STEPHEN DAVIS: Ayanna Pressley declares Walgreens is racist over store closures

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley has accused Walgreens of racial discrimination, alleging that the pharmacy chain’s decision to close stores in areas with high black and Hispanic populations is an act of racial discrimination.

Last summer, Walgreens announced plans to close 150 locations nationwide due to low revenue. However, politicians, including Representative Pressley and Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren, have accused the company of selectively closing stores in predominantly black and hispanic communities. The most recent closure in Roxbury, Massachusetts, an area that is 85% black and hispanic, has fueled these allegations.

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

In response to these accusations, a Walgreens spokesperson clarified that the decision to close the Roxbury location was driven by financial factors, such as cost of operating and reimbursement rates.

“As a result of the current operating environment and our financial performance, we have had to make difficult decisions across our business including corporate headcount reductions, as well as store closures like Roxbury,” a Walgreens spokesperson explained to The Hill. “Roxbury’s closure was due to several factors including the cost of operating, low prescription volume and low reimbursement rates.”

While accusations of racism have been leveled, Walgreens’ decision to close a large number of stores could be for the same reasons that other companies have over the last two years: rising crime and theft.

Many liberally-ran cities have faced criticism for inadequate enforcement of laws and creating an environment that incentivizes theft. This in return has prompted businesses to leave to stop dealing with profit losses.

Last year, Walmart announced that it would be closing half of its stores in Chicago, citing substantial financial losses. Despite the financial challenges, Walmart opted to keep some stores open to support communities, even as they operated at a loss.

As large cities continue to be soft on crime and allow businesses to be ransacked and looted, left-wing politicians must realize they have nothing to blame for store closures except themselves.

This piece first appeared at TPUSA.

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