Walmart is apologizing after a baker refused to bake a cake for a retiring police officer; the baker had claimed that the slogan the customer wanted — “Blue Lives Matter” — was racist.
As the Macon Telegraph reports, late last week, an unnamed Georgia woman went to a Walmart location in McDonough, Georgia, to order a cake for a party for her father’s retirement from the police force. The woman has asked for a cake with an American flag with black and white stripes and with a blue line through it.
The symbol, says the Telegraph, is a “common police emblem,” the thin blue line representing the brotherhood of the men & women in blue; that is, police.
The baker on duty that day refused to bake the cake, saying that he or she considered it racist. The woman anonymously went on the Todd Starnes Radio Show to explain what happened.
“One of the bakers told me the design could be perceived as racist and nobody feels comfortable decorating the cake.”
The woman was outraged.
“I was so shocked. I didn’t know what to do or say or anything. I was trying not to lose my temper or make a scene.”
Family friend Taylor Wilkes, who is herself a Georgia police officer, took to Facebook to encourage others to boycott Walmart.
Once the story hit social media, it quickly went viral, generating over 4,000 shares and eventually being picked up by news agencies, including the Inquisitr.
Franklin Allen, Chief of the Jonesboro, Arkansas Police Department told WTVM (Columbus, Georgia), that the baker’s decision was “heartbreaking.”
“It’s really heartbreaking, because officers go out and put their lives on the line for people, regardless of color, creed, sex, or national origin. It doesn’t matter to us.”
The police officer’s daughter, meanwhile, took her business to a nearby Kroger and got her cake made.
Now that the story has gone viral, Walmart has tried to make things right. Wilkes said that store manager approached her friend and apologized, offered her a gift card, offered some items for the party on the house, and offered to make the cake that the baker originally refused. Not one to turn down a free cake, the police officer’s daughter accepted the offer; the results were less than spectacular.
WALMART refuses to make cop’s ‘racist’ retirement cake… https://t.co/1yS1srUb7I
— DRUDGE REPORT (@DRUDGE_REPORT) September 26, 2016
Taylor says that she believes that Walmart only tried to make things right because of public pressure, not because it was the right thing to do.
“I think he just did that because, t hanks to you all, this got so much attention, and he didn’t want it to go farther than it did. The way the meeting was described to me was that it was very scripted and not very sincere. So, although the mistake was ‘made right,’ I will still not be shopping at Walmart due to the ‘quality’ of employees they hire.”
Walmart’s corporate headquarters, meanwhile, has also entered the fray. In a statement, the Arkansas-based company said that they have “reached out” to the family to try to make things right.
“Our goal is to always take care of customers. But, sometimes we misstep. We’ve reached out to the family to make this right and offer our apologies.”
WTVM also contacted Walmart to see if any employees connected to the situation have been fired or otherwise disciplined; Walmart has not yet responded.
Do you think the Walmart bakers were in the wrong to refuse to bake a cake with a police symbol?
[Feature Image by Andrea Slatter/Shutterstock]