Who in their right minds would think a terrible injustice that resulted in the suffering of thousands would make a “perfect” wall art?
Posters depicting Japanese Americans put in concentration camps during World War II were recently spotted on sale at a Walmart store, sparking outrage on social media.
Considered as one of most flagrant violations of civil liberties in the country’s history, the forced relocation and concentration of over a hundred thousand Japanese Americans remain a painful memory to the thousands of Asian families it affected.
The featured images, which show the prisoners seemingly enjoying life in their cramped detention facility, were from a series of photos taken by government photographers to depict the concentration in a positive light.
In a now-viral tweet, best-selling author Jamie Ford called out Walmart for the ill-conceived wall art.
Hey @Walmart why are you selling posters of the Japanese Internment? Described as “The perfect Wall Art for any home, bedroom, playroom, classroom, dorm room or office workspace.” https://t.co/uKwLdugQMl pic.twitter.com/0rAQ0F5HjU
— Jamie Ford (@JamieFord) November 11, 2017
Angry netizens have condemned the item as insensitive and offensive and accused Walmart of commodifying art.
“WTF. That’s… beyond tasteless,” one Twitter user reacted.
“This is disgusting. Describing my family’s internment as the ‘perfect Wall Art for any home, bedroom, playroom, classroom, dorm room or office workspace,'” another one wrote.
A Walmart representative has responded to Ford with a tweet noting that the retail giant is already investigating the insensitive items.
We really appreciate you letting us know about this. We’re looking into it. -Danny
— Walmart Help (@walmarthelp) November 11, 2017
Some netizens noted that while some of the questionable posters have been removed from Walmart’s product listings, there are still plenty of them being sold on the website.