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Retailers offer holiday products some see as insensitive

NEW YORK (AP) — Retailers and marketers have been quick to commemorate Juneteenth with an avalanche of merchandise from ice cream to T-shirts to party cups.

But many are getting backlash on social media for what critics say undermines the day, designated as a federal holiday last year to honor the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. A search for Juneteenth items among online sellers like Amazon and JC Penney produced everything from toothpicks with pan-African flags to party plates and balloons.

Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, apologized last month after getting slammed for a Juneteenth ice cream flavor — swirled red velvet and cheesecake — under its store label Great Value. Walmart said it’s reviewing its product assortment and will remove items “as appropriate.” As of Friday, Walmart’s site was still offering lots of T-shirts and party plates.

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