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JUNETEENTH DRAMA: Walmart Apologizes & Pulls ‘Freedom’ Ice Cream + Dollar Tree Releases Problematic Products

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Leave it to corporate America to mess up Juneteenth before it even gets here. After receiving social media backlash, Walmart has pulled it’s “Juneteenth” ice cream as well as other products. Also, Dollar Tree just released some Juneteenth decorations that the masses aren’t here for. Get it all inside…

We haven’t even made it to June yet, and corporate America is already ruining Juneteenth for some.

Like with most things, big brands founded by White families have found a way to commercialize Juneteenth, which was officially declared a federal holiday last year in the United States to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans and to celebrate African-American culture. The new holiday became the nation's 12th federal holiday in 2021 when President Joe Biden signed a law to mark June 19th as the holiday.

And like clockwork, big corporations are using the holiday to profit off of Black people’s (alleged) “freedom.”

For instance, Walmart released its Great Value Brand’s "Juneteenth" ice cream flavor. Packaged in red, green, and gold, the “Juneteenth” flavor features swirled red velvet and cheesecake for the “Celebration Edition” ice cream series.

Social media users quickly took to Twitter to blast Walmart for their tone-deaf product and encouraged consumers to support Black-owned businesses on Juneteenth instead.

 

 

”It's problematic when White-owned brands and companies treat Juneteenth as another commercialized (co-opt) opportunity void of any commitments to the [African-American] community, change or simple understanding of what Juneteenth is," tweeted Eunique Jones Gibson, founder of Because of Them We Can.

 

 

”I understand wanting to show support as a brand or being concerned about how your stakeholders might feel if you are quiet on June 19th. I’m having these same convos with my clients. But if you lack commitment/investment etc, being quiet is best,” she continued. “This ice cream was created by Balchem Company. But they didn’t just make the ice cream. They also trademarked ‘Juneteenth.’ The application was filed September 2021. The same year Juneteenth was made an official federal holiday.”

 

 

”But why? Why was it important for this company to “own” Juneteenth in this category? Isn’t that a little anti-Juneteenth… ya know… ownership and all. Perhaps they have a strong commitment to diversity & have pledged their financial support to the AA community as well? However there is no diversity amongst their leadership team. There are no Black leaders on their website nor are there any Black members on their board.”

VERY telling.

 

”So what’s the real scoop?,” she asked. “As someone who had BJs rip off my trademarked Because of Them We Can logo and design in celebration of Black history month (via a major vendor), stuff like this (big corps and their empty commitments) really grinds my gears.”

Eunique urged consumers to send their coins to a Black-owned business called Creamalicious that has its own version of red velvet ice cream.  

 

 

Walmart released products with the phrases “It’s The Freedom For Me” and interchangeably used colors that represent the Rastafari:

 

 

 

 

After the backlash, Walmart issued an apology and confirmed they will be pulling the Juneteenth products from their stores:

"Juneteenth holiday marks a commemoration and celebration of freedom and independence. However, we received feedback that a few items caused concern for some of our customers and we sincerely apologize. We are reviewing our assortment and will remove items as appropriate."

Walmart isn’t the only one….

 

 

Dollar Tree is guilty of releasing some problematic “Juneteenth” products as well. The company was quickly schooled on the official colors of the official Juneteenth flag, which are red, white and blue:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No word on if they'll pull their products...yet. 

Photo: Dollar Tree's IG 


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