- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 1, 2023

The chief financial officer of retail chain Target just explained — really, complained — that “organized retail crime” is to blame for much of the corporation’s dwindling profits in recent times.

Well, that’s what you get when you embolden the thug element.

That’s what you get when you create a new method of capitalism based on a woke culture that’s determined, despite truths and realities, to make victim classes out of classes that aren’t really victims.

And count Target as one of the many companies in America that have gone this woke route, doling out big bucks for causes that elevate social justice reforms over law and order. No wonder the lawless and disorderly have ramped up their lawless pilfering and disorderly stealing tendencies. They get by with it.

They get paid for it by the very companies they in turn target for theft.

First, this — a Washington Post headline from December 2021: “‘Flash mob’ robberies roiling U.S. Retailers, traumatizing workers.”

From Nordstrom to Best Buy, from Louis Vuitton to Home Depot, the “smash-and-grab” crowds have been coming out in full force in recent years. Can you say “defund police” movement?

Then, this — a section from Target’s corporate headquarters webpage, under the umbrella of “Racial Equity Action and Change” from 2020: “Inclusivity is a core value at Target and we’re proud of our work to be an open and welcoming company. In the summer of 2020, we established the Racial Equity Action and Change (REACH) committee to accelerate our diversity, equity and inclusion strategy for our Black team members and guests.”

Specifically, Target vowed to build “an exclusive work environment for Black team members,” to spend “more than $2 billion with Black-owned businesses by 2025, to add another $100 million to a previously committed $10 million investment “to help fuel economic prosperity in Black communities across the nation,” — and more.

Target’s certainly not the only company focusing on racial issues.

“70 retailers donating to Black social justice organizations,” USA Today reported back in June, 2020.

Amazon donates $10 million to organizations supporting justice and equity,” Amazon wrote on its own website in July, 2020.

“Corporate America has pledged millions to social justice efforts since the killing of George Floyd. But some businesses have gone further, committing to concrete changes in their practices,” The New York Times wrote in August 2020.

But fact is, treating employees differently based on skin tones is a classic textbook example of racism. And it’s a running theme through America’s business world that is undercutting the free market; elevating the mindset of certain communities, of certain members of certain communities, to think they’re owed more than others simply because of skin color; and wreaking havoc with societal norms and cultural standards.

Under this new woke agenda, where minorities are victims because they’re minorities, and those who argue differently are racist, the idea of gifting millions of dollars for Blacks but not Whites is both normal and expected. Corporations are now competing against each other not so much for profits, but rather social justice badges.

The company that gives the most money to Black communities wins the public relations prize.

Unfortunately, this segregation-style workforce has only ratcheted the new victimhood mentality that’s dotted the socialist-type landscape of America for years. Marxists and socialists and communists pit classes of culture and humanity against each other as a means of tearing down structures and ushering in new political and revolutionary movements — of ultimately, seizing powers of the foundations of society. When companies in free market America play this divide-and-conquer game, it’s no less socialist and Marxist and communist in tone.

But for these very companies to complain when the victim class rises up and exerts its victimhood outrage and anger — by stealing what they think they deserve to own, for example — is the height of hypocrisy.

“[Inventory shrinkage] was certainly a headwind,” said Target CFO Michael Fiddelke in an interview with Yahoo Finance about the company’s falling 2022 profits. “We know we’re not alone in seeing elevated levels of shrink and organized retail crime driving some of that theft.”

Fiddelke also said Target’s lost “hundreds of millions of dollars of headwind” — and then warned company executives expect more of the same types of losses due to thefts in 2023.

Well, well, well. Turns out, retailers are choking on their own woke rot. They helped create it; now they are being forced to eat it — and they’re not liking it. No, not one little bit.

So how about putting some of that social justice money toward causes that actually benefit social justice — such as law and order?

If Target and all the other retailers out there who’ve been hit by flash mob thefts from the thug element in recent years would stop giving money that emboldens these flash mob theft thugs — and instead make investments in police organizations, say — then perhaps profits would improve. Perhaps thefts would dwindle. Perhaps law and order might again prove the order of the day.

It’s simple, really.

Go woke — go broke. Retailers are learning this lesson the hard way, it seems.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter and podcast by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Lockdown: The Socialist Plan To Take Away Your Freedom,” is available by clicking HERE  or clicking HERE or CLICKING HERE.

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