Large corporations that initially sought to cash in on Juneteenth-themed items ahead of the new federal holiday on are now walking back their commercialization efforts after backlash on social media.
On Tuesday, Walmart said it would remove its store-brand ice cream celebrating Juneteenth amid growing condemnation of the retailer trivializing the day for profit.
“Juneteenth holiday marks a celebration of freedom and independence,” the company said in a statement. “However, we received feedback that a few items caused concern for some of our customers and we sincerely apologize. We are reviewing our assortment and will remove items as appropriate.”
Overall, the commoditization of American holidays is a common occurrence.
“Once any signal event is declared a national holiday, it is subject to potential commercialization,” William Darity, a public policy professor at Duke University and racial equity expert, told Yahoo Finance.
Darity added that the Juneteenth’s national acknowledgement, ironically, may take away from “the compelling need for a comprehensive national program for Black American reparations.”
“Imagine how different the landscape would look if Juneteenth had been designated as a federal holiday after reparations had been paid,” he said.