I love Target. Their original Chicago flagship store is close to my home and it allows me to make one shopping trip for multiple life-sustaining items... a mama's dream experience in this day and age of constant going. As well, I also adore their design-forward Project 62 line and other well designed household products at affordable prices for everyday people.
However, my Target love dwindled this past week with their recent corporate decision to close some of their Chicago South Side stores.
A friend asked me to attend a meeting with her, hosted by her South side congressman. She was extremely upset by this closing announcement. So, in good mama friend solidarity, I attended the meeting to stand with my friend. In fact, I traveled twice to the South side to stand in Target Mama Solidarity with her and some of my other South side friends. Standing with my friends is important to me, especially solidarity with those standing against systemic racism and a myriad of other injustices still battled within our normalized U.S. dominant culture systems.
I must add here that many might respond: Oh, I'm sure there has to be a good business reason for closing. You see, once you go through the academic pipeline and are trained with a dominant culture business mindset, you always look for rational reasons and a response based on a financial bottomline. "White" people within dominant business culture would rarely say... oh, this scenario must have something to do with these stores being in predominately black neighborhoods. But, people of color would! And, to be quite clear here, my beloved Target is choosing to close two very busy stores in my friends' predominately black neighborhood without any community discussion, or offering any legitimate reasons.
People who have suffered with inequitable scenarios in disinvested neighborhoods are sick and tired of a lack of dominant culture systemic care... and, most especially, with this kind of large box dismissive business disinvestment in their neighborhoods. These South side neighbors were told it's Just Business... because that's what we within dominant culture say when we want to explain bottomline financial business values! Quite honestly, I am sick of this accepted economic disinvestment as standard business practice in my city, where certain neighborhoods are over-invested in because of gentrification phenomena; and, so many other neighborhoods are just left behind and have been underserved for decades. How is that right?
It is time to start taking a different posture around some of these economic decisions and I'm hoping my beloved Target can lead in this by honing their position and restoring these stores. Could Target corporate make a moral commitment to this south side community and my Target-loving mama friends? After all, Target has reaped huge profits from other Chicago neighborhoods, most especially mine with their flagship store.
Target, can you form a wholisitic Business Moral Stance Model for cities, leading in this area just as you have lead in other business-forward ideas? Those wimpy corporate social responsibility statements with pretty pictures showing diversity don't bring economic investment to neighborhoods that need your big box stores way more than my gentrifying neighborhood needs another Target. My city also needs a business like you to show grit and moral determination... to take a posture to help bring a balance to steamrolling gentrification development in our city (and our country!). We need heightened moral investments in our under-invested neighborhoods... quite simply, for the Bottomline Common Good of all citizens in our city (and country!).
My beloved Target, will you be that business that combines head business logic with heart moral commitment to all of Chicago?... Will you step up?
"White" people often ask me how we might we come against Chicago's existing segregation and racism, which provides little hope-building and also seems to help promote much of our violence? Well, my answer... Women made a huge difference in this last election. So, my fellow Target Mamas and Chicago neighbors, here's a great way to organize and help our South Side residents. Let's stand in solidarity with these South-siders and let Target know that we won't shop in any Target store until they agree to keep the South Side stores open! Systemic racism started with economics in this country and it continues, via this example in our city... Being good neighbors and taking a solidarity stance with our money is a great way to stand with fellow South Side Target mamas and neighbors... And against accepted systemic injustices perpetuated through commonplace Western business economics!
Click, print & put in your car window.