Comment of the Day: Nominated for the Walmart Peace Prize

COMMENT OF THE DAY: NOMINATED FOR THE WALMART PEACE PRIZE “. . . If everyone arguing against the West End Walmart would stand up and say, ‘I don’t personally like Walmart but I certainly don’t think less of you for thinking they are not so bad’ then we would probably all get along much better.” [Jimbo, commenting on Surprise! Walmart Buying Land Next to Idylwood for Houston’s First Inner-Loop SuperCenter]

25 Comment

  • The ironic thing about this comment is all the mean, negative comments seem to be from the anti-anti-WM people, that is to say the people who like to hate the people who are against Walmart just because they are always looking for a reason to hate on people. The rhetoric has been that the people fighting WM are snobs, NIMBYs, fools, etc… I have never heard anyone who is anti-WM say that the people who support it are bad. All you need to do is take a trip over the message board on the HAIF to see the vitriol and name calling. I can even post some of the hate mail I received for being against the WM.

  • #1

    I can’t say that I agree because I’ve followed the HAIF discussion from day 1 and I seem to remember that folks on that particular thread who are anti Walmart think that those that support Walmart are trash throwing, diaper tossing, cart borrowing, lower income anti American thieves and or druggies. Not you in particular, but some who are anti Walmart and admit to living in the Heights/Rice Military/West End area.

    If you haven’t ever heard anyone who is anti Walmart say that people who support it are bad, I guess you haven’t been reading all the posts on the “Walmart to invade the Heights” thread.

    I have no desire to turn this thread on
    this forum into that sort of exchange so I’m done on this topic.

  • Perhaps we should outsource the City of Houston operations to WalMart, then maybe we could get our streets and water system fixed.

  • Can’t we all just get along. Let’s take a leaf out of John Mackey’s book. On the subject of Walmart the Whole Foods CEO has this to say, “I probably admire Wal-Mart more than any other company in the world (except for maybe Whole Foods!). What a great, great company!”.

  • It only the the dang Yankees and transplants who are up-in-arms about a Wal Mart in Houston.

    Houston – the land of the free and no zoning.

    Compared to all the hot messes we have seen in this city over the years Wal Mart is hardly a blip on the radar.

  • So, are we saying that it is false that some Walmarts in town are a mess with trash, diapers and shopping carts all over the place, punks hanging out in the parking lot, and crooks stalking customers in and outside the store? Or are we saying that it is racist and elitist to not want that sort of thing in your neighborhood? And if it is the latter, then isn’t that just an example of extreme liberal PC run amok? Walmart is a business that makes money by spedning very little on maintaining their grounds and providing security. They are not a necessary government or social service, like a half-way house, needle exchange or a mental institution. We have no duty as a community to provide Walmarts to our citizens. And we are not racists and elitists to point out the fact that Walmart does a pretty lousy job keeping up its stores and causes lots of other problems. Frankly, if peace is to be declared between anti- and pro- Walmart, a big step would be to stop calling anti-Walmart people racists, elitists and hypocrites for pointing out valid criticisms of Walmart.

  • Perfect…

    ‘Old school’ is a classic example of somebody who would not, and does not, go to Wal-Mart but is a bona fied expert on the ins-and-outs of a day in the life of Wal Mart operations.

    Must be a spy for Target.

  • I find all big-box stores depressing and Walmarts doubly so. I don’t shop there except in exceptional circumstances—for example, visiting relatives who live in small towns whose only remaining commerce is the Walmart—and I probably wouldn’t move into a neighborhood near one (because they’re depressing; also because my preferred transport is my bicycle, and I’ve never seen a Walmart in a bikeable neighborhood). But if people want to brave the sadness in exchange for cheap goods (in both senses of the word “cheap”), that’s their business, I suppose. So does that count as peace?

  • Craig: Actually, my mother loves Walmart because she has bought into their PR about low prices and thinks it helps her live off a fixed income in retirement (any savings from Walmart is quickly lost at the shoe store by my dear shopaholic mother). Point is that I get dragged to Walmart quite often and have seen first hand the experiences so many others have posted about Walmarts. But, since I am automatically a racist, elitist hypocrite for not wanting a Walmart in my neighborhood, here is a post from Citysearch about a Walmart in Houston:

    “I live near this Walmart and will NEVER shop there at anytime of the day or night. Its filthy inside and out. You see dirty diapers in the parking lot and fast food bags and wrappers cover the parking lot. Inside is just a little cleaner but not by much. Drive a mile away and go to a very nice, clean and nicer cliente store – Target. The neighborhoods around this store are not indicative of the clientele that shop at this Walmart. People who live nearby stay away from this location. ”

    And there are plenty more like that one. This isn’t a fiction concocted by elites in the Heights. It is something very real. And there is nothing wrong with not wanting that kind of neighbor.

  • Is this opposite day? Jimbo is actually schooling us on name calling? And gets comment of the day for this? Way to stir the pot!

  • People who support Wal-Mart aren’t bad, they’re just stupid.

  • From a review of this thread one would think that the discussion was about some sort of religion. Such fervor and closed mindedness on both sides. Does this mean that world now has another great religion that folks can kill each other over?

    Get real folks, it is just a damn store.

  • without wal-mart poor people wouldn’t exist and there would be no evil. we’d still have shitty schools and an underfunded state though so not sure how much that matters.

    i’d imagine a lot of the people most against wal-mart are probably the biggest owners of their stock and helping them grow through their 401k’s, pensions, brokerage accounts, and etc. it’s not wal-marts fault the gains of globalization have been privatized though and a store can’t be held responsible for a cities inability to ease congestion and police itself, that’s for the citizens to decide and set the tax levels accordingly.

  • Our last visit to WM almost 5 years ago, ended when a checker double-charged us for an item and refused to look at the printed receipt where the double-charge was confirmed. She kept inappropriately referring to my husband as “boo” as he was trying to get her to look at the receipt. She insisted that she “didn’t need to” look at it because she knew the bar code didn’t scan the first time. The manager was called, the over-charge was easily proven, a corrected sales receipt was issued and instead of an apology, all we got was side-eye and attitude, EVEN from the manager. Keep your ‘bargains,’ WM. Competence is priceless.

  • I think that its very telling that an announcement of a Wal-Mart in the East End mostly just generates rehashed criticism of the “Heights” Wal-Mart, and much less attention in general.

    Well lets see, we have two freeway-adjacent close-in brownfield sites within communities built around the same time. One is adjacent to a legitimately congested street and is very close to a very nice neighborhood and a convent; it elicits a minor (and mixed) response. The other site is not along a congested street and also has a second uncongested street just one block further away; it backs up to a crappy neighborhood, industrial facilities, and railroad tracks; the backlash against it is profound.

    Whatever might it be, do you think, that elicits the different responses? If someone were to suggest that community demographics were at play, would that be insensitive? And if I were to suggest that various individuals’ race and culture or concepts of financial necessity that are worlds apart shape their perception of the issue, would that be insensitive?

    And if I pointed out that the vocal anti-Wal-Mart NIMBYs (to be considered on a separate basis from protectionists, who are more consistent on the matter from location to location) are by-and-large advocating that one community’s low-income population be disenfranchised from the retail marketplace (but are silent when it comes to a similar community), would that be insensitive? What if I call it what it is, racism and classism? And what if I referred to those who advocate racism and classism racists and classists? Is that insensitive, too? What if I suggested that most of the affluent white NIMBYs are worse than Klan members because at least the Klan believes its own mantra and doesn’t attempt hide its true motives behind weak straw man fallacies?

    Oh, woe is me, for I am a hopelessly crude anti-anti-Wal-Mart person! Smite me! Please. I like it rough.

  • So is the corollary true or is this another double standard we are all forbidden from exposing?

    “If everyone arguing in favor the West End Walmart would stand up and say, ‘I personally love Wal-Mart but I certainly don’t think less of you for disliking them’ then we would probably all get along much better.”

    I don’t care since I don’t (and, once they build it, never will) live next to it. But if I were bound and determined to ship money out of the community I’d at least try and get an out-of-state-owned casino or something like that.

  • Anon22:
    How does that corollary apply to those who don’t personally care for Walmart, but don’t believe they have the right to interfere with a legal transaction between private parties?

  • All I can say is hopefully the anti-Walmart crowd will be utilizing legal means of stopping the Wal-Mart, and the persons you describe would be principled enough to stay out of it :)

  • Niche: If you are talking about the Heights walmart and proposed Wayside Walmart, you need to start paying attention to the real facts on the ground. The current traffic levels are ok, but take a look at the developer’s own traffic impact analysis. By the time the Walmart opens, the level of service for Yale and Heights will be F for Yale and lots of C/D/Es for Heights, even after widening Yale and adding a right turn lane.

    The neighborhood around the Heights walmart is a burgoening residential area with a large townhome complex to the south of the site and a lot of very nice new construction to the west. Walmart traffic will come right through their narrow 21′ streets. Idylwood is well protected from through traffic. And, while it is a nice neighborhood, Idylwood is a bit of an island compared to the rest of the area.
    The cry of racism against anti-Walmart folks is based on the racist assumption that people who do not complain about Walmart do so because the like shopping there and prefer saving money to preserving the quality of their neighborhood.

  • Railroad Old School, thats all I’m going to say. At some point you’re just going to have to accept that those who were happy to buy homes 5ft from a freight rail line cannot then turn around and claim to live in a quiet residential utopia.

  • Old School: You need to start paying attention to the real facts on the ground. And I say that because I’m about to make a number of suppositions that are completely devoid of a premise and/or factual evidence. I’m not even going to drive by the site, look at aerial photos, or check Google Streetview; and if I do, I’m going to lie without shame.

    In conclusion, Wal-Mart is going to wipe out poverty, it will solve global warming, cure cancer, and it will bring peace to the Middle East. It will buy every consumer a personalized autopiloted helicopter that makes no noise and that has no windows from which back-yard privacy might be invaded, and it will have a heliport at every store so as to eliminate traffic. It will repave every street even though it doesn’t have to, and it will provide below-ground detention sufficient to abate twice the amount of runoff that could ever possibly be generated from impervious improvements. So there. Build Wal-Mart now.

  • I’m so sick of this garbage. Walmart is not the evil empire everyone wants it to be. Everything will be fine. Quit being a bunch of pussies.

  • And the corollary to that: Everything will be fine if the Wal-Mart doesn’t get built, either. You’ll all survive. Won’t you?

  • Jimbo, do you own Walmart stock or something? Your response and tone indicates that you have some sort of stake here.

  • Personnally I have problem with Walmart’s track record for employement. They are mostly part time people to avoid providing medical insurance. that’s their dirty little secret! That’s right we pay for health insurance for the majority of Walmart employee’s.

    Secondly, What are you thinking, city of HOuston. Traffic is already snarled up at Wayside and I-45 with the addition of the strip center on the NW corner. There is no way to widen Wayside without tearing up the I-45 over pass or Lawndale overpass. I can live with the Walmart near my house but restrict access to the feeder road to stop the traffic disaster that is going to happen on Wayside.