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Woman says she received an email ad from Walmart that included a racial slur

Walmart Results
Posted at 8:21 AM, May 26, 2021

A Detroit woman says she is one of a handful of Walmart customers who received an email ad from the company earlier this week that included a racial slur.

Courtney Rhodman says she received the email during overnight hours Monday. When she opened it up, she was stunned.

"I didn't think it was real. So, I closed it out, and then I went back into it. I just can't believe it," Rhodman said.

The email read, "Welcome to Walmart, N*****!" It encourages shopping online and a working link to the store's website.

"Such a hateful word like that," Rhodman said. "We came from a long way, and we're still fighting. And today is George Floyd's anniversary. I just would have never thought I would be here talking about Walmart calling me 'the word.'"

Walmart said that the email was sent by "an external bad actor" who "created false Walmart accounts with obvious intent to offend our customers."

"We were shocked and appalled to see these offensive and unacceptable emails," the retailer said in a statement. "We're looking into our sign-up process to ensure something like this doesn't happen again. We're also looking into all available means to hold those responsible accountable."

Joseph Goldman, Rhodman's attorney, says he doesn't believe Walmart's claim that someone from outside the company sent the message.

"The company says it wasn't hacked," Goldman said. "So, somebody did this, and I believe it is internal."

Goldman also says it appears only 12 people across the county got the same message in a short time span.

Rhodman says Walmart is her go-to store, including for her son at Christmas. She uses a Walmart credit account and puts gifts on layaway.

"When this first happened to us yesterday, my 12-year-old was so hurt," she said. "He says, 'Mom, why would Walmart do this to us?' He knows we use this; that's his treat. You get to go to Walmart and get whatever you want."

Goldman says they will contact the company and hopes to get the issue resolved quickly.

"(Rhodman is) basically speaking here for all the Black patrons of Walmart," Goldman said.

This story was originally published by Jim Kiertzner on Scripps station WXYZ in Detroit.