Honestly, I read crap like this, and it makes me glad I live here and not in the United States:
The African American community in Dallas has been protesting a gas station run by a Korean-born U.S. citizen in a predominately black neighborhood in South Dallas for over a month, taking issue with what they claim were racial remarks by the station’s owner.
According to the ministry and the local Korean community, the conflict occurred on Dec. 9, 2011, between the Korean-American owner of a gas station in southern Dallas and a black customer over the sale of gas.
The customer, complaining that the price of gas at the station was much higher than at other stations, demanded he be able to buy gas by smaller amounts than what the owner set as the minimum sales unit. The owner refused and told him to go to another station, to which the customer responded by telling the owner to go back to his country. The owner responded by telling the customer to go back to Africa.
Lovely. From the Korea Herald:
A Park, who runs a gas station and a convenience store in the predominantly black South Dallas, seems to have somewhat antagonized poorer customers for his refusal to accept debit cards for transactions below $10 and relatively high gas prices. An argument occurred on Dec. 9 between Park and Jeffrey Muhammad, a minister at the local Nation of Islam mosque, when the latter wanted to use his debit card for a $5 purchase.
An online news report by an Asian-American activist group said Muhammad admitted he told the gas station owner to “go back to China.” But the black minister claimed he said so only after the Asian-American owner told him that he was a slave and should go back to Africa. Park asserted Muhammad made the slurs to him first, calling him a “Chinaman.”
Skirmishes took place incessantly around Park’s gas station as the local NAACP joined the Nation of Islam believers in their demonstrations to prevent African-American customers from patronizing the place. Injuries resulted when Dallas police tried to disperse demonstrators and part of them went to City Hall to protest. Police took special precautionary measures on Martin Luther King Day, Jan. 16, to ensure no violent incident by parade participants.
Now we have talk of boycotts of Asian-owned businesses, and the Korean Consulate in Houston sending the consul general to Dallas where, according to the Foreign Ministry, “we (the ministry) made emergent contact with the Korean community, requesting that its members restrain from an emotional response and examine their relationship with other communities.” This latter move I find rather disturbing—having foreign diplomats get involved makes the Dallas Korean community appear even more “foreign” than they probably already feel, and it’s not the Foreign Ministry’s job to tell American citizens what to do or lecture them about “examining their relationship with other communities.” Plus, not to put too fine a point on this, but it’s easy for the Foreign Ministry to talk when they’re not the ones running small businesses in the ‘hood.
I rather liked Jim Schutze’s take on this at the Dallas Observer’s blogs. Sure, some Koreans might have to work on their racial attitudes, he says, but on the other hand:
People don’t get business opportunities from politics. That’s not how it works. You get a business by wading in yourself and making it happen against all odds. How much balls does it take for a Korean immigrant who barely speaks English to set up shop in an area where there are gun-toters and crack-heads prowling the alleys? A lot of balls, that’s how much.
That’s how somebody creates wealth for himself when he has nothing, is not welcomed by anyone and has no connections in high places. He goes in and digs it out of the bitter earth with his own two hands. To do that, yeah, you have to be very tough. It’s a job for John Wayne.
(HT to jkitchstk)