WALMART has come under criticism after a location held a fundraiser that many see as racist.
The incident that landed a black employee in a fake jail cell happened at the Providence, Rhode Island store during a fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals system.
The display has since been removed, Walmart spokesman Joe Pennington told The US Sun.
in one photo In a post posted to Twitter, the worker was seen sitting in a cage-like container that was used to store toy balls.
“I’m in jail!!! I need bail!!!” say the signs around the employee.
“Help me raise $50 to get out.”
Original Poster Angela Ankoma, who works on justice initiatives at a nonprofit called the Rhode Island Foundation, said she was “at a loss” about the situation.
“This is WILD,” she said in the tweet.
The picture was sent to Ankoma by a buyer named Angela Boateng, who was interviewed by the Providence Journal.
“I just didn’t understand what was happening, but I was embarrassed,” she said.
“I was just deeply offended.”
She demanded an apology from Walmart, which told the US Sun that it advertised the fundraiser in its stores but not this particular exhibit.
“The ‘prison’ fundraiser is against company policy and should never be used,” Pennington said.
“We are reinforcing this with our stores in the area and this ad has been removed from our Providence location.”
The incident also caught the attention of the Black Lives Matter Rhode Island Political Action Committee.
“This display not only perpetuates harmful stereotypes, but also demonstrates an apparent lack of respect and understanding for the experiences of marginalized communities,” the group said in one opinion posted on Facebook.
“All affected employees should apologize immediately and clearly.”
They also called for an investigation into the Providence incident and similar situations across the country.
The local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People also criticized the ad and demanded an immediate apology from Walmart.
“Images of black people in cages represent a long, dark history in this country,” the group said in one opinion posted on Facebook.
“From the reality of slavery, to the normalizing portrayals in everyday entertainment, to the harsh realization of the disproportionate number and mass incarceration of black people in our country.”
“Walmart should apologize and acknowledge that this is offensive and hurtful to black people in particular, but to all people of color overall who make up a large portion of their customer base at this particular Walmart.”
The Children’s Miracle Network did not immediately respond to the US Sun’s request for comment.