Walmart is apologizing for refusing to make a police officer’s retirement cake last week after an employee told the cop’s daughter that her “thin blue line” cake design might be considered racist.
The police officer’s daughter, who has remained anonymous, told radio host Todd Starnes that she went to a Walmart in McDonough, Georgia on Thursday to ask for a cake with the American flag in black and white with a blue stripe added in.
But one of the employees at the bakery balked at the common police officer emblem, telling the woman “the design could be perceived as racist and nobody feels comfortable decorating the cake,” she recounted to Starnes. When she asked for a simpler cake, with just one blue line on a chocolate background, the employee said she didn’t “feel comfortable” with that design either.
“I asked her, ‘Is there something wrong with cops?’” the woman recalled, according to Starnes.
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The employee again refused to make the cake.
Taylor Wilkes, a Georgia police officer and family friend, originally posted about the cake incident on Facebook early Friday morning, criticizing the store for their “appalling” behavior.
“There is nothing racist about the symbolism behind the "thin blue line," yet people CHOOSE to make EVERYTHING about race,” Wilkes wrote. “I'm so tired of it.”
The police officer’s daughter eventually went to Kroger to have the cake made, according to Wilkes.
After the post went viral, the Walmart manager met with the daughter again to apologize, Wilkes wrote Saturday. The manager offered a gift card, additional items for the party and to make the cake that the daughter had requested.
But Wilkes said the gesture appeared to be a response to public pressure rather than true atonement.
“I think he just did that because, thanks to you all, this got so much attention, and he didn't want it to go farther than it did,” Wilkes wrote. “The way the meeting was described to me was that it was very scripted and not very sincere.”
“So, although the mistake was ‘made right,’ I will still not be shopping at Walmart due to the ‘quality’ of employees they hire,” Wilkes added.
A Walmart spokesperson said in a statement that the company regretted the incident, according to WTVM: “Our goal is to always take care of customers. But sometimes we misstep.”
In a post dated Sunday, Starnes wrote that the daughter took Walmart up on the offer to remake the cake. But the result “looked terrible,” the police officer’s daughter said. “It doesn’t look professional.”
Starnes shared a photo of the cake, which showed a thick and lumpy blue line of frosting surrounded by the words “Blue Lives Matter” in white, off-center text.
“I work in retail,” the officer’s daughter told Starnes. “If I didn’t want to deal with a customer — and said ‘No’ — I would get fired.”