Listen to this article here
The Black Wall Street Times

Sign-Up for a free subscription to The Black Wall Street Timesdaily newsletter, Black Editors’ Edition (BEE) – our curated news selections & opinions by us for you.

For a country that doesn’t respect Black lives nor Black history, it’s sure found a way to make money off of Black History Month and now, Juneteenth. 

It’s ironic that after generations of advocacy to get the government to actually recognize our American Independence Day, now everybody wants to “celebrate” Juneteenth. But not because of our freedom, because of its greed and capitalism. 

Over the weekend, images of Walmart’s latest promotion hit the internet–Great Value, Juneteenth ice cream

Juneteenth ice cream misses the mark

Wait a damn minute, I have (rhetorical) questions.

Is this the same Walmart that was sued by the EEOC for race and gender discrimination?

This ain’t the Walmart that refused to pay its workers minimum wage, provide adequate healthcare and paid time off, is it?

Walmart, is that you promoting emancipation when at one point y’all locked up African American hair and beauty products, claiming they were more likely to be shoplifted

Nah, this can’t be the Walmart that Black employees give two thumbs down for workplace mobility and advancement and only has 12% Black representation in upper management and leadership?

But whew chile, despite all of the lawsuits, discrimination and stereotyping, this is the Walmart. Talking about “Share and celebrate African-American culture, emancipation and enduring hope!” to promote its ice cream. 

Walmart gets blasted for selling Juneteenth Ice Cream

And they didn’t just stop at ice cream. In addition to the t-shirts they had from last year, they have Juneteenth water bottles, wine, party supplies and banners–pages and pages of sh*t to make us feel real free at the cookout!

We, the Black people, ain’t here for it. Not with an ounce of trust or hope. And a lot of us were mad as hell about it over the weekend but the truth is, we knew this would happen.

I mean, come on y’all–did we not think that this country that excels at colonizing and capitalism wasn’t going to commercialize Juneteenth? Slavery built and bankrolled most of our major corporations today–surely they’re going to try to profit off our “emancipation”, too.

What Walmart could’ve done

Walmart could’ve gone about this another way. If they truly cared about emancipation, they would have partnered with Black owned ice cream companies and brands and given them shelf space in stores throughout the entire year. 

They could’ve left the Juneteenth paraphernalia to Black-owned businesses. It’s bad enough that Joe Biden is taxing people’s Cash App and PayPal accounts, taking revenue from small Black businesses. Now here come these big box stores doing a snatch and grab, too. 

And if Walmart execs actually took the time to consult with Black communities, they’d know that we don’t want no damn Black power, bootleg Baskin-Robbins ice cream. We want reparations! 

Nonetheless, Walmart went on ahead and created a line of Juneteenth odds and ends because it only cares about its bottom line.

Just as fast as I was irritated, I was over it because we have more pressing things to worry about. Like, let’s talk about how schools don’t even want to teach our kids what Juneteenth is

Juneteenth should be taught, not exploited.

Let’s get into how Black people (youth and adults) are more likely to be killed by gun violence than any other racial group. And how even though we’re celebrating emancipation, we’re still over-criminalized and sent to rot on plantations called prisons.

Also, 40% of sex trafficking victims in the United States are Black girls and women with so many of them still missing.

Last but not least – as we learned from the Buffalo tragedy – there’s a growing community of White men and boys who are being groomed to hate and murder Black people.

We are legit being attacked at all angles in an attempt to destroy our spirits and lives. We really don’t have time to be concerned about Walmart and its shenanigans.

Give dollars to Black-owned businesses instead

So here’s what’s going to happen. Some people are going to buy the ice cream out of curiosity, ignorance and for social media likes. Most of us may leave it on the shelves to eventually freezer burn–we’re lactose intolerant anyway. 

The outrage will pass but hopefully we all invest our money into Black-owned businesses, grow our own communities and leave Walmart and other cultural appropriation line steppers looking dumb and in the red.

But here’s my greatest desire. I hope that going forward, we invest our time and energy into things that truly matter: Our healing, our health and wellness, our kids, our education, the  economic growth and stability in our communities and all in all, our lives.

Because that’s what emancipation is, and loving ourselves is the most radical act of resistance sure to piss off this country that really doesn’t give a damn about us or our Juneteenth.

Tanesha Peeples is driven by one question in her work--"If not me then who?" As a strategist and injustice interrupter, Tanesha merges the worlds of communications and grassroots activism to push for radical...

5 replies on “Opinion: I don’t give a d*mn about Walmart’s Emancipation Ice Cream”

    1. The fact that you would refer to yourself as Nappy Ho speaks volumes. I’m sure you can still run out and get your Juneteenth ice cream before all of it is snatched from the shelves.

  1. Slavery built and bankrolled most of our corporations? That is a massive lie. Along with much of this article. The “historical” stretches (outright falsehoods) that are made to tie everything to slavery or racism are exhausting and silly. I’d invite you to look at the s&p and determine which companies were built by slavery, or even around at the time… That doesn’t fit your nationalist narrative though. Saying things get ruined when white people touch them is something a nationalist would say. It must be exhausting hating everyone who doesn’t share your skin color being as you live in the most diverse country in the world.

Comments are closed.