Internet Outrage Machine Goes to Work Against Medina Walmart Manager

In the latest example of our great Ouroboros Internet hate machine creating a Mount Vesuvius out of a mole hill, the manager of the Walmart in Medina has been receiving death threats and demands for her to be fired for the past few days, according to a WEWS report.


Here's how it goes: Some outrage-bent Walmart patron noticed retired Marine John Harkness gathering Toys for Tots donations outside the store. She bought him a coffee (from Subway, apparently) and learned that the manager had barred him from soliciting inside the building. Harkness was mostly fine with it, though, and continued the holiday charity work he's been doing for the past 14 years. ("Why not? This is for the kids. It's not about us," Harkness told WEWS.)

Then the image — seen here — popped up on Facebook, and the world set to work. The incredible design work features the store manager's name, photo and work phone number. It has been shared more than 30,000 times, mostly with compelling commentary like "This woman should be slapped..." and "disgusting. it's thanks to him that this ignorant bitch can even OWN a store." and "Commie bitch needs to go...."

Walmart's corporate policy doesn't allow any solicitation inside stores. The general narrative here is that a former store manager in Medina was open to the Harknesses soliciting inside; the new and current manager is sticking with corporate policy.

For that, she's on the wrong end of a cultural force that feels it's OK to casually publish violent rhetoric against suburban Walmart managers. 

"I don't feel that's necessary. I think that's totally out of line. I would like them to really stop harassing the family," Lynn Harkness, John's wife, told WEWS.
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Eric Sandy

Eric Sandy is an award-winning Cleveland-based journalist. For a while, he was the managing editor of Scene. He now contributes jam band features every now and then.
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