Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Congressman Rush: S. Side Target customers looking for economic justice, respect #cutthecard #notanothercent

Before I share the editorial published Nov. 16th from our long-time Congressman Bobby Rush I do understand what he is going for here. He seems to be making a racial appeal as far as the closing of Target stores in two predominantly Black areas of the south side.

There are some who will note that in different years Target has closed many stores around the nation. Also the retail landscape is different today and many retails don't wait too long before they pull the plug on any location.

Though I will note that the opposition to Target's closing especially in Chatham is likely driven by their own work in bringing Target to the community. For those community activists who worked to get the Target that opened during the holidays of 2002 the coming closure is certainly seen as a slap in the face.

Meanwhile a brief snipped of Rush's editorial and please read the whole thing
When Target made public its callous decision to close its stores in Chatham and Morgan Park, many residents of Chicago’s South Side were shocked and angered. After all, they were loyal Target customers who spent their hard-earned money in these stores, conveniently located in their communities. Their anger grew into action and as their congressman and resident of the South Side, I joined them as they demanded Target Corp. keep the stores open and work on a turnaround plan.

Simply put, the residents’ demands of Target are about economic justice and respect. Their position is deeply rooted in the innate self-dignity and self-esteem they have for themselves and their community. The idea that residents are “begging” Target to stay is ill-informed, insulting and rooted in a sense of pride, a sentiment that leads to destruction as is stated in the ancient biblical proverb.

We have seen the truth of this proverb born out in communities throughout the South Side. Retailers come to these communities and take our money, often against the backdrop of poor customer service. Then, they leave in the cover of night, with little or no warning and with little or no explanation. In the wake of their departure, neighborhoods are left with abandoned, defunct structural eye-sores and fewer and fewer retail and grocery choices. This is why the engaged and focused South Side residents understand their fight is about Target specifically and disinvestment in general.
Of course let's bear in mind, Congressman Rush was involved in the Black Friday boycott of our local Target store, so in addition to this editorial he's definitely on the front lines. 

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