Chicago leftists off Target in their store closing protests

Readability

Chicago leftists off Target in their store closing protests

By John Ruberry

As I’ve writ­ten many times, Chicago is a city in decline. It is the only major Amer­i­can city los­ing pop­u­la­tion. Its pen­sion debt, a reward – or should I say pay­off? – to public-​section unions in exchange for their sup­port for Demo­c­ra­tic politi­cians is an unsus­tain­able mill­stone. This morn­ing on a local tele­vi­sion show, Flan­nery Fired Up, William Daley, the for­mer Barack Obama White House chief of staff who is now a can­di­date for the mayor’s job that his brother and his father each held for over twenty years, called Chicago the eco­nomic engine for the rest of the state, as it has been since the com­ple­tion of the Illinois-​Michigan Canal in 1848.

But Illi­nois is also suf­fer­ing from pop­u­la­tion loss.

With fewer peo­ple there is less demand for prod­ucts and busi­nesses. So it shouldn’t be sur­pris­ing that there are store clo­sures in Chicago. To be fair, even in pros­per­ous and grow­ing areas, retail shops close for every imag­in­able rea­son. Chicago’s pop­u­la­tion loss is most severe on the West Side and the South Side. It is in the lat­ter area where Tar­get is clos­ing two stores, which the big box giant says are underperforming.

On Black Fri­day for­mer Black Pan­ther Bobby Rush, a long­time mem­ber of Con­gress in a dis­trict that cov­ers much of the South Side, led a protest out­side one of the South Side stores, call­ing on the Minneapolis-​based cor­po­ra­tion to reverse its deci­sion to close the two out­lets. Rush held another protest out­side a Tar­get store south of Chicago’s Loop ear­lier this month.

In the 1990s Chicago com­mu­nity lead­ers were beg­ging for Tar­get to set up shop in the inner city to counter the unfor­tu­nate “food desert” phe­nom­e­non. At first hes­i­tant, Tar­get opened a South Side store in the mostly-​African Amer­i­can mid­dle class Chatham neigh­bor­hood in 1998.

After the clos­ings, Tar­get will be down to 15 stores within Chicago’s City lim­its, but it plans to open two North Side stores in 2020, which Rush makes note of in his griev­ance. With left-​wingers, North Side is a dog whis­tle term for “white” and South Side means “black.” Rush, an ethically-​challenged left­ist who has achieved lit­tle in his 25 years in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, surely knows that there is a large African Amer­i­can in Rogers Park on the Far North Side, where one of the new Tar­gets will be. And there still will be three other South Side Tar­gets, includ­ing one in Hyde Park, near the man­sion where the Oba­mas once called home.

The his­tory of Chicago politi­cians and big box stores is a check­ered one. In his 22 years in office Mayor Richard M. Daley vetoed just one bill – which the City Coun­cil sus­tained – and that leg­is­la­tion called on big box stores to pay higher wages than smaller retail­ers. Keep­ing Target’s rival, Wal­mart, a cor­po­ra­tion with con­ser­v­a­tive lean­ings, out of Chicago, was the goal. Tar­get leans left, which is why back in the day Chicago lead­ers were call­ing on them, not Wal­mart, to put down stakes there.

Let that sink in. Wal­mart is the world’s largest retailer and Chicago is giv­ing it a cold shoul­der. America’s third-​largest city deserves its predica­ment. Still, Chicago has seven Wal­marts, five of them are in pre­dom­i­nately black neighborhoods.

After the big box wage leg­is­la­tion failed the next year was an elec­tion year in Chicago, and unions zeroed in on City Coun­cil mem­bers who didn’t sup­port the bill.

Now if Rush and his min­ions weren’t such hard­ened left-​wingers they’d be call­ing on Wal­mart to bring that num­ber up to seven because there will soon be two mas­sive vacant store fronts on the South Side.

[cap­tion id=“attachment_95046” align=“alignright” width=“300”] Blog­ger in down­town Chicago[/caption]

But left­ists can’t help them­selves. They let ide­ol­ogy rule their minds, not com­mon sense.

As for Wal­mart, or any other big box out­let like Home Depot, maybe they’ll bypass those loca­tions because if they do open up stores at those old Tar­get sites, and a few years later they have to close them, they’ll avoid the headache of deal­ing with protests led by Bobby Rush.

The two clos­ing Tar­gets each employ about 120 people.

John Ruberry reg­u­larly blogs from his home just north of Chicago at Marathon Pun­dit.

By John Ruberry

As I’ve written many times, Chicago is a city in decline. It is the only major American city losing population. Its pension debt, a reward–or should I say payoff?–to public-section unions in exchange for their support for Democratic politicians is an unsustainable millstone. This morning on a local television show, Flannery Fired Up, William Daley, the former Barack Obama White House chief of staff who is now a candidate for the mayor’s job that his brother and his father each held for over twenty years, called Chicago the economic engine for the rest of the state, as it has been since the completion of the Illinois-Michigan Canal in 1848.

But Illinois is also suffering from population loss.

With fewer people there is less demand for products and businesses. So it shouldn’t be surprising that there are store closures in Chicago. To be fair, even in prosperous and growing areas, retail shops close for every imaginable reason. Chicago’s population loss is most severe on the West Side and the South Side. It is in the latter area where Target is closing two stores, which the big box giant says are underperforming.

On Black Friday former Black Panther Bobby Rush, a longtime member of Congress in a district that covers much of the South Side, led a protest outside one of the South Side stores, calling on the Minneapolis-based corporation to reverse its decision to close the two outlets. Rush held another protest outside a Target store south of Chicago’s Loop earlier this month.

In the 1990s Chicago community leaders were begging for Target to set up shop in the inner city to counter the unfortunate “food desert” phenomenon. At first hesitant, Target opened a South Side store in the mostly-African American middle class Chatham neighborhood in 1998.

After the closings, Target will be down to 15 stores within Chicago’s City limits, but it plans to open two North Side stores in 2020, which Rush makes note of in his grievance. With left-wingers, North Side is a dog whistle term for “white” and South Side means “black.” Rush, an ethically-challenged leftist who has achieved little in his 25 years in the House of Representatives, surely knows that there is a large African American in Rogers Park on the Far North Side, where one of the new Targets will be. And there still will be three other South Side Targets, including one in Hyde Park, near the mansion where the Obamas once called home.

The history of Chicago politicians and big box stores is a checkered one. In his 22 years in office Mayor Richard M. Daley vetoed just one bill–which the City Council sustained–and that legislation called on big box stores to pay higher wages than smaller retailers. Keeping Target’s rival, Walmart, a corporation with conservative leanings, out of Chicago, was the goal. Target leans left, which is why back in the day Chicago leaders were calling on them, not Walmart, to put down stakes there.

Let that sink in. Walmart is the world’s largest retailer and Chicago is giving it a cold shoulder. America’s third-largest city deserves its predicament. Still, Chicago has seven Walmarts, five of them are in predominately black neighborhoods.

After the big box wage legislation failed the next year was an election year in Chicago, and unions zeroed in on City Council members who didn’t support the bill.

Now if Rush and his minions weren’t such hardened left-wingers they’d be calling on Walmart to bring that number up to seven because there will soon be two massive vacant store fronts on the South Side.

Blogger in downtown Chicago

But leftists can’t help themselves. They let ideology rule their minds, not common sense.

As for Walmart, or any other big box outlet like Home Depot, maybe they’ll bypass those locations because if they do open up stores at those old Target sites, and a few years later they have to close them, they’ll avoid the headache of dealing with protests led by Bobby Rush.

The two closing Targets each employ about 120 people.

John Ruberry regularly blogs from his home just north of Chicago at Marathon Pundit.