GROVE - A local woman's Facebook post has riled the community.
On Sunday, June 14, in a now-deleted post, a Grove resident claimed that a recording that was played in Walmart "supported Black Lives Matter" and "acknowledges the injustices committed by law enforcement agencies". The post spread like wildfire on the social media platform, reaching as far as the state of New York in just a few hours.
Soon residents were at the store to hear for themselves and to record the track. Incomplete or interrupted copies have surfaced.
A copy of the recording, provided by Walmart Corporation, transcribes as:
"Here's a special message from Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon: Over the past few days I have personally heard from many of our associates, leaders and members of the Walmart community. Overwhelmingly, people are hurting. There is an intense sense of pain, fatigue and frustration. Let me say clearly to our black and African American associates and communities, we hear you, we see you, I want you to know you are valued. You are loved members of our family. We need you to know you are not hurting alone, that I and others are hurting with you.
"So what now? Where do we go from here? Until we as a nation confront and address these hard realities, we'll never achieve the best of what we can be. What does this mean for us, for Walmart? Words and feelings matter, but they are not enough. More action is required. We'll find new ways to accelerated the desired changes inside our company and we'll also find way that our business can influence real change in our country. To learn more about how we're working to advance fairness, equity and justice, visit corporate.walmart.com/equity."
The corporation has not made an official statement regarding the post.
On social media, the Walmart has posted a video with the following statement on June 5:
"What is taking place is further proof we must stand together, push for change and help build a more inclusive and just society. It's not only who we are as a company, nit it's at the core of the most basic principles of human rights and justice.
"We also know it takes more than talk - it takes action. So Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committing $100 million over five years through a new center for racial equality. The goal of the cent er will be to address systematic racism in society head-on and accelerate change.
"The doors of Walmart are open to everyone. Our stores should be a place where every individual can feel welcome and know that they will be treated with respect as they work or shop."
The following statement was directed towards Walmart associates in a graphic posted Friday, June 12:
"Black Lives Matter. It is all of our responsibilities to embrace that fact in what we say and what we do. There's no way to live our values if we don't. Let's push even harder to create an inclusive and equitable culture. - Walmart CEO Doug McMillon"
The corporation has also started a social media series "highlighting Black and African American experiences and voices" within the Walmart community. The series began by introducing the store manager in Montgomery named Chris.
For more on Walmart's stances on COVID-19 and racism, visit www.corporate.walmart.com/equity.