Unethical Quote Of The Month: Walmart CEO Doug McMillon

White-Flag“We don’t want any of the merchandise that we sell to be offensive”

—-Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, explaining to FOX Business Network host Maria Bartiromo why the retail chain was pulling all Confederate flag-themed merchandise. In another interview, with CNN Money, McMillon said that “We just don’t want to sell products that make anyone uncomfortable.” The Walmart announcement tarted a stampede of many large retailers to dump the flags and items with the flag design.

And thus did the CEO of a major U.S. corporation wholeheartedly endorse the speech- and thought-suppressing ideology of political correctness bullies, “hate speech” censors, and progressive fascists.

This widespread capitulation to a wildly irrational reaction to a single tragedy authored by a single individual is, for Democrats and race-baiters, a masterpiece of cognitive dissonance manipulation, one that should be a terrific case study in future psychology classes.

Because Dylann Roof was photographed with a Confederate flag, and because his racist church massacre occurred in a state that has obnoxiously and irresponsibly insisted on flying that flag despite its legitimately offensive connotations to many of its citizens, the flag was linked to the murders so viscerally that to defend its display was regarded by the news media, pundits, bloggers and, consequently, public opinion, as tantamount to supporting the killer. Naturally, politicians and businesses ran for cover, and whatever their previous stances on the issue, instantly flip-flopped to declare the Confederate flags the equivalent of Nazi swastikas.

Well-played, speech police. I am in awe.

McMillan made himself King of the Political Correctness Weenies, however, with his dangerous declaration.  Walmart doesn’t want to sell any merchandise that anyone finds offensive, Doug? You do know that a lot of people find Walmart itself offensive, right? Your selling anything under your business model makes them “uncomfortable.” Meanwhile, you sell guns. Psssst! Guns had a whole lot more to do with the deaths of those nine prayer-meeting attendees than the Confederate flag.  WalMart rents the “American Sniper” video,  as well as lots of other movies, some of which I find offensive. Do you want my list so you can pull them, too? WalMart also sells “Zodaca Hot Sexy Women’s Sexy Lingerie Lace Dress Underwear Sleepwear Elegant One Piece.” I am reasonable sure a lot of people find that offensive, while those non-energy-saving light bulbs you sell make the blood of environmentalists boil.

MacMillon’s statement would just be stupid if it weren’t for the fact that there are an increasing number of anti-freedom, anti-First Amendment, censors and petty tyrants in this country who really advocate the speech veto of the offended. If one person in an audience of 500 is offended by a comic’s joke, he better grovel an apology, or a boycott will  follow. If gays hundreds of miles away take offense at a pizza joint’s owner’s off-the-cuff remark about opposing gay marriage, then that pizza place should be run out of business. Nothing can be allowed to offend anyone, not a speech, not a joke, not a design, not a flag, not a product, not a statement of objective fact.

Thank you, Doug McMillon, for helping to bring us closer to that anti-American, fearful, censorious, dissent-free and individuality-crushing hell that is being pushed on this nation with increasing aggressiveness and success.

You are an irresponsible and cowardly fool.


Facts: Fox Business, Wall St, CNN Money

50 thoughts on “Unethical Quote Of The Month: Walmart CEO Doug McMillon

  1. A business decision that may or may not impact the bottom line. The CEO is simply riding the wave of public sentiment so, to me, a big yawn. NASCAR has also joined the chorus.

    Now just how do the battle flags fit into this latest PC scenario?

    • Not a big yawn, Rick, as I will shortly point out. Pulling the flag merchandize as a business decision: swell. I’d do it too. Making a general statement like that is irresponsible, and he should be fired for it.

      This clears the slippery slope for a dangerous cultural purging, and the longer it is allowed to progress, the worse it will be. You just invoked about 12 rationalizations.

      • That cultural purging has long been going on. Why is there no WM in Boston? Why no Chick-fil-A? So, yes, Jack – this is a big yawn since it has been going on for years as has hypocritical liars and frauds that sit in high places in the private and public sector. That, Jack, you covered ten fold in the OP on WM joining the conga line.

        Fired? Only if that bottom line is still shrinking. And that bottom line is shrinking. Maybe a nice deflection off the real issues?

        Interesting site on the flag.

    • “We just don’t want to sell products that make anyone uncomfortable” is an outright lie told only for the purpose of public relations. Though such lies are common, they’re nothing to yawn about. If this were an honest statement, Wal-Mart’s shelves would be near empty. The only alternative explanation is that they’re forced, against their will, to sell offensive products they do not want to sell.

        • Who told you about my irrational refusal to walk away from any challenge? Restricting myself to your list, and allowing for some wiggle room (i.e., creative interpretation), I found fifteen that McMillon may have used to convince himself the lie was permissible: 1-The Golden Rationalization (“Everybody lies.”); 3-Consequentialism (actually, just poor prediction of consequences, “It will work out for the best.”); 4-Marion Barry’s Misdirection (“It’s not illegal, so it should be okay.”) 8-The Trivial Trap (“Nobody will be hurt by this lie.”); 9-The Reverse Slippery Slope (“If we don’t pull the merchandise, race riots will ensue, non-racists will stop shopping at our stores, and the South will rise again.”); 10-The Unethical Tree in the Forest (“They don’t know people take offense to other things we sell, so the lie won’t hurt them.”); 13-The Saint’s Excuse (“This lie is for a good cause.”); 15-The Futility Illusion (“If I don’t lie now, somebody else will.”) 22-The Comparative Virtue Excuse (“There are worse things than lying.”); 24-Juror 3’s Stand (“It’s my right to say what I want.”); 25-The Coercion Myth (“I’ll be fired if I don’t lie; I have no choice.”) 28-The Revolutionary’s Excuse (“Don’t you know the flag caused a massacre? Desperate times require desperate measures.”) 31-The Troublesome Luxury (“We need to act fast and worry about ethics later.”) 32. The Unethical Role Model (“Sam Walton would have done the same thing.”); 44-The Unethical Precedent (“It’s not the first time I’ve lied.”); and 47-Contrived Consent (“The non-racists will not be satisfied unless I lie to them.”)

          Those that condone, ignore, or trivialize the lie might use any of the rationalizations above. Alternatively, they might also use any of these fifteen rationalizations: 2-The “They’re Just as Bad” Excuse (“All CEOs lie, so it’s no big deal.”); 6-The Biblical Rationalizations (“If we’ve ever lied ourselves, we can’t judge him for lying.”); 11-The King’s Pass (“As the CEO of the world’s greatest retailer, he’s under a lot of pressure – we should give him a break.”); 12- The Dissonance Drag (“He can’t really be a liar – he’s a titan of commerce.”); 19-The Perfection Diversion (“We can’t expect him to be perfect.”); 20-The “Just one mistake!” Fantasy (“It’s just one lie.”); 26-“The Favorite Child” Excuse (“We let other CEOs get away with lying.”); 33-The Management Shrug (“As lies go, it wasn’t that big of a deal.”); 34- Success Immunity (“Wal-Mart is very successful, so the lying can’t be bad.”); 38-The Miscreant’s Mulligan (“Don’t be so picky – give the guy a break.”); 39-The Pioneer’s Lament (“Why should he be the first CEO to be tarred and feathered for lying?”); 41-The Evasive Tautology (It’s just the way CEOs are.”); 43-Vin’s Punchline (“His lying has never been a problem before now.”); 46-Zola’s Rejection (“Take care of your own problems instead of pointing fingers at McMillon.”); and 48-Ethics Jiu-Jitsu (“I can’t believe you’re attacking him for wanting to make people comfortable.”).

          So, all in all, it seems thirty of the rationalizations might apply to this particular example of dishonesty. Now we just have to wait to see if he tries to Pazuzu himself out of the lie once all other customers start asking for removal of discomforting products.

            • I don’t see it, and will appreciate help finding the rationalizations in my comment – especially if there are twelve of them.

              McMillon made statement A: “We just don’t want to sell products that make anyone uncomfortable.” I claimed that statement A was a lie. For McMillon’s statement of A to have not been a lie, McMillon must have believed it was true. For McMillon to have believed it was true, he must also have believed it true that either: (1) Walmart doesn’t sell products that cause discomfort; (2) Walmart doesn’t know it sells products that cause discomfort; or (3) Walmart does sell products that cause discomfort, but they don’t want to (in other words, they are forced to sell what they sell or have no control over what they sell, which is the alternative mentioned in the last sentence of my comment).

              The context of statement A (the CNN article) clearly illustrates that McMillon does not believe in the truth of conditions 1, 2, and 3. It is obvious from the article that McMillon is well aware that selling firearms discomforts some people, thereby falsifying conditions 1 and 2. He says they will continue to sell firearms nonetheless. (He does claim to have not known about the Confederate flag products, but statement A is too broad to cover only these.) McMillon also demonstrates he believes condition 3 to be false. He could not and would not have taken steps to remove Confederate flag products from the shelves if he thought Walmart had no control over what it sells.

              • “We just don’t want to sell products that make anyone uncomfortable” is an outright lie “told only for the purpose of public relations #3, It Worked Out for the Best. Though such lies are common #1, Everbody Does It, they’re nothing to yawn about #22, There are Worse Things. If this were an honest statement, Wal-Mart’s shelves would be near empty #16, Consistency Obsession (maybe), I think it just an irresponsible hyperbole on your part. The only alternative explanation is that though not a rationalization, this is more akin to false dichotomy, a Logical Fallacy they’re forced, against their will #25, I have no Choice, to sell offensive products they do not want to sell #13, It’s for a good cause”.

                That is 6 outright rationalizations.

                Since many of them share taxonomic characteristics, I can see arguments made for:

                #27, “Victim’s Distortion”
                #1A, “Ethics Surrender”
                #2, “They’re Just as Bad”
                #8, “Trivial Trap”
                #15, “The Futility Illusion”

                I’m sure Jack had others in mind, and I’ve been trying to sort out a taxonomic break down of the related rationalizations to aid in avoiding such overlaps.

                • You seem to be interpreting my comment in a way opposite of how I intended. Perhaps, I have no idea what it means when something is termed “a big yawn” or, contrarily, “nothing to yawn about”? In my mind, to say this news is “a big yawn” is to say that it doesn’t merit our attention because it is common or trivial. I was refuting the assessment that McMillon’s statement was a big yawn.

                  • gads, that wording “they’re nothing to yawn about” is same conundrum as which one is appropriate: “I could care less” or “I couldn’t care less”.

                    You see, I read “they’re nothing to yawn about” as, “we shouldn’t even bother yawning about them”, not “they are much more significant and impactful on our community, they warrant care, not a yawn”


    • Well Che tee shirts offend me as would tee shirts with swastikas on them or images of Joseph Stalin. Still, this stupid blanket statement by the CEO fools nobody with at least low normal intelligence. If the CEO had been truthful and said it was a business decision I would easily accept that. This is just pc bs that is disingenuous at best.

      • This isn’t the only example of Walmart caving in to either politically correct or morally adverse merchandising policies. The South is where Walmart was born and bred. If they can no longer even carry occasional merchandise with the Southern symbol on it, if they can no longer carry American made products over foreign ones and if they CAN peddle sexual perversity in their sponsorships, then they’ve just lost the market that made them a major player. Let them carry on with what’s left, then… and to Hell with them.

  2. I had the same thought when I heard his statement. Really–anything that offends anyone? I am offended by camouflage clothing and scented candles.

    It’s too bad everyone is going to stop selling things with the confederate flag on it. It helped me easily identify people I did not want to associate with. I’m going to miss it.

    • That’s a great, great point, Jan, tongue in cheek as it is. If I see someone with the flag emblem on a car or clothing, I know they WANT me to know his or her values, and I am grateful for the warning.

      • I was driving through Mississippi one time. As I passed a blue truck wih a prominent confederate battle flag sticker I glanced over at the driver.

        Black guy.

            • People are funny that way, aren’t they? We just want to do what we want to do. It’s the problem with so much of psychology and sociology and political “science” and gender studies and all the other squishy stuff upon which liberal orthodoxy is based. Of course, humans are just “statistical outliers.” (sp?) Kind of like calling anthropogenic global warming skeptics “deniers.”

          • When I lived in the South, I saw quite a few blacks with confederate flag license plates on the front of their cars. It really does have a connotation that you are a rebel, especially that you are not for Yankee values. More importantly, it definitely means that you aren’t a damned Yankee.

  3. Great take-down of a… well, let Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold say it for me:

    …I want to look him straight in the eye and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shit he is! Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where’s the Tylenol?

    Look, I don’t mind that Walmart made a business decision to not sell the Confederate battle flag. They have a perfect right to do that. If they’d just done that and shut up about why, I suppose I’d have a modicum of respect for it on that basis. As it is, their statement reflects pure cowardice, if we take it at face value, not to mention being a Political Correctness Weenie. It is not brave to capitulate to the mob.

    But this ridiculous generalization just emphasizes the dangerousness of the Politically Correct/Social Justice Warrior position. Were the “We don’t want to offend anybody …” rationalization applied with any sort of equanimity, Walmart (as well as practically every other retailer in the USA) wouldn’t be able to sell most of their products, since almost every union member I know of is offended that most of their goods are made overseas in what many people consider “sweatshops,” arguably supporting the export of manufacturing to cheap labor nations and costing Americans jobs. Even if I don’t particularly agree with that argument, it is a far more rational and defensible than the “We don’t want to offend …” bromide. You’ve already mentioned guns and videos. I’ll bet if we worked hard, we could find a significant minority of people who’d say they were offended by every item on offer in Walmart, not to mention the company itself as you pointed out.

    The latest word is that Amazon and eBay will also stop selling them, and that many flag manufacturers will stop making them. No doubt this presents a fine opportunity for smaller companies on the web to make a nice profit in both manufacturing and distribution because the major outlets have declined to do so. Land of opportunity, I say, and this seems to be one for those interested in that sort of thing.

  4. In the 1990s Walmart was called square because they had a companywide ban on Beavis and Butthead merchandise (high-browse, low-buy, and tended to attract annoying behavior). Now they bar a flag as offensive and everyone jumps on the bandwagon. Guess barring religious holiday merchandise is next.

  5. Since it was wearing a “Gold’s Gym” shirt, those should be immediately removed from the market and the CEO forced to grovel appropriately as well… And since it was driving a Hyundai, the CEO of Hyundai should be held to account…

  6. Jack,
    I know you’re relying on the “Heckler’s Veto” argument, but the fact is that the flags are still legal to buy, sell, and display however one chooses to. The fact that giant retailers like Amazon and Walmart have made them harder to come by (thereby limiting the options of where to get one) is not the same as flat-out censorship.

    Secondly, freedom of speech is a prohibition on the government, not individuals. Thus, if a large enough part of their client/shopping base considers the sale of said flags abhorrent, it’s good business sense to drop them.

    I agree the rhetoric they’re employing is garbage, and I also agree that a lot of the people pushing for removal from stores or state capitals would support larger bans if they were on the table but, so what? The line into censorship hasn’t (so far) been breached. We may be on a slippery slope, but we haven’t fallen quite yet.


    • Back in the 1920’s, it was not ILLEGAL to sell oil if you did not work for Mr. Rockefeller… Yet no body did.

      Why was that? It was because people with informal power bullied, and manipulated, drove out and bought out the competition.

      We are now seeing people whine and bully away speech that “offends” them. Yes, they have the absolute right under the First Amendment to do so. It is irresponsible of them, however, to do so. No, they are not “government”, but they still have undo influence that is harmful.

    • It is not legally censorship, and I didn’t say or suggest it was. I say it was censorious, and that the spirit and philosophy this represents is based on a desire to restrict words and thought. Which is all true.

  7. I just noticed the rest of the quote: “We want everyone to feel comfortable working at Walmart.” Geez, folks, have fun with that one.

  8. I hope to see lots of confederate flags flying and on bumper stickers, not because I want people to be offended, but because if they disappeared, it would indicate the spirit of resistance had been sucessfully quelled, and the final victory of the thought police is near at hand. Meanwhile, as us peasants are fighting over a flag, a very dangerous piece of legislation disguised as just another trade agreement is being rammed up our asses.

  9. Hey! I just wanted to congratulate my fellow Americans on the unveiling of the THIRD legislative branch of our government today! Why settle for one, when you can have THREE? Go ahead and treat yourself to a cruise, or that European vacation you’ve always wanted, because SCOTUSCare is guaranteed to save you more money than you’ll know what to do with!

    • No, this is really an old legal battle over whether a law should be interpreted strictly according to what the language says, or the context in which it was intended. It’s the “No Vehicles in the Park” problem. It’s often a close call: in this case, its hard to glean what the intent was when Congress didn’t read the damn thing.

      Don’t bash the Supreme Court on this one: either way would have been consistent with jurisprudence principles.

      • I’ll take your word for it. Aside from this being your area of expertise, you are as straight a shooter as they come.

      • You know, the more I think about it, being that either interpretation would be legally valid, isn’t it hard to not suspect judicial activism here, especially in light of the lies, and what Gruber said?

    • Is that one of the the things that’s happened while we’ve been tripping over ourselves to agree with the left on curtailing the Bill of Rights?

      My goodness. It’s almost like 2 birds and one stone and we’re happy to do it!

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