Woketivists Protest to Try and Force Walgreens Into Keeping Stores in High-Crime Parts of Boston Open
“What is your obligation? What is your expectation as a corporate citizen to do what’s right for those communities beyond what’s right just for your bottom line?”
Walgreens has been one of the more prominent retailers to go on record in noting the crime factors that were involved in the closures of many of their stores across the country.
For instance, in 2021 after the closure of 17 stores in the San Francisco area, a spokesman noted that “retail theft across our San Francisco stores has continued to increase in the past few months to five times our chain average” and that “organized retail crime continues to be a challenge.”
That and other types of crimes still continue to be a challenge, especially in other Democrat-run cities like Boston, which over the last year has had three Walgreens locations close with another one set to close at the end of the month.
Since all of the locations were located in low-income parts of Beantown where crime is typically a bigger issue, left-wing activist–or woketivists, as I call them–have accused Walgreens of corporate greed and putting people over profit while subtly implying that racism is also at play, demanding they keep the Roxbury store that is set to close at the end of the month open:
“How are they supposed to get their medicine?” asked Janice Smith, a longtime customer.
It’s sparking concern and outrage from residents who rely on the Warren Street drugstore in this predominantly Black neighborhood.
“What happens to our seniors and our single parents that have nowhere to get to a Walgreens or another pharmacy anywhere near their homes?” said Reverend Miniard Culpepper. “And so we think it’s insensitive – it’s unjust.”
CBS News‘ liberal bias was on full display in their report, asking the Reverend “why he thinks Walgreens is targeting black and brown communities”:
Walgreens said they’re downsizing, but Rev. Culpepper believes it’s nothing short of greed. When asked why he thinks Walgreens is targeting Black and Brown communities, Culpeper said, “I think because they don’t get any pushback. But they’re now getting pushback.”
Michael Curry, who is described as a “healthcare advocate” and used to lead the local NAACP, said it was a question of whether or not Walgreens was willing to look at something other than their “bottom line”:
“What is your obligation? What is your expectation as a corporate citizen to do what’s right for those communities beyond what’s right just for your bottom line,” he asked.
Boston’s WCVB reported on one of the protests:
A group called Communities of Color for Health Equity, a coalition of concerned residents, gathered to protest the closing of the Walgreens pharmacy at 416 Warren Street in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood.
The group of organizers hand-delivered a letter to the Walgreens area corporate office in Marlborough, Massachusetts on Tuesday, demanding Walgreens delay the closure.
“Let’s work out a plan,” Culpepper said. “Let’s work out a realignment that’s a win-win for everyone.”
The Boston Globe noted that the group has said they’ll travel to Walgreens HQ in Chicago if they need to in order to try and shame them into keeping the location open.
Fascinatingly, they also reported that elected officials at both city and state levels have also tried to step in to temporarily prevent the closure of the store–and the opening of new Walgreens locations–until more voices can be heard:
City and state officials have also joined in the effort. Last year, city Councilors Tania Fernandes Anderson and Brian Worrell filed a resolution calling for Walgreens to postpone both closures and openings of new pharmacies in Boston until further notice, so the council could have an opportunity to weigh in.
The resolution stalled in a committee, but Fernandes Anderson, who represents Roxbury, said she plans to soon file a request for a hearing, to collect community concerns and get answers from the drugstore.
“Walgreens is sending communities of color to other locations without understanding the ramifications,” Fernandes Anderson said. “We’re not going to let corporations go in and out of the city and treat the residents of Boston this way.”
On a frigid Saturday afternoon, more than 30 customers, clergy, and elected officials gathered outside the drugstore to protest its approaching closure, waving white signs reading “Hell no, Walgreens.”
This is a new and disturbing frontier in anti-capitalist leftism: trying to force stores to stay open when they aren’t profitable and/or are dangerous for employees and customers, all in the name of wokeness.
Here’s an idea: Instead of blaming Walgreens for feeling like they have no option but to close stores in low income areas in big cities across America, maybe residents and other “community leaders” should wake up and take it up with the elected officials who they put into office in the first place, and let them know they will no longer accept the city’s (and state’s) soft-on-crime approach. And then they need to turn around and elect people who have the cajones to actually do what needs to be done to combat the crime issues rather than coddle the offenders.
Until then, stores will continue to close because at the end of the day if a business is losing money and its employees and customers feel unsafe, store owners don’t have much of a choice other than to cut their losses and move on.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
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