Abuse of Justice: Wal-Mart Sued for $1 Million Over Racist Intercom Announcement

On March 14, 2010, just shortly before 5:00pm local time in the Turnersville community of Washington Township, NJ, a then-16-year-old took control of the intercom system at Wal-Mart.  All of a sudden, the following words were heard over the intercom system:

"Attention Wal-Mart customers: All Black people must leave the store."

The teenager was spotted and removed from the area. The store manager apologized for the incident and the prankster was arrested moments later. You would think, "The store handled their business. They caught the culprit.  The problem's solved." Right? Well .... not so fast!

Winslow, NJ native, Donnell Battie, is suing the giant conglomerate for a paltry $1 million (excuse the Mini-Me moment, here) for the incident. The lawsuit alleges that Wal-Mart was negligent, careless, and reckless, and showed deliberate indifference by failing to properly manage their p.a. system. Battie's attorney, John Klamo, went further saythat his client is under a doctor's care for an assortment of disabilities.

I'm sorry -- but does the word, "coercion," flash across your mind as brightly as it does mine?

There's more than meets the eye to this story, but it goes to show that announcements over intercoms carry a heavy weight. There are many questions I have in regards to this story:

Why did it take two years to file this lawsuit? What purpose would it serve if the establishment effectively did their part to right a wrong? Is the person filing the suit suffering from mental depression? Or, is his depression financially-based?

I once heard that cases such as these, cheapen the claim of racism. I fully, 100%, totally agree with that claim. The problem with this case is very simple: there isn't one. The boy, who pulled the prank, was arrested two years ago. The store manager quickly apologized and atoned for the faux pas. The chain, itself, has gone through enormous lengths to make sure something that embarrassing never happens again. 

The alleged reason Battie is suing Wal-Mart is because he suffers from depression, paranoia, loss of appetite, loss of sleep, anxiety, anger, and is prone to anti-social tendencies? And this is over a two-year-old incident? If that's the case then we all should sue the United States government for the same thing. Of course, - if we were to file a suit like that, we wouldn't get that far. Battie will get just as far with this insane lawsuit.

If that intercom announcement drove him to feel negative about society two years ago, then he's going to feel a whole lot worse now. This media scrutiny may cause Battie to go after CNN, Fox, NBC, CBS, and ABC. Come on, now! If he was beaten to within an inch of his life and no one did anything to stop it, then I could I can easily see the need for a lawsuit of this magnitude.  If Wal-Mart decided not to hire him because of his skin color, then I could see the need for this lawsuit, as well. 

Sir, do all of us a favor: go to the U.S. District Court in Camden, NJ, walk up to the county clerk, and file papers to drop the suit. You're wasting the New Jersey taxpayers' money, time, and brainpower. I can picture somebody in your inner circle saying, "I can't believe it.  We were just suggesting the lawsuit as a joke. He took it seriously. That fool actually retained a lawyer and filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart! He sho' is crazy!"

When are we going to stop turning to the judicial system for solutions to the most inane court cases?

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Cole Johnson

Cole Johnson was born in New Orleans, reared in Houston - and moved to Nashville in 2010. His interests cover sports, spirituality, music, politics, travel and living. He's also an avid singer/songwriter. For more content, please visit www.colejohnsononline.com.

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