Wal-Mart has donated money to Al Sharpton’s organization, the National Action Network, for years. But now a government watchdog group has made repeated requests to the retailer to stop funding NAN.
The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) has asked the nation’s largest retailer to stop giving corporate funds to Sharpton’s organization in light of the New York police officers’ murders.
In a letter to C. Douglas McMillon, Walmart President and CEO, NLPC’s Peter Flaherty stated:
We ask that Walmart end its financial support of Al Sharpton and his organization, the National Action Network (NAN).
The cold-blooded murder of two New York City police officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, follows weeks of Sharpton’s vilification of law enforcement personnel.
As you know, Walmart has helped bankroll Sharpton for years. Most recently, the company was a sponsor of Sharpton’s 60th birthday party in New York City, which reportedly was a fundraiser for NAN that raised a million dollars.
We have repeatedly raised the issue of your support for Sharpton, including at the Walmart annual meeting. You cannot lay any claim to corporate social responsibility as long as you write checks to Sharpton.
This is not the first time that violence and loss of life have followed Sharpton’s agitation, such as in the 1991 Crown Heights riots and the 1995 Freddy’s Fashion Mart incident. Sharpton’s involvement in these and other abhorrent episodes, such as the Tawana Brawley hoax, are a matter of record. You cannot claim that you are unaware of Sharpton’s past record of anti-Semitism and incitement.
Other corporations support NAN, and we will be making the same request of them, but Walmart is the biggest and most prominent corporation funding Sharpton. It is essential that Walmart lead the way in disassociating corporate America from Sharpton’s demagoguery.
Police officers are working people whose dedication and professionalism help keep us all safe. They are also Walmart customers and shareholders. You can demonstrate your support for law enforcement by ending your support for Sharpton without delay.
In a 2009 email from Wal-Mart to its shareholders, the company said, “Our support for NAN is focused on addressing health and wellness issues and other issues important to our customers and associates. Our company will continue to support organizations that can further our mission to help people live better.”
A 2008 article in the New York Post listed other large national companies that gives millions of dollars to Sharpton’s NAN.
The Post lists Anheuser-Busch, NY Developer Forest City Ratner, Walmart, MGM, Pepsi, Macy’s, Honda, Chrysler, General Motors, FedEx, Continental Airlines, Johnson & Johnson and Chase.
Snopes.com notes, Wal-Mart does not directly give money to Sharpton. And while NAN has espoused causes involving cases of alleged police brutality, the organization is not “anti-police.”