Things That Matter

Forced To Apologize For A Christmas Sweater That Featured What Many Say Was Santa Doing Lines Of Cocaine

Walmart Canada pulled a Christmas sweater that features Santa Claus snorting cocaine off a coffee table with the accompanying slogan “let it snow.” The company also apologized, claiming it doesn’t align with their so-called values. The sweater made its way onto Walmart.com through a third party seller known as FUN Wear. The popularization of ironic ugly Christmas sweaters has also lead to raunchier more subversive ones that you can find all over the internet.

If you’re wondering what makes this one particularly offensive, well, it’s the description that centers around an old Latinx stereotype: the Colombian druglord. Some people found it funny, others wondered what was going on at Walmart. You can decide how you feel about this seller’s description of the sweater. 

Apparently, Santa Claus loves “Colombian snow.”

“We all know how snow works. It’s white, powdery and the best snow comes straight from South America,” read the product description on Walmart’s website. “That’s bad news for jolly old St. Nick, who lives far away in the North Pole.”

If I would have known Santa was fueled by cocaine instead of milk and cookies, maybe I would have gotten a Lamboghorni under the Christmas tree as the Lord Beyoncé clearly intended. 

“That’s why Santa really likes to savour the moment when he gets his hands on some quality, grade A, Colombian snow. He packs it in perfect lines on his coffee table and then takes a big whiff to smell the high-quality aroma of the snow,” it reads. 

Wow, this description is really funny if you love cocaine and think the Netflix TV series Narcos is historically accurate. The sweater went viral on social media garnering a polarizing response.

Colombia is threatening to sue Walmart for conflating the nation with cocaine.

According to the Washington Post, the National Agency for the Legal Defense of the State threatened to sue Walmart on behalf of Colombia. 

“The Walmart sweater is an offense to the country. It generates damage to the legal products of Colombia and damage to the country’s reputation,” agency director Camilo Gómez Alzate told El Tiempo. “Although Walmart apologized, the damage was done.” 

The agency is demanding Walmart indemnify and if the company doesn’t comply, it will move forward with legal proceedings. Gómez is demanding the chain sell and promote legal Colombian products and invest 10 times the amount they have spent marketing cocaine-related products. 

“Colombia must be respected,” Gómez said, according to El Tiempo. “What will the family of a person who died in the fight against drug trafficking feel when a firm like Walmart promotes a bag of cocaine from Colombia?”

Walmart pulls the shirt and issues an apology.

 Walmart, which once listed a shirt as N-word brown, and has been repeatedly accused of exploiting its employees for decades, said the cartoonish image of Santa recreationally using drugs did not align with their values. 

“These sweaters, sold by a third-party seller on Walmart.ca, do not represent Walmart’s values and have no place on our website. We have removed these products from our marketplace. We apologize for any unintended offense this may have caused,” a spokesperson told Global News.

Walmart pulled other sweaters from the seller including one that reads “Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Flame.” The image shows a bare butted Santa Claus warming his testicles by the fireplace.

Some of the FUN Wear sweaters were more offensive than others.

Another banned shirt from FUN Wear shows a different bare butted Santa about to get raped by an Alien holding a probe. Nothing rings in the season like rape jokes and casual homophobia. Personally, I just add the pumpkin spice blend from Trader Joe’s to everything when I want to get into the spirit.  

“Well, let’s just say if you’re going to zip around the world using flying reindeer to deliver gifts to millions of homes in a single night, you probably should expect some inquisitive aliens to eventually wonder how you can do it,” the description read. 

The situation screams for consumers to side with Team No One. While some of the shirts are actually offensive, critics would say Walmart has little high ground when it comes to moral values. 

“For more than two decades, the giant retailer has been at the center of controversies over its low wages, overtime pay abuses, meager employee benefits, gender discrimination, negative impact on small business, immense dealings with China, tax avoidance and much more,” according to the Corporate Research Project

Amazon, a company that paid zero dollars in federal taxes while you assuredly paid more is already selling a bootleg version.

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Colombia Is Thinking About Legalizing and Subsidizing Its Immense Cocaine Industry

Things That Matter

Colombia Is Thinking About Legalizing and Subsidizing Its Immense Cocaine Industry

Photo: CARLOS JULIO MARTINEZ/AFP via Getty Images

The idea of the “War on Drugs” is shifting globally. Not only did America pass a record amount of legislation this past election regarding legalizing marijuana (and all drugs completely in Oregon), but other countries are taking steps to decriminalize drugs as well.

The most surprising country to take steps towards decriminalizing drugs is Colombia. Everyone knows that Colombia has a serious problem with cocaine trafficking and drug cartels. Colombia is estimated to export 90% of the world’s cocaine supply. And unfortunaely, Colombia decades-long War on Drugs is failing.

That’s why some politicians are suggesting that Colombia legalizes immense cocaine industry.

One politician in particular, Senator Iván Marulanda, is spearheading this fight. In an interview with Vice, Marulanda explained the reasoning behind his push for cocaine legalization as well as an outline of how Colombia can put the plan into action.

Marulanda is putting forward a bill that will legalize coca farming. The Colombian government would, in turn, completely buy the country’s entire stock of coca leaves. Per Marulanda, the state would supply the coca leaves to indigenous communities who have an ancestral relationship with the plant. These communities would create “foods, baking flour, medicinal products and drinks like tea”.

But above all: the state would produce cocaine and supply it to cocaine users.

The plan is ambitious, but Marulanda believes it could change everything for Colombia–a country that has been wracked by drug-related violence and deaths for decades.

“In Colombia, the personal consumption of cocaine is legal. It’s legal because of a court ruling that recognizes personal consumption as a human right,” Marulanda explained to Vice. “However, what we don’t have is the legal cocaine to meet that demand. Instead, we have consumers who are in contact with organized crime groups who supply them cocaine in local drug markets. It’s poor quality cocaine and it’s often mixed with unregulated substances. It’s everywhere: in our schools, in universities, in parks and bars. It’s in all these public spaces.”

Marulanda’s bill will attempt to legalize cocaine for medicinal purposes only. Users would go to their doctor for a prescription–mostly for pain-relief purposes.

Marulanda was also careful to outline the economic benefits of legalizing the cocaine industry in Colombia.

According to the senator, Colombia spends $1 billion annually trying to eradicate drugs from their country. In contrast, buying up all the coca leaves that coca farmers produce would only cost $680 million. Marulanda also insists that the farmers could “push the price up if they need to.”

Marulanda explained that the legalization of cocaine could diminish drug-related violence that is linked to cartels, but it could put a damper on the rampant deforestation that coca farmers wreak on Colombia’s land.

Because of the stigma of coca leave farming, coca farmers are forced to live in the shadows. “Usually, these farm families end up displacing themselves, deforesting new areas, and re-planting coca while they’re running from the authorities,” Marulanda explained. “Second, Colombia is destroying around 300,000 hectares of forest per year. It’s estimated that coca-growing families are responsible for 25 percent of that annual deforestation.”

The bottom line is: the old-school methods behind the “War on Drugs” are failing.

Marulanda believes that Colombia–as well as other countries–must reevaluate the way they’ve been approaching drug regulation.

“We’ve been going 40 years with a policy that costs billions of U.S. dollars with zero success and so much cost and destruction,” Marulanda said. “Let’s try out this other policy. Because something that hasn’t worked in the last 40 years is something that’s just not going to work.”

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Kellogg’s Has Launched A Pan De Muerto Cereal And Here’s Why It’s Such A Big Deal

Culture

Kellogg’s Has Launched A Pan De Muerto Cereal And Here’s Why It’s Such A Big Deal

Mexico has several deeply rooted traditions. Among them is the annual ritual of celebrating those who are no longer on Earth, known as Día de Muertos. During this celebration, people consume sugar skulls, an altar – or ofrenda – is decorated with the favorite items and foods of the deceased’s, and pan de muerto is widely eaten.

Across Mexico, there is a flurry of activity and traditions leading up to the main celebrations on November 1 and 2 and it’s become an international attraction – attracting foreigners who travel to Mexico in order to witness the celebrations.

The Coronavirus pandemic has people looking for some sense of normalcy and that may explain why you can already find pan de muerto in several panaderías and super markets. However, what caused fury among users of social networks was the launch of a cereal line inspired by the humble pan de muerto.

Kellogg’s has launched a pan de muerto cereal and social media is celebrating this big news.

What would Mexico be without its traditions? For example, without the Day of the Dead. Around the world, Mexico is connected to this day that revolves around serious traditions, rituals, and foods.

Now, it appears that international brands are catching on as Kellogg’s (yes, the international cereal company) announced that it’s decided to create and launch a line of cereals based on Mexico’s famed pan de muerto.

The new cereal by Kellogg’s has already landed in certain stores and includes the flavors of rollos de canela, churros and pan de muerto. On the packaging you can see the new labeling and ingredients such as orange blossom, butter and vanilla.

The origins of pan de muerto are deeply rooted in pre-Hispanic history.

Credit: thatgaygringo / Instagram

Pan de muerto is a type of pan dulce that’s commonly eaten in the weeks (or even months) leading up to the now famous holiday of Día de Muertos. It traces its origina back to the time of the Spanish Conquest, inspired by pre-Hispanic rituals that were largely modified under Spanish colonialism.

The delicious pan is a butter-based bread with orange blossom and anise scents, it has a soft flaky brioche-like interior; the crust is thin and golden and many people love the “bones and skull” pieces because they get a little crispy on the outside.

Although the cereal does have people asking – is this cultural appropriation?

As soon as the product hit shelves, it ignited a debate on the issue of cultural appropriation. Many accused the multinational of seeking to profit on the backs of one of Mexico’s most respected and prized traditions. Many pointed out that food is deeply connected to tradition and it’s a cultural symbol that should be respected – not packaged up for commercialization.

However, even if some are against the product launch, it’s too little too late as boxes of the new cereals are already hitting store shelves across the country. In fact, many Internet users are taking to social media to highlight new finds and to share the information so others can get in on the frenzy and give the new product a try.

Not everyone understood the excitement for a cereal…

Although the launch by Kellogg’s of this iconic food as a cereal caused much of social media to lose its cool, not everyone was convinced. Many expressed how confused they were that people were freaking out over a cereal…

While others were ready to spend all the money they have…

This Twitter user was so excited they’re ready to give up all their money for the cereal, saying “Take all my money!” Thankfully, they don’t have to give up all their pesos for a box – with it going for about $63 pesos (or about $3 USD) per box.

So what do you think? Should this product come to the U.S.? Would you be excited to give it a try? Or is it blatant cultural appropriation?

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