Walmart is pulling its Great Value brand “Celebration Edition Juneteenth” ice cream from its stores. The move comes after the mega-retailer was called out on social media for releasing the holiday-themed product.
“Juneteenth holiday marks a celebration of freedom and independence,” a Walmart spokesperson said in a statement, according to CNN. “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.”
Many social media users shared their view that Walmart’s gimmick was a problematic capitalization on Juneteenth, the celebration of freedom for enslaved Black Americans.
President Joe Biden officially made Juneteenth (June 19) a federal holiday last year.
“This is a day of profound wait and profound power,” he said in a speech before establishing the holiday with his signature. “A day which you’ll remember the moral stain, the terrible toll that slavery took on the country and continues to take.”
“When we establish a national holiday, it makes an important statement. National holidays are something important,” Vice President Kamala Harris added in her speech. “These are days when we as a nation have decided to stop and take stock, and often to acknowledge our history.“
As MADAMENOIRE reported, Walmart’s red velvet and cheesecake Juneteenth ice cream was packaged in a pint with yellow, red, black and green — reminiscent of the Pan-African colors.
“Share and celebrate African-American culture, emancipation and enduring hope,” the container read.
The incident isn’t the first time a major retailer has missed the mark while attempting to be inclusive this year.
Back in February, Bath and Body Works was infamously under fire after releasing its Black History Month collection.
Supporting Black-owned businesses is just one way of intentionally commemorating Juneteenth in an impactful way. Read about that and more below.
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