A Walmart t-shirt is causing controversy across the nation. The t-shirt has the words ‘TREE. ROPE. JOURNALIST. SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED’ printed on it. It's the second time this year Walmart finds itself in hot water for t-shirt designs."You don’t have to say let’s hang them, that’s kind of off the wall to me, that too far left, too vulgar to me,” said graduate assistant Demario Hollie.A few months ago, their website featured a shirt that said quote "BLACK WOMEN ARE TRASH". This time, it's a shirt calling for the lynching of journalists.
“In recent years its certainly come to where a lot of people have shifted their anger onto the media for how things are reported, but still we do our best to report factual information to the outside world," said Vincent Salazar, an employee at RAM-TV.Between being called fake news and defending their stories, many journalists have felt a threat to their profession. Now that threat is being felt by some college students as they pursue a career in media.
“Seeing a shirt like that is a bit scary especially for what we’ve seen in the world recently where it has become more violent and journalist are an open target," said Salazar.
In a statement to USA TODAY, Walmart said the item was being sold by a third party seller and they've since removed the merchandise from the website.Despite an open threat, made for any consumer to purchase and wear, some have used those harrowing words as inspiration.
“Something like that definitely shouldn’t be something that should deter you away. If anything it should be more impactful and make you want to make a difference in the world,” said Salazar.And he’s not the only one that feels this way. Many in the field say this won't deter them from being a voice for the people.
“If that's your passion and that’s what you really want to do don’t let things like that discourage you from doing it,” said Hollie.