‘Squad’ Member Charges Racism In Store Closure

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) accused the retail giant Walgreens of racism after one of its locations closed following a sharp increase in theft. The statement came after a number of other prominent locations across the country closed following concerns about crime and homelessness in locations governed by the Democratic Party.

Pressley protested the announced closure of a Walgreens location in Roxbury following concerns about crime and other factors at the location.

The member of the socialist ‘Squad’ in the House argued that the effort was “part of a larger trend of abandoning low-income communities.”

“When a Walgreens leaves a neighborhood, they disrupt the entire community and they take with them baby formula, diapers, asthma inhalers, life-saving medications, and, of course, jobs,” she said.

She cited the fact that the area around the store is “85% Black and Latino.”

“These closures are not arbitrary and they are not innocent. They are life-threatening acts of racial and economic discrimination,” Pressley said.

Pressley is working with Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Ed Markey (D-MA) to protest the closure and “demand answers.”

Walgreens said that the store was due to a number of factors, adding that it was “as a result of the current operating environment and our financial performance.”

The representative’s comments mirror similar criticism of outlets that closed across the country following the spike in crime since the 2020 George Floyd riots.

Recently, the popular fast-food chain In-N-Out announced that it would close its only location in Oakland, California over concerns about crime. The area around the location has seen more than 1,000 police calls in the past five years, including for burglary and robbery.

Furthermore, a spate of locations around San Francisco have closed in recent years as the city struggles with one of the worst homelessness issues in the country. This includes the end of Whole Foods’ flagship location and Nordstrom’s department store.

Critics in California have also argued that the locations’ closures were due to racism, despite a sharp increase in organized retail theft, including some caught on video.

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