Walmart:Community Genocide

This article originally published in West Orlando News Online.

Even as employees from all around the country are on strike while planning the largest Black Friday boycott in the history of the company, Orlando City officials and local community leaders will break ground to start construction of a 40,000 sq. ft. Wal-Mart Neighborhood grocery store. In the face of opposition, local Developer Bishop Allen Wiggins moves forward with his neighborhood killing venture.

 The ground breaking is scheduled for Friday, November 16, 2012, at 10:30am. The site is located at the corner of John Young Parkway and Columbia Street. Mayor Dyer will join Congresswoman Corrine Brown, District 6 City Commissioner Samuel B. Ings and members of The Hope Church for the ground breaking ceremony.

 It is well-known that Wal-Mart seldom supports the communities in which it operates. It has been reported and proven that Wal-Mart does not pay a livable wage to its employees. Former company managers have said that when interviewing prospective employees, they suggest that the newbies seek government assistance to offset the low wages. The giant retailer recently settle a lawsuit brought forth by women, who claimed and then proved that they were treated unfairly by the discount giant in labor practices, including promotions. Warehouse workers continue to complain about unsafe conditions and horrible and dangerous working environments.

Last February, Developer Bishop Allen Wiggins staged a town hall type meeting which he called Occupy Our Community. The meeting was just a ruse to quiet the swelling opposition over the community-killing, retail giant’s moving in. Wiggins promised to have ongoing meetings in order to keep the community informed.  So far, eight months later, the community is still waiting for the second meeting.

 During that town hall fiasco, Developer Bishop Alan Wiggins orchestrated a question and answer session. The panel was made up of dubious individuals who Developer Wiggins called community leaders. Most notable on this panel was Dr. Spooney of the African-American Chamber of Commerce and Allie Braswell of the Central Florida Urban League. These two individuals are the community leaders who, more that anyone else should have this community’s best interest at heart.

 Obviously, neither Spooney nor Braswell really care that much about the community. Spooney and Braswell supported bringing in Wal-Mart into our community as a job creator. Developer Bishop Wiggins said that, this area is a food desert and lacks a fresh fruit and vegetable market. So they conspired to bring in a 40,000 square foot big box store to sell fruits and vegetables and provide dangerous jobs with non-livable wages to the residents.

These, our leaders, are staging a ground breaking ceremony with balloons and hoopla in the mists of a dying community. This store will be the final blow. Local businesses will close and be boarded up and residents will work 30 hours a week and receive government assistance for survival. This is what our local leaders, Dr. Robert Spooney, Allie Braswell, Developer Bishop Wiggins, Mayor Buddy Dyer and Sam Ings have done for us. Thank you guys for killing the neighborhood

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