“Where the heck is Kinston North Carolina?”
North Carolinians should be able to answer the question about the town of 21,000-plus residents in Eastern North Carolina, home to the CSS Neuse and one of the state’s most acclaimed restaurants – Chef & the Farmer.
But a Wal-Mart in Kinston has Mayor BJ Murphy upset because it’s selling T-shirts emblazoned with the question. Photos of the gray-and-gold and purple-and-gold shirts made an appearance on Murphy’s Facebook page Sunday.
“Dear Walmart, if your merchandise’s purpose is to insult your community ... congratulations. #TeamKinston,” Murphy wrote in the post.
The post had more than 100 reactions and nearly 50 comments by Monday afternoon.
“Some would call it a ‘conversation starter.’ I would call it a slap in the face. They don’t need the shock and awe publicity,” Murphy wrote. “I’ve made sure management is aware of my disdain. Certainly is their right to sell it, but it’s in poor taste. #FightForKinston”
While most commenters shared Murphy’s derision, others said they wanted one of the shirts, and some pointed out that similar shirts are sold in other areas with the names of other towns.
“What’s at stake here is community pride,” Murphy wrote.