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STUDY: Where There’s A Wal-Mart, There’s A Whole Ton Of Active Hate Groups

Call it a chicken-and-egg conundrum, but a new study published in Social Science Quarterly has found that activity in hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the Family Research Council correlates strongly to the number of Wal-Marts in a given region.

Summarizes Raw Story:

The number of Wal-Mart stores was a better predictor of hate group participation than the unemployment rate, high crime rates and low education…

The researchers believe that the correlation between Wal-Mart and hate groups exists because of breakdown of the community. Small local businesses are more likely to be members of civic groups and involved in the community. They are also more likely to have closer relationships among their employees.

It would be interesting to see, though, if generally pro-gay big-box retailers like Macy’s, JCPenney and Target correspond to a similar atmosphere of hate-group preponderance. We’re guessing not.

In any case, just another reason to support small businesses: they’re less anti-gay!

On:           Apr 12, 2012
Tagged: , , ,
    • Bipolar Bear

      I suspect it is a chicken and egg conundrum, but I’m going to wait till I’ve read the full study before making a final judgment. Homophobia has been around a lot longer than Walmart.

      Apr 12, 2012 at 3:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B

      Queerty: “It would be interesting to see, though, if generally pro-gay big-box retailers like Macy’s, JCPenney and Target correspond to a similar atmosphere of hate-group preponderance. We’re guessing not.”

      The Raw Story link Queerty cites: “In contrast, people are more likely to feel alienated by big-box retailers like Wal-Mart, the researchers explained. They noted that areas that had Wal-Mart stores were also likely to have other big-box retailers, like Target. ‘We’re not trying to pick on Wal-Mart,’ said Goetz. ‘In this study, Wal-Mart is really serving as a proxy for any type of large retailer.'”

      Apr 12, 2012 at 4:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dvlaries

      After 25 blessed years without one, my town built a WalMart that opened late last summer. I prided myself avoiding having to walk into it for anything till February when a busted coffeemaker forced me.
      But no matter where the store, stepping into any of them comes with a palapable sense of defeat. I hate the fuckin’ joint.

      Apr 12, 2012 at 4:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • moose und squirrel

      not surprising. walmart proudly promotes white-trash christian conservative ideology. ever browsed their book department? scary stuff.

      Apr 12, 2012 at 5:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DouggSeven

      Target is pro-gay? News to me. Didn’t Lady Gaga pull back from a promotion over there when she discovered they fund fundamentalist christian groups or something?

      Apr 12, 2012 at 6:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James

      I wish I had access to the article… It would be interesting to see if they use variables for socioeconomic status (which I’m assuming from the title) and how those affect hate groups. It’s possible that walmarts are just an indicator of community wealth (which we know is a strong predictor of bigotry).

      Any other possible alternative explanations you guys can think of? Maybe walmarts are more prevalent in rural, midwestern, southern regions? I don’t have much evidence-backed knowledge of Walmart and the demographics of its shoppers (just my anecdotal experiences from infrequent trips).

      Also, if their theory is true, that the big box corporations breakdown communities and promote hate through that breakdown, you would assume that’s also true for large cities–there isn’t much of a sense of community in larger cities (ie, you don’t know all of your neighbors).

      Apr 13, 2012 at 12:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C

      Walmart is very multicultural. Low income whites, blacks and hispanics buy cheap products made in China. Thank you, Deng Xiaoping.

      Apr 13, 2012 at 4:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • J Stratford

      Target is not pro-gay. They pay lip service to gays and fund gay haters behind our backs

      Apr 13, 2012 at 5:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Clockwork

      Social Science Quarterly correlates Wal-Mart locations to hate groups?

      I think they need to rename their publication to Social Pseudo-Science Quarterly.

      You ever notice there are more homeless people around gay bars?
      Social Science Quarterly has determined gay bars increase homelessness.

      Apr 13, 2012 at 11:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw

      Let’s see – I’d like to make a ton of money getting funded to do a study. How about this – as the water level of the Great Lakes decreases, more states approve Same Sex Marriage?

      Apr 13, 2012 at 12:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B

      No. 7 · Kev C wrote, “Walmart is very multicultural. Low income whites, blacks and hispanics buy cheap products made in China. Thank you, Deng Xiaoping.”

      Deng Xiaoping died in 1997, so this must be a posthumous “thank you”!

      China’s current president is Hu Jintao and its premier is Wen Jiabao. The presidency in China is largely a ceremonial position. The premier runs the administration.

      Apr 13, 2012 at 1:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Elmwood Mac

      To B…….thank god for wikipedia, eh?

      Apr 13, 2012 at 4:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C

      @B: China was a closed society 40 years ago. Deng Xiaoping introduced economic reforms with a vengence.

      Apr 13, 2012 at 5:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • HenryCameron

      I love Walmart and small businesses. They are not mutually exclusive. The area where I live in SC had a string of run-down or abandoned supermarkets, car dealers, and retailers. A Walmart Supercenter opened and brought a complete renaissance to the area with redevelopment and new businesses. A number of the new businesses are locally owned and benefit from the Walmart draw. My county has 3 Supercenters and NO listed “hate groups”. Most of the hate groups listed with locations in SC appear to be in larger population areas. Since big box stores tend to locate in areas of higher population, which also usually tend to have more organized “fringe” groups of all kinds, I’ll bet these folks could just as easily have found a correlation between the number of big box stores and the number of organized gay rights groups. It’s just a matter of their agenda going in.

      Apr 13, 2012 at 11:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AL

      By spewing out hate against low-cost retailers like Wal-Mart, the liberal elite clearly demonstrates their “compassion” for the working class individuals. The extent of snobbery amongst you has reached epic proportions.

      Apr 14, 2012 at 4:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DouggSeven

      @AL: Uh-oh, a gay republican. See mom, I told you they exist.

      Apr 14, 2012 at 7:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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