Deepa Iyer is the former executive director of South Asian Americans Leading Together. She went to Ferguson this week to take part in the National Weekend of Resistance. She also joined the Council on American Islamic Relations for organized visits with Muslim, Arab and South Asian small-business owners in St. Louis and Ferguson. Iyer wrote about her trip for Colorlines.
She asked one store clerk about perceived tensions with African Americans.
“The real problem is with cops who stop African-Americans” without cause, he said.
Iyer noticed genuine friendly interaction between store owners and their long time customers. One neighborhood market wrote on its Facebook page
“During this hard time, SAMs meat market staff would like to thank all the [people who] came to the store asking if we need some help. [We can’t] forget the people [who] helped us and [gave us] a hand… At this time all we can promise [is that we’ll] be back as soon as we can, in business [and] to continue supporting our community.”
Roundtables between immigrant small business owners and African American leaders are planned in the coming months.
You can read about some of the other Iyer’s observations in Ferguson in Colorlines.