The T-shirts, which were available on the Walmart website, have now been taken down after allegations of racism came up on social media.
The clarion call for the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is for equality. The crux of the rallying cry at protests chanting 'Black Lives Matter' is that they're asking the race to matter as much as other races do. The movement is not about Black superiority, but rather focuses more on equality.
However, in the fight for equality, people and brands have been using messaging that stresses on the fact that 'all' lives matter. This messaging has been called out as problematic. The logic behind this is that the fight against racism does involve all races, but all races aren't equally affected by racism/discrimination.
It's for this reason that Walmart's T-shirts selling the messaging of variations of the 'Black Lives Matter' movement faced backlash on social media platforms, especially Twitter.
The T-shirts were available on Walmart's online shopping forum. It sold T-shirts that said 'All Lives Matter', 'Blue Lives Matter', among other things. Users were quick to point out that this takes away from the fight against racism, and called Walmart to remove the merchandise.
"We fundamentally believe all lives do matter and every individual deserves respect,'' a Walmart spokesperson said in a statement to CBS News. "However, as we listened, we came to understand that some, but not all, people using the phrase 'All Lives Matter' in the current environment, intentionally minimised the focus on the painful reality of racial inequity."
Starbacks, the coffee chain, also faced backlash for not allowing its Baristas to wear T-shirts supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. Shortly after it faced social media backlash, Starbucks announced a line of merchandise - namely shirts with the Black Lives Matter theme.
On its website, it announced that it would be partnering with the Starbucks Black Partner Network and Black Starbucks leaders to make 250,000 shirts available to its company-operated partners in the US and Canada to affirm support at this critical time in history.