Sams store manager: Barack Obama is offensive

January 25, 2009 | By | 3 Replies More

Sam Club, which has no problem pumping out conservative books, including those written by Bill O’Reilly, has a problem with an employee who dared to wear a shirt bearing the likeness of the current President of the United States, Barack Obama.   The problem was that Obama’s image was potentially offensive to customers.

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Category: American Culture, Censorship, Consumerism, Politics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Dan Klarmann says:

    It may not be the point, but the Sam's Employee dress code apparently specifies "solid color t-shirts or a denim shirt with a logo". The t-shirt with a big pattern violates the dress code, but wasn't prohibited until someone complained.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    Dan, you're right about the solid color requirement. I'm wondering why the supervisor didn't just tell the guy "solid color, Dude."

    The reason this article caught my eye is that I previously had a membership with Sam's Club. I noticed, though, how the book selection was massively skewed toward conservatism. A huge table full of neocon, evangelical and conservative books, with nothing progressive anywhere to be seen. That, and the problematic labor issues, bothered me enough, but when Sam's decided that it wouldn't carry the morning after birth control pill in 2004, I handed in my membership card and switched to Costco. Truly, was the store offering merchandise or was it offering unwanted preaching? Sam's has since then (apparently) changed its mind. http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2006/03/walm

    It was clear to me that Sam's and Wal-Mart took it upon themselves to promote conservative politics and religion. I suspect that that remains the culture of the stores.

    Consider two not-quite-related posts: The books of Wal-mart and the Magazines of Wal-mart.

    http://dangerousintersection.org/2006/10/02/the-b

    http://dangerousintersection.org/?p=312

  3. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    Ahh! Just another day at an outpost of the evil empire called Walmart. Considering the way Walmart works the system to get corporate welfare, with many stores providing trained staffers who help the employees apply for public assistance, the influx of public money that supports the Walmart business model should put them in the same class as government contractors.

    One of the comments on the laughing stalk site pointed out that Walmart and Sam's Club stores are private property, so are the many other private companies that receive federal funding, Walmart Inc. should not be exempt from the same standards simply because they manipulate the system to get the federal government to pay part of their employee's compensation.

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