Leave it to corporate America to mess up Juneteenth before it even gets here. After receiving social media backlash, Walmart has pulled it’s “Juneteenth” ice cream as well as other products. Also, Dollar Tree just released some Juneteenth decorations that the masses aren’t here for. Get it all inside…
We haven’t even made it to June yet, and corporate America is already ruining Juneteenth for some.
Like with most things, big brands founded by White families have found a way to commercialize Juneteenth, which was officially declared a federal holiday last year in the United States to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans and to celebrate African-American culture. The new holiday became the nation’s 12th federal holiday in 2021 when President Joe Biden signed a law to mark June 19th as the holiday.
And like clockwork, big corporations are using the holiday to profit off of Black people’s (alleged) “freedom.”
For instance, Walmart released its Great Value Brand’s “Juneteenth” ice cream flavor. Packaged in red, green, and gold, the “Juneteenth” flavor features swirled red velvet and cheesecake for the “Celebration Edition” ice cream series.
Social media users quickly took to Twitter to blast Walmart for their tone-deaf product and encouraged consumers to support Black-owned businesses on Juneteenth instead.
 
It’s problematic when white owned brands and companies treat Juneteenth as another commercialized (co-opt) opportunity void of any commitments to the AA community, change or simple understanding of what Juneteenth is.
— Eunique’s Playing #CultureTags (@eunique) May 23, 2022
 
”It’s problematic when White-owned brands and companies treat Juneteenth as another commercialized (co-opt) opportunity void of any commitments to the [African-American] community, change or simple understanding of what Juneteenth is,” tweeted Eunique Jones Gibson, founder of Because of Them We Can.
 
This ice cream was created by Balchem Company. But they didn’t just make the ice cream. They also trademarked “Juneteenth.” The application was filed September 2021. The same year Juneteenth was made an official federal holiday. pic.twitter.com/yAWoQD5XkE
— Eunique’s Playing #CultureTags (@eunique) May 23, 2022
 
”I understand wanting to show support as a brand or being concerned about how your stakeholders might feel if you are quiet on June 19th. I’m having these same convos with my clients. But if you lack commitment/investment etc, being quiet is best,” she continued. “This ice cream was created by Balchem Company. But they didn’t just make the ice cream. They also trademarked ‘Juneteenth.’ The application was filed September 2021. The same year Juneteenth was made an official federal holiday.”
 
Perhaps they have a strong commitment to diversity & have pledged their financial support to the AA community as well? However there is no diversity amongst their leadership team. There are no Black leaders on their website nor are there any Black members on their board. pic.twitter.com/LuQwERj3w6
— Eunique’s Playing #CultureTags (@eunique) May 23, 2022
 
”But why? Why was it important for this company to “own” Juneteenth in this category? Isn’t that a little anti-Juneteenth… ya know… ownership and all. Perhaps they have a strong commitment to diversity & have pledged their financial support to the AA community as well? However there is no diversity amongst their leadership team. There are no Black leaders on their website nor are there any Black members on their board.”
VERY telling.
If you want some red velvet cake ice cream this Juneteenth and beyond, support Black owned Creamalicious which is available at Target. pic.twitter.com/JtvFEfdsLl
— Eunique’s Playing #CultureTags (@eunique) May 23, 2022
 
”So what’s the real scoop?,” she asked. “As someone who had BJs rip off my trademarked Because of Them We Can logo and design in celebration of Black history month (via a major vendor), stuff like this (big corps and their empty commitments) really grinds my gears.”
Eunique urged consumers to send their coins to a Black-owned business called Creamalicious that has its own version of red velvet ice cream.  
 
Listen, I’m not above Great Value version anything but @Walmart the jokes write themselves. Y’all know y’all wrong for these horribly marketed and branded ice cream versions to honor pride and Juneteenth
— Darius Jones (@DariusJones06) May 23, 2022
 
Walmart released products with the phrases “It’s The Freedom For Me” and interchangeably used colors that represent the Rastafari:
 
They keep interchanging the Rastafari and African American colors too pic.twitter.com/KTM9YadWd9
— Irie-MonMon (@arientyse) May 23, 2022
 

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After the backlash, Walmart issued an apology and confirmed they will be pulling the Juneteenth products from their stores:
“Juneteenth holiday marks a commemoration and celebration of freedom and independence. 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.”
Walmart isn’t the only one….
 
Hosting a Juneteenth event this year? Check out our new Juneteenth party supplies, tableware, and more for a celebration to remember. https://t.co/dQZbheGwm2 pic.twitter.com/sZR5mBfQfE
— Dollar Tree (@DollarTree) May 23, 2022
 
Dollar Tree is guilty of releasing some problematic “Juneteenth” products as well. The company was quickly schooled on the official colors of the official Juneteenth flag, which are red, white and blue:
 
For those of us w/ deep Texas lineage, NOTE: there’s an official Juneteenth flag that’s been around for YEARS. The colors of Juneteenth are red, white and blue-just like the Texas “Lone Star” flag. Stop promoting colors that do not represent this 157-year-old heritage celebration pic.twitter.com/2dlUSWykpw
— MsAng Natl Volunt Alum/Advocate Against Abuse (@angacknowledged) May 24, 2022
 
 
Wrong colors folks….hire a research team. pic.twitter.com/cGjuaB2dil
— Luemil (@Luemil3) May 24, 2022
 
 
The crazy part is that they can’t even get the color right. They want to Pan Africanize it so badly…
— Red Eyes Wide (@RedEyesWide) May 25, 2022
 
Who on the Dollar Tree team initiated this? Also who signed off? Can your company release a statement with direct quotes from those who are responsible for this decision? I would appreciate an explanation.
2/6 #ProtectJuneteenth
— LaCreshia S. Birts (@LaCreshiaBirts) May 24, 2022
 
 
 

No word on if they’ll pull their products…yet. 
Photo: Dollar Tree’s IG