The Daily WORD is despicable
News item: “…. instead of taking unsold items to sample sales or donating them to people in need, H&M and Wal-Mart have been throwing them out in giant trash bags. And in the case that someone may stumble on these bags and try to keep or re-sell the items, these companies have gone ahead and slashed up garments, cut off the sleeves of coats, and sliced holes in shoes so they are unwearable” Link to New York Times story www.nytimes.com/2010/01/06/nyregion/06about.html?partner=rss&emc=rss
I can deal with the Swedish H&M in one short paragraph. Let’s organize marches and change one word of the late ‘60s protest chant, “One, two, three, four; we don’t want your f-ing store.” We stopped a war, and we can stop this soulless incursion. H&M flunked the citizenship test, now ship them back to Scandinavia.
Wal-Mart’s action is more disturbing. Wal-Mart is American grown, an American icon, flying the citizenship flag over our amber waves of grain from sea to shining sea. They are so entrenched in the landscape, one wonders why they are not included in the “Pledge of Allegiance.”
According to their Web site, “At Walmart, we believe in a philosophy of … giving back locally. We know we can make the greatest impact on our communities by supporting causes that are important to our customers right in their own neighborhoods. We’re proud to be a “store of the community” for all of the communities we serve…”
And Wal-Mart destroys clothing rather than sending an email to a charity asking them to pick up the goods and distribute to the needy. I don’t expect Wal-Mart to pay for postage or expend any gas money on their largess, just an email, that’s all.
I have wondered all day why I am so disturbed at Wal-Mart. I couldn’t wrap my mind around it. I couldn’t personify it or find the right words to describe it. Then I remembered the “Little Match Girl,” by Hans Christian Anderson, a story from my childhood that made me cry, a story that in my adulthood I deemed to maudlin to tell my children and grandchildren. Now I don’t think it is maudlin; now I know it is true.
The starving barefoot child was shivering on a street corner. No one was buying her matches, the only thing she had to sell. She lit one match; it warmed her. She lit another, then more. And then the matches were gone. They found her the next day, frozen to death.
So here stands big, bad Wal-Mart cutting up the coats and hats and boots and mittens that could keep the Little Match Girl warm. She lights her last match. Every time I close my eyes, I see her lighting that last match.
And Wal-Mart slashes on.