Beliefnet
Everyday Ethics

A few weeks ago, Hillary wrote about the website, peopleofwalmart. At the time I refrained from commenting because, well, I felt bad. I
grew up in small towns around Missouri where Wal-Mart was the primary source
of…everything. And while the people of Wal-Mart were fair enough fodder for my
friends and I, I didn’t want the
coastal elite mocking “my people”, such as they were.

That’s how I imagined the website’s audience; sheltered east coast jerks who thought the heartland was a group of throwaway
flyover states (forget the fact that even my Midwestern friends assured me that
the website was enjoyable and ridiculous).

Last night changed my mind. I’m currently in Missouri
visiting my family, and took a quick jaunt with my mom to, you guessed it,
Wal-Mart. As we waited in the checkout line, I started thinking about the
website, mentally shaking my head at those who would so cruelly mock the poor,
the obese and the fashionably ridiculous. Then, I casually glanced to the
right, and did a double-take when I saw a man covered in dirt and mud.
Top to bottom.

Mama raised me right, so my jaw didn’t exactly drop, but the mind boggled. He looked like the grown up version of Pig Pen from Peanuts. All I could think was, “You’re kidding me, right? People buy food here!”

On the way home, all I could think was, “Touché, peopleofwalmart.com, touché.” I still think the website is wrong and judgy, and just plain mean. I tend to be one of those sanctimonious jerks whose bleeding heart often stubbornly refuses to make judgments, even when all evidence points to a judgment fairly made.

Perhaps not this time, though. While the Wal-Mart website is mean, I grudgingly admit it can be dead-on at times. I don’t know what that makes me (hypocritical? snob? witchy and b*tchy?) — sadly, there’s no moral lesson to take away here. Unless it’s the lesson I take from one of our commenters; as Carrie said in response to Hillary’s post on judging, “Anyone who thinks they don’t judge or discriminate needs to get over themselves.”

Consider me officially getting over myself.

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