Walmart and the Department of Homeland Security have joined forces to encourage – profiling?
Hi, I’m Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Homeland security begins with hometown security and that is why I’m pleased that Walmart is helping to make our communities more safe and secure. If you SEE something suspicious in the parking lot or in the store, SAY something immediately. Report suspicious activity to your local police or sheriff. If you need help, ask a Walmart manager for assistance. Thank you for doing your part to help keep our hometowns safe.
So Big Sis does not mind if shoppers at a retail store profile fellow shoppers to their little hearts’ content. Yet, she and Eric Holder have sued states for just this kind of un-politically correct behavior.
Napolitano conveniently leaves the definition of “suspicious activity” up to granny reaching for the frozen pie crust. And the kicker is if someone at Walmart reports a frustrated mother buying groceries on aisle 9, her name will be entered into a permanent “suspect file” regardless of the fact that her only crime might be total exhaustion.
In case anyone thinks this is strictly a right vs. left argument, the so-called liberals aren’t too happy with the Soviet-style tactics either.
John W. Whitehead, a constitutional lawyer and regular contributor to HuffPo wrote a testy critique of the Walmart-Big Sis relationship. He cites a 2009 DHS report, “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.”
The multimillion dollar “if you see something, say something” taxpayer-funded campaign has been co-opted by Napolitano. Originally begun by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority in 2002, Big Sis liked the slogan so much she announced a partnership with Amtrak in July, 2010. Whitehead bluntly states that we are now officially living in a “corporate police state:”
In addition to Walmart, DHS is partnering with federal, state,local and private sector entities, as well as the Mall of America, the American Hotel and Lodging Association, Amtrak, the Washington Metropolitan Area and Transit Authority, sports and general aviation industries.
Walmart, the global retail giant, welcomes ordinary consumers shopping for everything from motor oil to lobsters. What is the current administration after in encouraging shoppers to be extra vigilant while picking up a loaf of bread?
As Whitehead says about the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) collaboration with Walmart and other entities:
This kind of program will sow seeds of fear, paranoia and distrust, and in the process, keep us divided and powerless. The one thing those in power fear is ‘the unity of the people.’
Napolitano has chosen a familiar place where Americans engage in the most basic of activities to implement her informant program. Big Sis’ leftist policies are nothing new but Walmart’s complicity in the venture makes one wonder: What does the store hope to gain from creating paranoid and distrustful customers?