this is a silly prank from a thoughtless teen, think again. The exalted high priestess of our land, The New York Times, has declared God Walmart offended and angered. It’s an important enough story for them to assign not one, but two reporters. The Associated Press, perhaps the last vestige of the old and semi-honorable “Fourth Estate,” knows it must kowtow in humble fashion to this God so it keeps sending out updates. News organizations, from The Christian Science Monitor to the Los Angeles Times are reporting this transgression against God Walmart.

Washington Township, NJ authorities

Police chief and county prosecutor looking righteous at their news conference to publicly appease God Walmart.

The local authorities held a formal news conference today in public appeasement of God Walmart. The county prosecutor, as rabidly arrogant and ignorant as any of his ilk, profoundly exclaimed:

“This was an extremely disturbing event on many levels. Any statements like these that can cause harm or grave concern must be addressed as quickly as we possibly can.”

The Washington Township police chief, with the cool aplomb of Dragnet’s Joe Friday, said only, “We got lucky.”

The ongoing investigation includes the boy who accompanied the arrested transgressor as well as the families. No stone will be left unturned on behalf of God Walmart.

Although I knew enough not to mess with God Walmart, I am guilty of this same crime. Yes, in similar stores, I have taken to the public address with announcements such as:

“Attention shoppers. Will the man who just left the rest room please return. You forgot to wash your hands.”

“Attention shoppers. Sorry for the inconvenience, but all shopping carts must be turned in to the maintenance department within the next 30 minutes for scheduled maintenance.”

I’ve got a million of them! I’m not the class clown type, but I do have a sense of humor and am not above a prank on occasion. Now, this 16-year-old in our tale of sin went a little beyond the pale. Sadly, we live in a tense, uptight and racially charged country. Like most children his age, he has neither the life experience nor the good judgment to avoid that racial abyss. If he had instead said, “Attention, Walmart customers: All fat, old men, leave the store now,” I would have laughed and kept on shopping. So would everyone else, and God Walmart would frown but would not respond with national wrath.

The racial tensions we accept in this country have reduced us to this abject silliness. Add to that our fear of Osama bin Laden lurking behind every lingerie counter and milk carton, and we are a people deserving of contempt. We spend billions sending armies off to distant lands in futile search of the demon-of-the-moment. State governments nearing collapse cut education and services to the old and sick – the ones who cannot fight back. And yet we can spend precious resources chasing down an immature and thoughtless 16-year-old boy to appease God Walmart.

Walmart StoreIf you believe God Walmart is truly offended, you are a naïve and true believer. They have spun this beautifully. This God is the innocent victim wanting nothing more than good for all their valued customers. In their statement, they say:

“We’re appalled by this incident and are amazed that anyone could be so backward and mean-spirited in this day and age. The words were incredibly hurtful to our customers–especially our African-American shoppers–and we regret that it happened more than we can say. We are very sorry this happened and apologize to all of our customers and associates who had to listen to something so offensive.”

Meanwhile, they have publicity so widespread and compelling their whole $12 billion annual profits could not buy it. They can pose as the innocent victims of a demented public enemy who deserves the harshest punishments the criminal justice system can muster. Lock him up and let us serve our revered “African-American shoppers” with all the respect and utmost esteem in which we hold them is their clear message. The best masters of media spin could not have played it better.

This is what happens when a country makes corporations more important than people. Don’t mess with God Walmart.

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Responses

  1. Maybe the kid said FAT people. They wouldnt know who he was talking about,there not fat. On the other hand people attuned to prejudice, those folks just waiting for someone to triger there outrage would be inclined to hear BLACK. I have trouble understanding anything said over those loudspeakers, and wouldent pay any attention if i could.

  2. This reminds me of a silly radio prank our local radio show used to pull at Wal*Mart. They would call and make up some crazy story that ended up with the unaware clerk making an absolutely obscene P.A. announcement, just by stringing the names together a certain way. I would give you examples, but then Bill Tracy would have to issue a heartfelt apology and have me arrested ;o)

  3. I tend to agree with you, Bill, that this was just a teenager’s prank, similar to the ones you pulled as a kid. As my own boys did, too. But it does concern me that levels of open racism have really risen lately. Just scroll through anonymous comments that follow any internet story about our President.

  4. I loved some of your examples. Sounds like fun. I think maybe Walmart is just a little paranoid of their wallets getting a slightly flatter like happened in the past with the settlements for racial discrimenation. Maybe that was the reason the youth said what he did. To watch Walmart scramble.


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