Here is the latest social justice cause that is targeting Korean-American business owners:
Earlier this month, Councilwoman Cindy Bass introduced a bill to better regulate the hundreds of “stop and go” convenience stores that operate predominantly in Philadelphia’s low-income neighborhoods. Among its stipulations, the controversial measure would prohibit any physical barrier that separates cashiers from customers at these so-called “nuisance” establishments – including protective bulletproof glass.
According to Bass, these storefronts take advantage of the city’s lax restaurant liquor license provision while contributing to a variety of quality-of-life issues in low-income communities. Content to rely solely on the sale of cigarettes and alcohol, along with a bag of Doritos or two, many of these business owners don’t even sell the food that they advertise. [PhillyMag.com]
The councilwoman claims that these stores help promote crime because they sell alcohol and cigarettes. I find it interesting how she puts the onus on the business owners to stop crime instead of the police or the public. What else is interesting is that many of these business owners are Korean-American:
Rich Kim’s family has run the deli, which sells soda, snacks, meals and beer by the can for 20 years. He says the glass went up after a shooting and claims it saved his mother-in-law from a knife attack. Now, he may be forced to take some of the barrier down.
“If the glass comes down, the crime rate will rise and there will be lots of dead bodies,” he said.
A bill moving through city council reads: “No establishment shall erect or maintain a physical barrier.”
It’s called the ‘Stop and Go’ bill and is being offered by City Councilwoman Cindy Bass.
“Right now, the plexiglass has to come down,” she said.
She wants to put some controls on these small stores that she says sell booze, very little food and are the source of trouble in her district.
Rich Kim resents the charge stores like his attract loiters and argues calls to police are often met with a slow response.
Mike Choe runs a non-profit supporting Korean-owned businesses. He plans on raising $100,000 to fight the measure.
“I do think it’s a bad bill that will endanger Korean Americans,’ he said.
Bass says she’s battling for her constituents.
Kim argues as a Korean-American he’s being targeted.
“This bill targets Korean Americans,” Cole asked. Bass responded, “Absolutely not. I find that offensive.” [Fox 29]
The tensions between Korean-American business owners and African-American communities has been simmering since the 1992 LA Riots when Koreantown was a major target of the rioters. It has continued in recent years when riots in Baltimore and Missouri targeted Korean-American businesses. There was also the protests to shutdown a Korean-American gas station in Dallas:
Muhammad, 44, who was appointed to his post in 1994 by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, says Pak must go. So should other Asian-American merchants in black neighborhoods, he says.
Could you imagine the uproar if legislation was passed that targeted African-Americans to make them more easy victims of crime and to put them out of business? That is clearly what some of the social justice warriors are trying to do with violence, legislation, and protests to push the Korean-American business owners out of black communities. Yet racism directed towards Korean-Americans draws little national media attention.