After a turbulent 2020 in regards to race and civil justice, President Biden signed a bill to finally recognize Juneteenth as a federal holiday. This would be the first year that companies and brands are able to actually prepare to celebrate the day and give it the proper attention it deserves as Biden only signed the bill two days prior to June 19th last year.
Some companies did their due diligence to celebrate Juneteenth in ways that support the Black community. Others, however, were completely tone deaf. In our excitement to finally have our holiday nationally recognized, the Black community may have overlooked one thing. America is infamous for commercializing holidays and Juneteenth is no exception.
It is a little shocking that we didn’t see this one coming. Every summer-time federally observed holiday does the same thing. You can always find plates and cups with American flags on them, so why would they stop at Juneteenth? Walmart’s Juneteenth party supplies could have almost been acceptable but of course, theres always that one thing that messes up the vision.
“It’s the freedom for me” on the napkin is where many of us had to draw the line. Putting the name of the holiday on a napkin or plate is doable, but using AAVE in regards to slavery is pretty distasteful. Twitter users wouldn’t let this one go.
That’s not all folks. Walmart also released a Juneteenth themed Great Value brand ice cream to eat on the Juneteenth plates and cutlery.
After an uproar on social media, Walmart was forced to pull the ice cream off of its shelves. Let this be a lesson to big corporations, that tone deaf marketing will never be acceptable.