Crusader staff report
Congressman Bobby Rush on Thursday, November 15, declared a boycott on Target after executives for the retailer in a private meeting declined to reverse its decision to close its Chatham and Morgan Park stores in February.
Rush is urging residents to not shop on Black Friday, November 23, at the Target Store at 8650 S. Cottage Grove in Chatham. Rush announced that he will lead a protest at 7 a.m. in front of the Target store on Black Friday.
“We’re sick and tired of being disrespected,” Rush said.
“Target has declared war on our community. And our community is going to respond by declaring war on Target,” Rush said at a news conference after his meeting with Target. They started it and we’re going to finish it.”
Rush gave little details of his private, one-hour meeting with Target executives in a conference room at The Kroc Center Chicago. He met with the press afterwards in another room just yards away.
Rush said Target had two meetings, including one that was held earlier with elected officials in Chicago. Rush had pushed for one community town hall meeting where Target could get input from residents. He expressed disappointment after that didn’t happen.
“They’ve have abandoned this community. They are closing and locking the door to the quality of life for this community.
On October 30, Target announced they would close its stores in Chatham and Morgan Park, forcing residents to travel greater distances to shop at the retailer. Target claims the locations were underperforming, but Rush and many residents say those stores were always busy. They also said they fought to get Target to build those stores in underserved neighborhoods that have suffered from business disinvestment. Many are skeptical of Target’s explanation in light of the retailer’s plan to open two new stores on the North Side in the next two years.
Rush and business leaders say the closures will do much damage to the predominately Black neighborhoods, which have suffered from disinvestment for years.
“They made a callous, cold-hearted decision that they will close the doors after the Christmas shopping season. In other words, they want to ring up the hard-earned dollars of residents on the South Side and leave this community high and dry. If they want to close Target, why won’t they close them now?”