Philadelphia Council Woman Pushes Bill Targeting Korean-American Business Owners

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.

California Woman Fined $5,000 for Denying Korean-American Lodging Based on Race

This just makes you wonder what is wrong with some people?:

An Airbnb host who canceled a woman’s reservation because of her race has agreed to pay $5,000 in damages and take a course in Asian American studies, a state regulatory agency announced Thursday.

The host, Tami Barker, told the woman who reserved her Big Bear cabin for a ski vacation in February that she would not rent to an Asian, justifying the action by adding in a text message, “It’s why we have Trump,” referring to President Trump.

The woman, Dyne Suh, a UCLA law student, said she was driving in a snowstorm to the Big Bear cabin when she received the text messages via the Airbnb mobile app. A tearful Suh, standing in the snow, shot a video posted on YouTube, describing her exchange with Barker.

“I’ve been here since I was 3 years old,” she said in the video. “America is my home. I consider myself an American. But this woman discriminates against me because I’m Asian.”  [LA Times]

You can read more at the link.

Bill Maher Criticized for Stereotyping Korean-Americans

Bill Maher got away with using the N-word with little consequences which means he can definitely get away with stereotyping Korean-Americans:

Just weeks after he drew widespread criticism for using a racial slur on his HBO program Real Time, Bill Maher once again finds himself on the receiving end of backlash following a recent tweet.

“This N Korean thing is getting tense! I mean, I think it is, I’m on vaca. The ladies at my nail salon are freaking out, that’s what I know!” the comedian wrote on Twitter on Friday afternoon, referencing a recent missile launch by the country.

Following his use of the N-word in June, Maher apologized on-air the following week on Real Time. “I did a bad thing,” Maher said on his show, addressing the backlash he’d received to guest Michael Eric Dyson. “For black folks, that word — I don’t care who you are — it’s caused pain. It doesn’t matter that it was not said in malice, it caused pain, and that’s why I apologized. I’m not that big of an asshole.”

Maher went on to say that he is “just a product of the country, but I don’t want to pretend that this is more of a race thing than a comedian thing. We are trained to get a laugh. This is not the first time I’ve gotten in trouble because that’s what comedians are somehow wired to do. Sometimes we transgress a sensitivity point.”  [Hollywood Reporter]

Attacks on Korean Shop Owners Featured Heavily In Smithsonian Documentary About the 1992 LA Riots

I was watching on the Smithsonian app “The Lost Tapes: LA Riots” which had a lot of never before seen footage of the riots that happened 25 years ago in response to the Rodney King verdict.  You can watch the entire episode at the above link.  What I found of interest was the amount of footage featuring the attacks on Koreans in Los Angeles.  This fact is often glossed over by the media when discussing the riots.  Rioters were specifically targeting Korean businesses in retaliation for the shooting death of Latasha Harlins by a Korean shop owner during a confrontation.

Korean store owners defend their business during the 1992 LA riots. [CNN]

The incompetent police response also featured heavily in the program because the first day of the riot they initially responded to rioters and then were ordered to pull out.  Once they pulled out the gangbangers went on a rampage robbing stores and eventually other people joined in.  By the second day the rioters had advanced on Koreatown and still the police would not respond.  They left the Koreans to fend for themselves while they defended more affluent white neighborhoods.  Due to the police not responding the firefighters stopped responding as well because they kept getting shot at when they tried to put out the fires.  There was plenty of footage of shot up firetrucks.

The Korean shop owners had to take up arms to defend Koreatown from the rioters which is what saved that section of the city from being burned down.  While this was going on Jesse Jackson was on the radio saying that he believed many of the fires were caused by people trying to get insurance payouts and not from rioters.

CNN recently published an article that discusses how little attention the attacks on Koreans during the riot received from the media:

Store owner Richard Rhee stands vigil, armed with a handgun and a cellular phone on the roof of his grocery store in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles on May 2, 1992.

The nearly weeklong, widespread rioting killed more than 50 people, injured more than 1,000 people and caused approximately $1 billion in damage, about half of which was sustained by Korean-owned businesses. Long-simmering cultural clashes between immigrant Korean business owners and predominately African-American customers spilled over with the acquittals.
The Rodney King verdict and the ensuing riots are often framed as a turning point for law enforcement and the African-American community. But it’s also the single most significant modern event for Korean-Americans, says Edward Taehan Chang, professor of ethnic studies and founding director of the Young Oak Kim Center for Korean American Studies at the University of California, Riverside.
“Despite the fact that Korean-American merchants were victimized, no one in the mainstream cared because of our lack of visibility and political power,” Chang said. “Korean immigrants, many who arrived in the late 1970s and early 80s, learned economic success alone will not guarantee their place in America. What was an immigrant Korean identity began to shift. The Korean-American identity was born.”  [CNN]
This is the experience many Korean-Americans learned from the LA Riots:
“I watched a gas station on fire, and I thought, boy, that place looks familiar,” he said. “Soon, the realization hit me. As I was protecting my parents’ shopping mall, I was watching my own gas station burn down on TV.”
That he ended up on a rooftop with a borrowed gun was never in Lee’s life plan. He had quit his job as an engineer at an aerospace company to pursue what he hoped would be life as an independent businessman, opening up three businesses in Koreatown.
“I truly thought I was a part of mainstream society,” said Lee, who immigrated with his family to the United States as a child. “Nothing in my life indicated I was a secondary citizen until the LA riots. The LAPD powers that be decided to protect the ‘haves’ and the Korean community did not have any political voice or power. They left us to burn.”  [CNN]
The rest of the article goes on of course to talk about how bad President Trump is and how African-Americans and Korean-Americans need to unite against him.  I don’t think CNN is capable of writing an article any more without an anti-Trump bias.  Anyway I do recommend watching “The Lost Tapes: LA Riots” to get a better understanding of the LA Riots that happened 25 years ago.

Korean-American Criticized for Posting Racist Help Wanted Sign

Via a reader tip comes this news about a Korean-American man in South Carolina who accidentally posted a racist help wanted sign at his wife’s restaurant and is now under attack by critics:

A South Carolina restaurant owner which caused outrage after it placed a ‘Help Wanted’ sign in its window along with the message ‘minorities need not apply’ has apologized for her mistake.

Kenny’s Home Cooking in Spartanburg placed the sign in the window seeking more staff, although when diners noticed the message at the bottom they posted photographs on the internet.

The sign had the racist message written in both English and Spanish.

However, the restaurant’s owner, who is Japanese, claimed any offense was unintentional as they purchased the sign on eBay and did not understand the messages at the bottom.

Owner Sook ‘Sue’ Shin told WYFF News: ‘I never ever meant that, so I’m really sorry.’

A friend claimed they mistook the word ‘minorities’ for ‘minors’.

Shin’s husband, who is Korean, purchased the sign on eBay.  [The Daily Mail]

You can read more at the link, but I can easily understand how someone who uses English as a second language can make this mistake.  However, it hasn’t stopped people from expressing their outrage at the owners.  It seems to me the real racists are the ones criticizing this couple for not understanding English better.

Should Korean-Americans Feel Threatened By A Trump Presidency?

Even the Korea Times is jumping on the bandwagon that Trump won the US Presidential election because America is filled with white racists:

In disbelief and denial, people fear how their lives may or may not be impacted under a leader who has constantly been labeled a racist and sexist throughout a divisive and ugly campaign.

But for many Korean-Americans, the uncertainty runs even deeper.

”We’re talking about a man who has been hating on immigrants, not to mention criticizing South Korea as ‘free-riders,”’ says Michael Kim, 26, one of many younger generation Korean-Americans who have teamed up to campaign for Trump’s defeated Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton in California, a liberal stronghold. ”These two factors alone can’t be good for all of us Koreans who live in the U.S.”

Korean-American political observers say never in recent history have so many Koreans been unified against one single candidate.

According to a recent poll, 63 percent of eligible Korean-American voters said they would vote for Clinton, while only 10 percent backed Trump.

”The reason is simple,” says Lisa Kim, 42, a member of the Korean American Coalition in New York, a non-partisan community advocacy organization. ”People are feeling threatened by this new and emerging political force who has awaken a movement of white nationalists.”

Life in America under Trump’s leadership, Kim says, is likely to be tougher for Asians and other minorities.

”Racism is one of the biggest concerns we’re facing,” she said, stressing that this election has exposed a surprising depth of underlying racism deeply planted in the American society. [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link, but I fully expect more articles like this from the media as well as complaints about the Electoral College system in an attempt to delegitimize Trump before he even takes over the Presidency.

Elderly Korean Couple Shot In Missouri By 13-Year Old Shoplifter

This is a horrible story out of Missouri:

The teen had been kicked out of the beauty store when she was caught shoplifting with another girl.

A 13-year-old Missouri girl suspected of shooting and critically wounding a Korean couple in their 70s has surrendered to police.

The teen had shot the parents of the owner of King’s Beauty Supply in Bellefontaine Neighbors on Tuesday after she and another juvenile had been booted from the store earlier in the day for stealing, the Post-Dispatch reported.

When the girls returned to the shop, the couple called police, who found the girls in a nearby parking lot.

One girl was taken into custody on a previous juvenile warrant and the other was released with a warning with the couple’s approval, according to Detective Shawn Applegate.

The couple recovered the stolen items, believed to be hair extensions, and the shoplifting was not reported.

However, the girl who was given the warning returned again to the store and shot the couple, cops said. She came into the store, and “then less than a minute later came running out, swinging in her right hand a revolver as she ran,” a witness told authorities, according to the Post-Dispatch.  [New York Daily News]

You can read more at the link, but all the best to the family and friends of the victims.

How Will Korean-Americans Vote In the 2016 US Presidential Election?

It will be interesting to see who Korean-Americans support in this year’s Presidential election.  Hopefully it is now for someone who wants the tried and failed policy of engaging North Korea and receiving little to nothing in return:

korea us flag image

The U.S. presidential election in November is expected to be like no other. As the flamboyant candidates are currently challenging one another on a range of issues from immigration to foreign policy, many say that this year’s race is expected to be pivotal not only for Americans, but also for Koreans as well.

A prominent Korean-American political activist says it will also be significant for Koreans in Korea.

“Eligible Korean voters living in the U.S. have the capacity to have an influence on Washington’s various policies that directly affect Korea,” said Kim Dong-suk, founder and chairman of New York-based Korean American Civic Empowerment (KACE), in an interview. “In that sense, this year will be a turning point for all of us.”

He said that the ethnic minority vote will become an increasingly decisive factor in changing the outcome of U.S. elections, which means American politicians must appeal to people in all Asian communities, including Koreans.  [Korea Times]

I would hope the majority of Korean-Americans are not thinking like this:

Paul Lee, chairman of the Bergen County Republican Committee (KARC), based in New Jersey, agrees that the election should be an opportunity for the Korean Peninsula to get the “fair analysis it deserves.”

“The U.S. is now talking to Cuba and Iran,” said Lee, who heads the committee that is under the umbrella of a local Republican party organization. “Is North Korea that much more crazy? Have we really made an effort to end the war in Korea? Whoever wins the White House, whether they’re a Republican or Democrat, they need to tackle the North Korea issue.”

North Korea is not crazy, but the Kim regime is definitely more oppressive and dangerous than the Iranians or Cubans.  Also has Mr. Lee not been paying attention to all the overture to North Korea that have gone no where other then providing free goodies to the Kim regime to allow them to further their nuclear and ballistic missile programs?

Representative Royce Speaks Out Against Discrimination of Korean-Americans at US Universities

The discrimination against Asian-Americans in the admittance process into US universities has long been a problem with Congressman Ed Royce is now speaking out against:

Being Korean American should not be an obstacle to receiving a top university education. It’s sad I have to make that clear in 2015.

Earlier this year, a coalition of 64 Asian American organizations filed a complaint with the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights against Harvard University. The coalition argues that Harvard has set hidden racial quotas and a higher admissions bar for Asian American students, including Korean Americans.

Supporting this case is a mountain of evidence. While the population of Asian Americans has grown rapidly in the United States over the past 20 years, the admission rate for Asian Americans at Harvard University has stayed between 15 percent and 20 percent. This suspiciously flat number is also at odds with data that shows a much higher proportion of high-performing American high school students are of Asian descent. “We have data that suggests that 55 percent of kids with SAT scores of 2300 or higher are Asian,” says scholar Edward Blum, who launched another lawsuit against Harvard last year, accusing the school of racial discrimination in its admissions process.

Harvard claims it does not discriminate against Asian American students, which would be illegal. Instead, Harvard argues that it uses an “individualized, holistic review” process to select students, and that “diversity” is but one of many factors considered.

But Asian American parents are right to be suspicious when their hard-working, high-performing children are shut out of top schools and their less qualified peers are accepted instead.  [Korea Times]

You can read the rest at the link, but one’s skin color should not be the deciding factor of who gets to attend a university.