Live, From Atop Schutze's Head, a Battle Between Races at Local Convenience Store

Categories: Schutze

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Well, I think my hat-cam is going to change my life. Now I can take you along on my daily adventures. You don't especially want to go? Come on. Try it. Be a sport. What I do every day may not be high drama, but it beats working.

I go to a lot of stuff that doesn't "make" as a story -- that is, it's interesting to me, but it doesn't quite amount to a news story yet. This is an example. It may be a news story soon, but right now it's still in the embryonic stage.

Yesterday afternoon I went to a Shamrock gas station at the corner of Harwood Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in South Dallas where a community coalition is carrying out daily picketing to protest what the coalition says is racist behavior by an Asian store-owner.

Sadly, as you will see, I was unable to chat with the owner, so I can't tell you too much about his side of things. Like his name. He looks Asian. Who knows? In this world, the guy could be Swedish. But I am told that he is Korean.

The community people accuse him of using the N-word all the time and sending his clerks out as goons to beat the hell out of people. You and I know there are two sides to every story, and this is only one side.

But the people on the community side include the Rev. Peter Johnson, the Rev. Ronald Wright, Joyce Foreman -- heavy hitters who don't jump into something unless they're sure of their ground.

An attorney for the owner makes a brief appearance in my cap-cam movie. His name is Richard Barrett-Cuetara. Seems like an OK guy, sticking up for his client.

The context is that almost all of the convenience stores in black South Dallas now are owned and operated by Asians. You will hear a snippet of a longer speech made by Wright about how well most of those Asian merchants get along with the community. This guy, he says, is an unpleasant exception.

When store owners have been willing to talk to me about this stuff in the past, their side of the story has been that they are engaged in a daily battle with shoplifters and robbers. They say the only way to stay in business is to be tough as hell.

But it's also the case that some immigrants bring racist caste-bound attitudes from their old countries that they have to learn to get over, and sometimes they have to learn the hard way.

The owner probably didn't talk to me because he doesn't get how reporters work here and hoped I would just walk out of his place and get hit by a bus or something. I get that at home too.

The guy sitting in a chair at the beginning says he tried to buy a can of gas for his car and ended up getting the hell beaten out of him by the store clerks. This is first blush of a story that needs to develop. Just thought I'd take you along.

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38 comments
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Guest
Guest

"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."http://newamericamedia.org/201...

Oh.. Wait

*"Go back to your country!" = Perfectly fine. He's just a slanty-eyed chink, after all. He deserves it.

*"Go back to Africa!" = WHAT?! WHAT DID HE SAY?! RACIST!! RACIST! 

Jake
Jake

why are black people so annoying?

Quik37
Quik37

I'm so glad that their are still enough strong people around to stand up for the rights of mankind.

Perry Moore
Perry Moore

This is a complicated story indeed. If we just had a cracker to blame for all this racism, it would be a lot easier.

Bmarvel
Bmarvel

On the contrary, Jim. This does amount to a very big story, though it's hardly "news." The problem is that reporting it fairly and honestly is full of is full of pitfalls and traps that terrify the average white journalist. Every honest journalist knows this in his bones. The journalist with a conscience bends over backwards not to offend. But to not offend is to not report. The owner treats his customers with contempt. The community responds with legitimate outrage. But -- and here's where the reporting gets sticky --  the owner has his own complaints about his customers. And the community seems unable or unwilling to establish and manage its own convenience stores, so the job falls to another despised minority.To report fairly and in depth on any of these points lays the journalist open to charges of racism because the dilemma of racism allows no middle ground. The journalist of any race inevitably brings his own biases to the job. Legitimize the grievances on either side -- or even both sides -- and the journalist will be labeled a racist.  Racism begets racism. It contaminates everything it touches, even reporters with the best of intentions, and both sides do "know" how reporters work here.

Perry Moore
Perry Moore

OK, the story is not quite ripe yet, but I want a do rag cam in the worst way. I haven't seen anything so wonderfully gimmicky since my niece put a collar cam on her pit bull.

Philip
Philip

My guess is he didn't talk to you because he knows exactly how reporters work here.

"The owner probably didn't talk to me because he doesn't get how reporters work here..."

pencil
pencil

You don't see blacks owning convenience stores in those areas because it requires long hours of work and the need of extended family members as help, they won't steal you blind.Asian's, unlike condescending, patronizing liberals, aren't intimidated by the over used racist label.

Anon
Anon

stop making sense. you will make people's heads spin. it's sort of like when people rail against payday lenders but don't turn around and lend their own money to the customer base that needs the payday lenders.

ObserverFan
ObserverFan

This article makes me think of Malibu's Most Wanted when Jaime Kennedy is suppose to rob a Korean-owned convenience store. "I'm scared of Koreans!"

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

It is interesting to frame this in the context of the Police not responding to any shop lifting under 50 dollars.   So if I am a business owner in a high crime area what am I to do when someone steals from my business?    I recall the pizza owner in fair park getting in trouble when he (went overboard-probably due to the re occurring nature of petty theft at his establishment) and beat a person who attempted to use a credit card that did not belong to them.    I also recall the re occurring reports on the news about convenience store owners being killed in that area too.  So what to do?   Less police presence (or re classification of crimes to make the DPD look better)?

Sam
Sam

They say the only way to stay in business is to be tough as hell.

If there's any truth to the accusations, and who knows if there is or osn't, this is probabaly the cause behind it, a guy takes over a shop with the best of intentions, has to deal with a lot of hardasses who probably insulted him and becomes a hardass who insults them in return. I base my knowledge of this on repeated viewings of Do The Right Thing.

johan
johan

Ah stereotypes: They make hating other people so much easier.

Lest we forget --- and we shouldn't --- Jin Ha. She toiled away at a South Oak Cliff convenience store (just on the other side of I-45 --- and maybe a world away from this dispute) that she owned with her husband for years. Then she got shot by robbers who wanted to steal a box of onions from her. The neighborhood loved her. "It didn't matter if you was a drunk, a crack head, she treated everybody the same," one customer said.

http://blogs.dallasobserver.co... 

Albert
Albert

Iranians, Iraqis, Koreans, Indians in the C-store business all have a problem with blacks.

It's not because of the crime, assaults, drunkenness and theft, it's because these people are inherently racist.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Hypocrite much?

Isn't it somewhat racist to accuse a few specific groups of people of being consistently racist?

Albert
Albert

Sorry Dave, I forgot to include a sarcasm tag, or an "uh-huh" as I did in the reply to Scottindallas.

I'll be more vigilant in the future.

BUT, now that you can re-read the statement in proper context, you can accuse me of applying racial stereotypes to the customers, win win!

scottindallas
scottindallas

it might be them reflecting our own biases back at us.  The Asia is comprised of homogenous countries/cultures.  Even if the Asia is diverse in total.  But, the attitude towards Blacks is a reflection of our own cultural reality.  Don't point, for there 3 or 4 (or somesuch) fingers pointing back at you.

Albert
Albert

The prejudices of people from other countries and cultures are America's fault.

Uh-huh.

RTGolden
RTGolden

There's a lot of 'if the asians..... ' or 'asians don't like.... ' in the comments here, but didn't the salvation pimp say that the asian store owners get along with the community, and it's just this one store owner who is a hemorrhoid? 

Anon
Anon

2 comments doesn't seem to qualify as "a lot" in my opinion but I think the rest of your statement seems correct

Anon
Anon

If the local community wants him to "learn the hard way" to drop his notions on race, they will need to stop shopping there. Seems to me he would figure out pretty quickly. This can't be the only place to buy a Slim Jim.If they don't like how Asians get along with their community, have some members of the community open up a competing operation.

JimS
JimS

Yeah. That's why they're picketing.

Anon
Anon

Isn't setting up an alternative more effective? He is right in that the convenience store industry is VERY tough, which is one reason it typically is dominated by a very specific immigrant group in every major city. Koreans, Indians, Israelis. Different cities and portions of cities experience this. An immigrant group ends up owing stores disproportionate to their presence in the community. Isn't another relevant question why black people find their own community so unattractive as an investment opportunity?

Yakuza_Fighter
Yakuza_Fighter

JWP probably demanded his %15 "equity" and this owner said no.  JWP owns a Bentley - he can afford to "invest in the community".

JimS
JimS

You think there are investors at Harwood & MLK?

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

What is happening to that fantastic area nestled in the Cedars I once called home? Why is it that getting along with one another has become such a difficult task? If one decides to operate a business in a neighborhood different than his or her own,they ought to realize concessions need to be made and get on with it or relocate.       URA

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Clearly, I should not have logged into an outside computer over the holidays. I didn't post this. But I know who did. And "liberal" they ain't.

Anon
Anon

Has there ever been racial harmony in the history of civilization? Honest question. We are hard-wired to be skeptical of people who are different from us. I think the American liberal is unique in being perhaps the only person to attempt and deny it (which is not to say that we shouldn't attempt to mitigate the negative effect of that inborn trait as best we can). Europeans who wouldn't think to question regulations, high taxes, etc in return for a safety net still hate immigrants. 

cp
cp

That guy is an asshole, period. I don't think it's a race thing with him, he's a jerk to white chicks too.

just wondering
just wondering

Shouldn't the free market take care of this?  If the patrons don't like the way they are being patronized (or not), they can take their business elsewhere.  If this guy is such a jerk, he will presumably lose all his customers, and then go out of business, no?

cp
cp

Perhaps, but I don't know where else another gas station is near there. Down on the other end of MLK, sure, but not here. 

Alfredo
Alfredo

One would think taking their business elsewhere would correct the problem.  However, problems between Asian store owners and their black customers have occourred all over the country. 

That's right
That's right

Black people cause problems all across the country, and all across the world, wherever they are found.

Rangers100
Rangers100

"I go to a lot of stuff that doesn't 'make' as a story -- that is, it's interesting to me, but it doesn't quite amount to a news story yet."

The kids these days have created some thing they call the twitter.  Or something like that.  Apparently good for this kind of thing.

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