Tuesday, June 15, 2021
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Turn that smiley upside down

Numerous rows of shelves are exceptionally stocked, aisles are neat and free of customers except for the solitary, consequently attractive, grinning shopper and the employers are friendly and jovial. At the same time, the animated yellow smiley face is shown bouncing ecstatically up and down, lowering prices.

It is truly a glorious world – in a Wal-Mart commercial.

But is there another side to Wal-Mart’s catchy jingle?

“My family makes trips to Wal-Mart to get things they would not get anywhere else, like lavender-scented moth balls, and they think it is left-winged propaganda when I tell them Wal-Mart is evil,” JoLeen Ong, sophomore international studies major, said.

On Nov. 16, the Progressive Student Alliance (PSA) joined other college campuses across the nation in showing the documentary, “Wal-Mart: The High Cost of a Low Price,” which, according to PSA President Matt Richman, was a historical event.

The documentary is an attack on the nation’s largest retailer.

“All a lot of people know about Wal-Mart is that it is great,” Christopher Perez, junior psychology major, said. “But they came here and got educated, knowing that it is all bullshit.”

According to the film, the other side of the commercial is ugly. Wal-Mart is a corporation that mistreats and sexually harasses employers, is racist, violates the environment, utilizes sweatshops overseas and is irresponsible and inconsiderate. Many facts were included in the documentary to support these allegations.

One example about the Waltons, Wal-Mart family owners, had the crowd roaring with laughter. According to the documentary, the family had an underground house built for them in case another 9/11 event takes place in the near future.

“(The fact that) people in China are sacrificing their energy and do not have anything to eat, while the owners have billions of dollars more than they will ever need, is downright outlandish,” Tom Stone, freshman political science major, said.

Edward Conjura, professor of mathematics, said people need to be aware of this situation. “In a middle of a proof, I stop to make jokes and I mentioned about the Wal-Mart movie, which I saw online, and encouraged (the students) to come see it,” he said.

Robert Doherty, sophomore computer science major, said he came to see the film because his friend mentioned it numerous times. “I thought if I came, then Wal-Mart better be evil, and Wal-Mart is Satan,” he said.

Richman said that he received frowning yellow smiley faces when he bought the DVD and other anti-Wal-Mart items.

When introducing the movie, he mentioned the need to fight this corporate giant. “We are trying to rally against Wal-Mart moving here to Lawrence Township,” he said.


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