Witch Hunt of Wal-Mart Just Demonizing an Easy if Innocent Suspect

RECEIVED Wed., Dec. 27, 2006

Dear Editor,
    Yikes. What fervor. It reminds me of the good old days of the Salem witch trials. Where you have a problem – find a suspect, no matter how culpable they actually are, and execute them. Has anyone who laments the demise of small-town America been outside of a major metropolitan area? Small towns have been in decline for decades because the communities have been evaporating as our entire society shifts away from an agrarian base. Did Wal-Mart cause this tectonic shift in the U.S. economy? Hmm, probably not. Because Wal-Mart builds in these depressed areas is a reflection of the underlying decay, not the cause of it. Burning Wal-Mart is like burning witches for “causing” crop failures. The cause-and-effect link is broken. Rather, I think the anti-Wal-Mart fervor smacks of classism and racism. Bring a Wal-Mart into my neighborhood? That means more brown people wandering around. Notice all the people against the Wal-Mart are all Caucasian – nary a brown face in the crowd. The one Mexican lady I saw interviewed about the issue said, “I think it's great. I'd shop there.” Bottom line.
    So please stop with the demonizing of a retailer. Supply – demand. Hello. People shop at Wal-Mart. They are mostly people at the lower end of the economic scale. When people react against Wal-Mart they are reacting against those people, only they lack the huevos to be direct and instead hide behind platitudes about “the evil corporation.” Looking deeper into the issue is required and I would hope The Austin Chronicle would make that attempt.
    Love the publication.
Best regards,
V.J. Asensio
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