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Marc Dion
Marc Dion
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The Children of God at Wal-Mart


There's a Wal-Mart in the city where I live — and soon, there will be a much bigger Wal-Mart in the city where I live.

This is inevitable, and it is what we now call "economic development," which is what we called "progress" when I was a kid. We stopped saying "progress" because America became the kind of country in which you don't use one word if it's possible to use two words.

Being a white-collar worker with a college degree means that I should insert here the obligatory disdain — not for Wal-Mart's business policies, but for the people who shop in Wal-Mart.

I do not much like Wal-Mart, if only because Wal-Mart hands you a food stamp application with your first paycheck.

But why go on about that sad circumstance? "Job creators," we know in 2012 America, are not at all responsible for the kinds of jobs they create.

Lately, though, college-educated knotholes like me have taken to snickering at the Wal-Mart clientele, many of whom are poor and look like they're poor.

"I went to the Wal-Mart the other day," a friend said to me a couple months ago. "It's like a Third World country in there."

I had to admire the guy's use of the English language, a language never mastered by his own immigrant grandmother, who died illiterate, as did my grandmother.

By saying "Third World country," he was able to communicate an intense dislike for the poor, the caramel-colored, the black of skin and those who gabble away in fractured English, and he was able to communicate it in such a way that he did not have to use any words he couldn't use in his own air-conditioned, linguistically refined office.


The weird thing is, the guy's a political conservative with a strong liking for the Jesus end of the political scene.

You think he'd like the poor a lot more than he does, considering that Jesus Christ built practically an entire religion on feeling bad for poor people.

Like everybody else (including the poor), I live in the best neighborhood I can afford. But I live in a city neighborhood, so the biblical admonition, "The poor you will always have with you," means they're living a house or two away.

And, as I said, there's a Wal-Mart in my city. Four miles from my door.

I resent the fact that shoddy, off-brand, offshore crap is sold in my country, because it means we're losing the jobs that supported the families that didn't buy junk. I cannot, however, bring myself to join the universal desire to make fun of Wal-Mart customers and other poor people.

Being poor is the hardest job in the world, which is why most people don't do it very well. I see poorly dressed people in the Wal-Mart, and I know how hard it is to look good when your life is not good. The missing teeth aren't jokes. They're toothaches that went unattended. The obese women aren't funny. They're short of breath.

Would Jesus have shopped in Wal-Mart? Maybe not.

But he would have loved the customers.

To find out more about Marc Munroe Dion and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit



6 Comments | Post Comment
Well of course Jesus would love Wal-mart customers. He loves everyone. But I understand the point Dion is trying to make and its a good one. I stopped shopping at Walmart for the reasons he talks about. Its cheap stuff, and they don't treat their workers well. I'd rather pay a few bucks more and go somewhere else, but I certainly understand that some people cannot afford to do that.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:30 AM
Hey Marc, two recent illustrations, I got treated nicer by a Mexican girl working at Wal Mart then by a snooty nose, up in the air jerk working in the shoe department at Nieman Marcus. He was not doing me a favor showing me shoes. I was doing him a favor by looking for anything in this economy. Remember pretty woman? "you work on commission, right? Big mistake, huge, huge mistake, bye, I gotta go shopping now". So guess what, I shopped elsewhere. There is nothing wrong with Wal Mart, I like Super Wal Mart because I can get a toaster oven, socks, and grapes in the same store. You can't buy grapes at Saks Fifth Avenue or toaster ovens at Best Buy. I wouldn't buy shoes there, but a lot of people do. The only place to buy a potatoe peeler is WAL MART !!!!!!!!!
Comment: #2
Posted by: Bloom Hilda
Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:25 PM
Living in the middle of New Mexico, my choice is to drive 40 miles to WalMart or 70 to Albuquerque. About half the time I figure WalMart's the greener choice. Talked to a cashier one time, she told me she's full time and has health benefits. Not too shabby.

And today, I went to THREE other stores and still couldn't find items my wife wanted. WalMart had them. They are good at their job.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Bruce Strickland
Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:16 PM
Marc. It sounds to me like you are accusing your "friend" of being a biggoted racist. Must be ok though since he is a "the guy's a political conservative with a strong liking for the Jesus end of the political scene". I never tire of those who denounce biggotry out of one side of their mouths while slinging mud with the other.
Comment: #4
Posted by: david
Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:54 AM
I shop at Walmart and I am not exactly poor. I just like saving money. Some times while at Walmart I run into people I know that have whole lot more money than I do. They like to save money also. WOW! Wal mart is an efficient business. Why should that be a crime. As for the cheep overseas stuff, well lets ask Uncle Sam about our crappy foreign policy. The cheap overseas stuff is the end product of letting the rest of the worl mooch off of us. I also shop at thrift stores. The money I save doing this helps me pay for two cars and a house. Thanks Walmart and Thrift Store.
Comment: #5
Posted by: SCOTT
Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:58 AM
Re: david

I forgot to mention that people who like to put people into neat catgories like race and ethnic groups are usually the same people who like to accuse people of racism. Uncle Sam is the biggest offender of all. Mark did say that guy was his "friend" and then talk smack about him on this site huh.
Comment: #6
Posted by: SCOTT
Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:03 AM
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