Statement from the NAACP Providence Branch President Gerald C. Catala
PROVIDENCE (June 23, 2023) – The NAACP Providence Branch is appalled by the racist display of a Black person of color, in particular, the presentation of a young black man in a cage for all patrons to see upon entering the Providence Walmart.
Images of black people in cages represent a long, dark history in this country. From the reality of slavery to the normalizing depictions in everyday entertainment and the harsh realization of the disproportionate number and mass incarceration of black people across our country. Walmart should apologize and recognize that this is insulting and hurtful to Black people in particular, but to all people of color as a whole, which is a large sector of their customer base at that particular Walmart.
The NAACP Providence Branch demands an immediate apology from Walmart to all communities of color. While we understand this is a teachable moment for us all as we grapple with racial inequality in our country and in our communities, in 2023 after our country has been honored with our first Black President and First Black, Black Female Vice President, and First Black Lt. Governor of color, the NAACP Providence branch will not sit idle and allow blatant acts of racism go unaddressed. Our aim is to eliminate racism whenever it is presented and to work proactively with our community partners to ensure racism, anti semitism, homophobia, and hate crimes of all kinds are prevented. I ask all our community partners to stand with us in our demand for an apology.
The NAACP Providence Branch, in our 110th year in existence, we are proud to acknowledge our history of courageously pursuing a consistent dedicated course toward the achievement and preservation of civil rights. The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination. The NAACP advocates, agitates, and litigates for the civil rights due to Black America. Our legacy is built on the foundation of grassroots activism by the biggest civil rights pioneers of the 20th century and is sustained by 21st century activists. From classrooms and courtrooms to city halls and Congress, our network of members across the country works to secure the social and political power that will end race-based discrimination. That work is rooted in racial equity, civic engagement, and supportive policies and institutions for all marginalized people.