The story headlined Ferguson’s Other Race Problem: Riots Damaged Asian-own Stores attempted to highlight a problem that doesn’t exist, said AAAJ.
The Daily Beast story resurrected memories of the rioting in Los Angeles’ Koreatown after the acquittals of the police officers in the Rodney King beating.
It then pointed out several of the stores looted in Ferguson by rioters are Asian owned.
What happened in Koreatown in 1992 highlighted the unfortunate tension between Korean Americans and blacks at the time. Since then, both communities have made great strides in removing those differences.
AAAJ doesn’t see the same divisions between Asians and blacks seen in Koreatown in 1992 as happening in 2014 in Ferguson.
“At that time, the media pitted communities of color against one another, said said Stewart Kwoh, the group’s Executive Director. “We cannot allow this to happen again. This is about dangerous, harmful law enforcement practices and the need to end racially-motivated police practices that target communities of color. The Asian American and Pacific Islander community stands in solidarity with the African American community in this fight.”
Asian American store owners in Ferguson agree, telling the Daily Beast they don’t think their stores were targeted because of their race. Some of those who were looted have already reopened.
“We support this community and this community supports us,” said Priyanka Patel, daughter of the Ferguson Market owners. “We love Ferguson and are proud to be business members of this community.”
(This post has been corrected to reflect the new name of Asian Americans Advancing Justice)