Sunday 25th February 2018,

Asian Americans

Ξ 4 comments

NPR Story on Black-Asian Tension Draws Swift Rebuttal

posted by Randall

Baltimore RiotAt least 40 Korean-owned businesses were damaged by Wednesday in the Baltimore riots after the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody, reported the Korea Times (photo by Ted Van Pelt).

The Times story quoted figures obtained from the Korean American Grocers Association International and the Korean Society of Maryland.

That prompted a story from National Public Radio which reported that many Asian-owned businesses were targeted for destruction.

Asian American blogger Jeff Yang, who’s work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, CNN and other mainstream media outlets, issued an immediate rebuke of the NPR story.

“I just spoke with Eun Ja Lee, who has owned with her husband Soon Jae Lee the Lee Food Market in Sandtown at the corner of Gilmor and Riggs since 1979,” wrote Yang. “I asked her if her store was open and if she and her family was OK. This is what she said. “Of course, yes, we’re open. My customers, they told me ‘Mrs. Lee, don’t worry you are part of our community, you are our family. We will make sure you are okay—just stay open!’ We love it.”

“The reason I called her: In 1995, she and her husband were the subjects of a Baltimore Sun article detailing their generosity to the local community, which has embraced them in return. Two decades later, they are still there, still serving that community, which stood up to ensure their safety during the unrest of the past few days. This is not the story that NPR Morning Edition chose to tell in its “Baltimore Unrest Reveals Tensions Between African-Americans And Asians” story.

“It doesn’t fit the narrative, after all.”

Yang continued the conversation on Twitter.

You can read’s Yang’s full thoughts on the subject in a piece he wrote for CNN in response to the NPR story.

Read his piece and give us your reaction below.

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  1. chngthengteng says:

    RE: Story on Black-Asian tensions draws swift rebuttal: Asian and immigrant merchants WERE targeted by some of the Monday evening riots.

  2. Kang Lee says:

    Re: Story on Black-Asian tensions draws swift rebuttal: So is Jeff Yang the most racist person ever? He has 2 different sets of standards: one for blacks and one for the rest of us. If a gang of Asians, Norwegians, Hasidic Jews or just plain whites went and looted ONE store, we would be criminals and punished to the max. But if blacks riot and loot and destroy 40 Korean owned stores and leave one undamaged, he praises their civility and restraint. Jeffrey Yang, the most racist person in the room, always.

  3. ki yip says:

    RE: NPR story on Black-Asian tensions draws swift rebuttal: I know that it’s not first time happened. The Black American thought everyone owe them something. But remember, Asian didn’t owe them, only White people owe them.

  4. chngthengteng says:

    Jeff Yang should come live in Baltimore as an Asian American in West Baltimore before claiming understanding of the narrative.

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