For the past nine months Domagron, a family-owned business, has been selling “All Lives Matter” bumper stickers on Walmart’s online marketplace.
But on Oct. 11 the company received a notice from the nation’s largest retailer that the bumper sticker had been removed from its marketplace.
The notice implied that the bumper sticker had violated the company’s “prohibited products” policy.
Owner Dominick Agron was stunned – so he fired off an email to Walmart demanding to know why the “All Lives Matter” bumper sticker was prohibited.
A spokesperson from Walmart responded Thursday: "The item you’re asking about was incorrectly removed due to a system error earlier this week and was quickly re-published to our site, which you can see here."
Later that evening Agron was stunned to receive the following message from Walmart:
“’All Lives Matter’ has been deemed an offensive term. These types of items are not appropriate for the Walmart Marketplace.”
Mr. Agron was furious.
“Walmart should be ashamed of itself,” he said. “To advocate a view that not all lives matter is deplorable.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Agron wrote a letter to the company’s board of directors announcing his intentions to terminate his relationship with Walmart.
“As a result of Walmart’s blatant discrimination and formal position that “ALL” lives do not matter, we are terminating our relationship with Walmart effective immediately,” he wrote. “I am disappointed in your views, but we cannot transact with such a morally corrupt organization.”
Mr. Agron’s message apparently was received loud and clear at Walmart headquarters – because they recently reinstated the bumper sticker.
“They had blamed the removal on a system issue,” he said. “While we seriously doubt the veracity of the claim, we are taking it at face value.”
Mr. Agron is right to be suspicious.
“Someone needed to code the algorithm in the system to consider the term ‘All Lives Matter offensive,’” he said. “A computer can’t do that on its own.”
As a good faith measure, he decided to reinstate all of his other products on the Walmart marketplace.
“However, we reserve the right to cease dealing with Walmart once again,” he added.
Last month a Walmart in Georgia refused to decorate a cake with the words “Blue Lives Matter.”
Facing a media firestorm and national outrage, the store had a change of heart and agreed to comply with the customer’s wishes.
Sounds like the Walmart bakers may have had the same algorithm problem that resulted in the bumper sticker getting banned.
Walmart might want to look into that.