Activists in Chicago Learn a Lesson About Sowing and Reaping

(AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)

Activists in Chicago are lashing out after Walmart announced a string of store closures in the troubled city. Four different closures were announced in early April, with a lack of sales being blamed.

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Locals are angry, saying that they rely on the stores for prescriptions and groceries (Block Club Chicago).

South and West siders are flooding local Walmarts, stocking up on groceries and household supplies before the company closes four neighborhood shops in Chicago Sunday.

Walmart announced this week it will close locations in West Chatham, Kenwood, Little Village and Lakeview due to poor sales — but neighbors said the stores are busy, and they’re concerned the abrupt departures will make shopping for groceries, prescriptions and other necessities even more difficult in communities that have already seen other big retailers leave. Three of the four stores Walmart is closing are on the South and West sides.

Adding to the frustration for locals and officials is that Walmart fought for years to open in Chicago — and its leaders promised to be good neighbors.

A rally was held on Thursday, with local activists showing up to decry the decision, demanding that Walmart keep its stores open. Accusations of racism were also levied along with threats of a boycott.

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If the company refuses to cooperate, leaving communities with “large, empty buildings and a desert of resources,” leaders are prepared to host another demonstration outside an Evergreen Park location, Pfleger said. They’ll also boycott the company, he said.

“If Walmart leaves us, we will leave Walmart,” Pfleger said.

Walmart has demonstrated “corporate racism and corporate greed,” Alderman-elect William Hall (6th) said. If Walmart doesn’t agree to invest in the community, “we will disinvest across the nation,” Hall said.

On the one hand, I feel empathy for the local residents who will see their lives become a little bit harder after this. Most of them are doing their best in a less-than-ideal situation. On the other hand, I have no empathy for the local leaders, including the politicians, who have helped to create such a bad situation in their area that not even a Walmart can be profitable.

Instead of making faux claims of racism, these activists should focus on the real problems that caused this. Those include rampant crime and corruption that creates an environment where businesses can’t survive. The idea that Walmart is racist is laughable. All over the country, Walmarts exist in predominately minority areas and do just fine. It’s only in places like Chicago, which refuse to police crime and promote prosperity, that things become problematic.

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If these activists truly cared about fixing the situation, they wouldn’t be trying to bully Walmart to keep unprofitable stores in place. Instead, they’d be working to clean up the streets, making the community safer. But that would include promoting more policing instead of playing into far-left, pro-crime ideals. Doing that doesn’t make the headlines, though, and these activists are really just looking to get their faces in front of a camera. At the end of the day, it’ll be up to residents to vote for change. Until they do, this continues.

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