Please Don’t Go!

That is what officials in cities that have been devastated by rioters, looters and arsonists are saying to businesses whose investments in those cities have gone up in smoke. Steve touched on this earlier, but I want to amplify the point. The following are just three examples of many that we will see in the coming weeks.

From Chicago: Mayor Lightfoot Pleads With Walmart, Other Retailers To Not Abandon Chicago.

Mayor Lightfoot said she’s hopeful major retailers will reopen the Chicago stores that were looted or otherwise damaged during protests surrounding George Floyd’s killing by police in Minnesota. But, she’s unsure of one of the biggest.

Mayor Lightfoot said she was on a conference call with Walmart and other major retailers that had stores looted or heavily damaged during the unrest in Chicago. She said she pleaded with them to not abandon Chicago.

Why, exactly, would major retailers choose to rebuild and re-open stores that were burned to the ground or otherwise destroyed by rioters? What is there in the current response to riots by big city politicians that provides any assurance that the same thing won’t happen again? If you owned a store in an area that was destroyed by rioters, would you invest more money in the same location? Why?

Here is another instance, Louisville, as reported in Salon: “As groceries board up amid protests, food inequality worsens for communities of color.”

This Kroger, which is located in Russell, one of Louisville’s historically Black neighborhoods, is one of the only grocery stores accessible to residents in the city’s West End.

It had been boarded up Monday in anticipation of protests and potential looting. By early Tuesday, a video began circulating of multiple people running through a side door, pushing carts of items. The Courier Journal reported rounds of gunfire can be heard in the background. The nearby Chase ATM was broken into, as well, as the video shows a group pulling money from the damaged machine.

Obviously a great place to be doing business.

“We’ve heard rumors for years that that Kroger was going to close permanently,” Herron said. “And there are only two major supermarkets that serve 60,000 residents, and that is one of the stores. So if that Kroger closes, West Louisville will have one supermarket and mostly dollar stores.”

Store closures due to looting and protests across the country have sparked similar realizations.

Really? What a surprise! Too bad those “realizations” didn’t occur before morons destroyed their own neighborhoods.

On the first night of rioting in Minneapolis, looters robbed and pretty much destroyed the Target store on Lake Street. Lake Street is not one of the Twin Cities’ garden spots, and I doubt that Target’s store there was very profitable, if profitable at all. Given what happened last week, if you ran a company like Target, would you make a fresh investment of millions of dollars in a city whose City Council is talking about abolishing the police department?

According to a report from the Minneapolis Star Tribune, nine of the city’s neighborhoods have “nearly become a food desert” after a Cub, Target, two Aldi stores, and many small markets were damaged during protests.

What is a “food desert”? A food desert is an area where crime, shoplifting and, as here, looting and arson have made it unprofitable to operate a grocery store. There is no such thing as a food desert in a law-abiding neighborhood. Here’s a news flash: If you burn down the grocery stores near where you live, you might have a hard time buying groceries.

Riots are terribly destructive, but most of the damage does not occur overnight. It plays out over a period of years. Sadly, much of the progress that has been made by minority business owners and by minority neighborhoods in recent decades has been wiped away by rioters, looters and arsonists.

Michael Ramirez summed it up well, if brutally. Click to enlarge:

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