"Progressives" deny jobs to South Side blacks

If there's ever an illustration of how "progressive" elites and
organized labor are keeping the very people they supposedly care about
locked up on the plantation, it's their consuming opposition to a new
Wal-Mart store on the South Side.

The impoverished, unemployed, blacks, seniors, teens--they're all
getting a good frigging by the organized campaign by white liberals and
powerful unions to block the construction of only the city's second
Wal-Mart, at 83rd Street and Stewart Avenue.

_walmart.jpg

The rousing success of the city's first Wal-Mart at 4650 W North
Ave. providing jobs and shopping for a West Side neighborhood in great
need of them hasn't dissuaded the elites in the least from blocking
something that people want and need.

More evidence of progressive, white elitism behind the opposition is
provided by a new survey conducted for the retailer that found that
76.7 percent of the 75,347 city residents surveyed want the new store
(margin of error of ±0.34 percent). While the poll received a decent
amount of publicity, what didn't was the ward-by-ward breakdown of the
results.

Not surprisingly, and quite disturbingly, opinion generally
reflected income and racial differences among the wards. In other
words, support for the new Wal-Mart in North Side wards, which are
chockfull of white progressives, is softer than in the South and West
Side wards that are predominantly black or poor.

To be sure, majorities in every one of the city's 50 wards supported
the new Wal-Mart, which ought to alarm the City Council staunchest
opponents. Aldermen usually can be counted on to rubber stamp any
building or development proposal (including a Children's Museum in
Grant Park) that comes along. Especially if the alderman of the ward in
which the project is to be built backs it, as is the case with Ald.
Howard Brookins, whose 21st ward would host the new store. That
aldermen would so easily toss overboard the public's viewpoint
demonstrates just how craven they can become when union campaign
contributions are dangled before them.

But it would be a mistake to chalk this up solely to organized
labor's stranglehold on the City Council. Progressives, from their
North Side enclaves, are full-throated in their opposition to a major
job generator--elsewhere in the city. The liberal lakefront wards--44,
46, 48 and 49--all are home to some of the city's strongest opposition.
In stark contrast, the heavily black and lower-income wards on the
South and West sides record the highest levels of support. Up on the
Northwest Side, home to many blue-collar organized workers, support is
weakest. What should be of some concern is the relatively weaker
support for the new store in Hispanic wards; apparently minorities are
not as unified as we are led to believe.

This column will inspire the usual howls of protest from
"progressives," who would have us believe that, from their distant
perch, they only have the welfare of the oppressed and impoverished in
mind. Even though their progressive roosts are blessed with an
abundance of jobs and places to shop. They don't have to get on a bus
to travel outside the city to work or shop. From their roosts, they are
comfortable and self-satisfied in their ideological hatred of Wal-Mart,
brushing aside pleas from those most in need of jobs and access to
shopping.

Progressives will portray themselves as guardians of those pleading
for the Wal-Mart. Progressives say they are only are trying to
"protect" those poor people from low wages, insufficient benefits and
part-time work. Progressives have decided that for "those people" no
jobs are better than jobs that they want and need. Progressives will
cite their opposition to Wal-Mart as evidence of their compassion and,
well, progressiveness.

It's all too condescending and patronizing. It all sounds too much
like racists who once said they know what's "best for our colored."
It's beyond shameful.

This column also appeared in ChicagoDailyObserver.com

Ward By Ward.xls

Comments

Leave a comment
  • I'm liberal, to the left of lesbian. I'm progressive, where the progress is affirmative. More than anything else, I'm a Blue Light Shopper. From my comfortable, self-satisfied, distant perch, I say this: "Bring on the Wal-Mart!"

  • Screw union busting Wal-Mart. Unions, the people who brought you the 40 hour (used to be 60+) work week, paid vacations, an end to child labor and countless other benefits that all Americans enjoy. All the stuff Wal sells is made in non-union foreign sweatshops where the workers endure the same kind of hell that Americans had to labor under and then fight and die to overturn. Ross Perot was right about the race to the bottom with "free trade" agreements. Wal-Mart is a bottom feeder that should be kept out of respectable communities. *I'm not a union member*

  • The survey people called a friend of mine on the North Side to ask if he wanted a Wal-Mart. He told them no.
    When my friend told me this, I ripped into him. "You have places to shop on the North Side. In other neighborhoods they have food deserts and nowhere to shop. How would you feel if you had to drive 10 miles to go to the store?"
    I do have some issues with Wal-Mart. They are one of the largest employers of Latinos in the U.S. but the EEOC filed a discrimination suit against them in Calif.
    Still, people should have a choice of where to shop and North Siders shouldn't be so arrogant to deny South Siders a Wal-Mart.

  • You obviously work for Walmart or have some affiliation. Walmart is a cancer on this planet. They destroy small businesses and support sweatshops. Watch Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price then you would probably take this post down.
    I also love how you make it sound as if Walmart is the only answer. Other grocery stores can open up shop in the south side too you know.

  • You obviously work for Walmart or have some affiliation. Walmart is a cancer on this planet. They destroy small businesses and support sweatshops. Watch Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price then you would probably take this post down.
    I also love how you make it sound as if Walmart is the only answer. Other grocery stores can open up shop in the south side too you know.

Leave a comment

  • ChicagoNow is full of win

    Welcome to ChicagoNow.

    Meet our bloggers,
    post comments, or
    pitch your blog idea.

  • Advertisement:
  • Subscribe to The Barbershop

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

  • Dennis Byrne’s Facebook Fan Page

  • Like me on Facebook

  • google-site-verification: googlefdc32e3d5108044f.html
  • Meet The Blogger

    Dennis Byrne

    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

  • Our National Debt

  • Twitter

  • Categories

  • Tags

  • Recent Comments

  • Monthly Archives

  • /Users/dennisby/Desktop/trailer.mp4
  • Latest on ChicagoNow

  • Advertisement:
  • Fresh Chicago News