Free speech isn't necessarily 'free,' or so a Walmart critic suggests | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Free speech isn't necessarily 'free,' or so a Walmart critic suggests

Posted By on Tue, May 13, 2014 at 12:49 PM

click to enlarge WALMART MONEY FOR THIS GUY? A critic poses the question.
  • WALMART MONEY FOR THIS GUY? A critic poses the question.
A Walmart critic has taken note of the Walton and Walmart money that has flowed into the campaign of Sen. Jason Rapert of Conway, who mostly recently "distinguished" himself with invective against gay marriage and anyone who'd enable it. The Walmart 1 Percent, a website that is a watchdog on the retail giant, noted that Rapert had received $3,000 in campaign contributions from Walmart heir Jim Walton and his wife since 2010 and $2,000 from the Walmart PAC.

The website mentions Rapert's long list of ultra-right positions and pronouncements. Phooey on climate change. Anti-abortion. Incendiary on matters of race (except for his love of repressive African leaders who favor stoning gay people).

So what? Here's what. Jason Rapert isn't ever going to change. But the world IS changing. It is less acceptable to flaunt your phobias in crude terms in public. Companies like Walmart want to sell to everybody, not just racists and homophobes. It has famously extended domestic partner benefits to employees and embraced gay employees in other ways, including with money for their organizations. News reporting has suggested a care by Walmart in using philanthropic dollars so as not to support hate groups.

Someday, even, major corporations like Walmart might prefer not to send money to politicians whose animosity toward gay people is too extreme. Because people notice, as 1 Percent noted:

It’s striking that Walmart’s contribution went to support Rapert in the upcoming May 20, 2014 Republican primary (as it turns out, he’s running unopposed).

It’s not like Walmart’s support can be attributed to the company’s opposition to some ultra-liberal challenger. Rather, Walmart seems to have gone out of its way to put its stamp of approval on Rapert.

Not something you'd want to advertise some places.

There are worse than Raper, though. Take Mike HuckabeeHe said a proposed Houston ordinance to prohibit employment discrimination against gay people by larger employers was "unsafe for women and children." Really. Oh, and send him money.

But no joke. People like Huckabee and Tom Cotton and Rapert and Jerry Cox and all the other usual hateful suspects REALLY DO want it to be iegal to discriminate against gay people.

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