As long as I can remember, there’s always been the underlying feeling within a certain segment of the Black community about boosters, shoplifters and thievery in general. The mindset is that stores/businesses have “Nsurance” and thus the thievery will be covered by it.

Insurance is not some miracle spigot of money that just turns and sends it out to businesses that make claims. Truthfully, insurance is the penny-pinching tightwad who does not like to pay a dime out while greedily taken in dollars. As with everything else in life, there is a limit to how much insurance can and will pay. 

The recent closures of four Walmarts that were underperforming is not the news anybody wants to see — especially the one that was on the South Side at 83rd and Stewart. It was a huge supercenter, which got destroyed during the George Floyd riots. There was literally nothing left within the entire store. Videos that individuals took after the fact, showed complete devastation. 

Walmart promised to reopen the store and they did. I’m sure it took millions to fix it up, and millions more to restock everything. The store reopened and the parking lot was filled. While there were those who came to shop and spend money, there were also those whose intentions were to continue their shoplifting nature. There is a video on YouTube of a woman who stole three televisions from that Walmart. She pushed the cart out to the lot, and was chased by an employee. She managed to get one television into the back of a vehicle. In the process of going around to the passenger side to get in the vehicle, she lost her shoe.  

Yes Walmart is a very wealthy company. But their net profit is only 2%. That’s not a lot until one sells millions upon millions, and then the measly 2% begins to equal millions as well. 

I find it interesting that Walmart announced the closure of those stores one week after Brandon Johnson became mayor-elect. From hypothesizing about reinstalling the employee head tax to other mechanisms that make Chicago not friendly for business, Brandon Johnson’s postulating has scared the business community. I am not shocked at Walmart’s decision to cut their losses and close the four stores. 

Once the news hit that stores were closing, the usual suspects called a press conference to threaten Walmart. They were going to protest at the remaining store in Evergreen Park. They were going to travel to Wisconsin. They were going to travel to Indiana. They were going to make the loudest fuss ever. And the protesters did at that moment. But Walmart closed the store and those usual suspects closed their mouths. I even had the audacity to drive by the Evergreen Park Walmart in anticipation of seeing the boycotters. Not a soul on site.

It’s hard to threaten the big giant when folks don’t show up with real intent. And sadly, there’s no track record here in Chicago of Black folks successfully boycotting anything.