The Ancient Order of Hibernians has praised the commercial giant who plans to remove insulting stereotypical products from their website.
The Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) has commended Walmart for their swift response in starting the process of removing from their website St. Patrick’s Day themed products that defamed the heritage of Irish Americans and glorified the dangerous practice of binge drinking.
These items, which appeared to be exclusively the products of third-party vendors selling through the Walmart site, included such phrases as “Can't Regret What You Don't Remember St. Patrick’s Day”, “Irish, Drunk, Whatever”, “The Four Fathers of St. Patrick’s Day: Jack, Jim, Johnny, Jameson” and others.
The AOH, one of the oldest Irish groups in North America, founded in 1836, reached out to the commercial giant condemning the offensive products. They received a response from Walmart’s Vice President Preston Bottomy who confirmed the removal of the offensive items.
Bottomy said “(Walmart) is initiating a process to prevent similarly offensive products from surfacing in the future; please bear with us as we work through that process” and in the interim reaffirmed Walmart's commitment to removing any other offensive items that should be found.
In a statement the AOH National Anti-Defamation Chair Neil Cosgrove said:
“We commend Walmart for once again acknowledging our concerns and the concerns of the broader Irish American community. We note and appreciate the difficulty of policing third-party vendors who must bear the true accountability of producing and trying to profit from products denigrating Irish Americans and promoting the 18th-century prejudice of the anti-immigrant “Know Nothings”.
“We have reached out to Walmart over the past three years and they have always acted in a thoroughly professional and responsible manner in removing these offensive products when brought to their attention. Walmart has been an example of corporate responsibility that we would wish other retailers would emulate.”
Do you agree that much of the St. Patrick’s Day products on sale are offensive? Would you like to see these “funny” t-shirts and merchandise stamped out? Let us know your views below.
If you come across other retailers are offering offensive merchandise here are some tips on what you can do:
- Ask to speak to the owner, manager or customer service representative.
- Explain that St. Patrick’s Day is a holy day in Ireland. Ask if they would sell offensive stereotypical T-shirts for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Puerto Rican Day, St. Joseph’s Day, etc.
- Let them know that you find the merchandise offensive and politely ask them to remove them.
- If they refuse, ask to see the return policy. Consider purchasing some and pay for it via charge card. Return the merchandise on March 18 for a full refund.
- Boycott that store for the month of March in honor of St. Patrick.