This post was written by Friday blogger Annie Reid.
Last month, Wal-Mart, in a bid to defeat a resolution banning gargantuan super stores, used images of Nazi book burning to imply that the lack of Super Wal-Marts was a parallel issue of freedom.
Now, Peter Kanelos, head of Wal-Mart public relations for Arizona, has resigned:
Wal-Mart on Thursday declined to say why Kanelos was leaving, and would not confirm whether he or his San Diego office had approved the advertisement. Wal-Mart spokeswoman Daphne Moore, declining to give specifics, would say only that the retailer approved the ad without realizing the photo’s “historical context.”
Wal-Mart also said it was no longer working with HighGround Inc., the Phoenix company that created the ad.
(Interesting that a company would claim not to “realize” the historical context of book burning. Increasingly, groups and individuals give the explanation of not “realizing” the potential impact of an action or statement, in deferring blame. Ignorant, hence blameless, at least morally. Responsibility becomes as happenstance and random as a goddam train wreck. Mistakes were made. If a large multi-national and its spokespeople “don’t realize” the historical reality and context of book burning, isn’t that as irresponsible as using those images to promote building your super stores?)
FYI, despite the odious ads, or perhaps because of them, the resolution was defeated, clearing the way for really, really big box stores in Northern Arizona. Let freedom ring, y’all. Is liberty on the rise? Or is it merely subjected to a deep, deep discount in aisle 14?