Monday 19th February 2018,

Community Issues

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PRI: Neighbors in Baltimore Coming to Aid of Korean American Grocer Vandalized during Rioting

posted by Randall

Grace Lyo
Grace Lyo could not believe what she was seeing two weeks ago during the height of the Baltimore rioting after the death of Freddie Gray in police custody.

“It’s smoking, and the fires and the fire engine. But I can’t believe, ‘Oh this is my store!’” she said to PRI. “And my heart was so trembling … how can this happen to me? But we’re still living, you know?”

Lyo is an integral part of the West Baltimore neighborhood of Sandtown-Windchester. Children bring them their report cards when they get good grades. She tells them one day they could be president like Barack Obama. Customers say when money is tight, Lyo will let them pay her later. When Lyo has to work on Thanksgiving and Christmas, neighbors bring her dinner.

Now some have launched a crowd funding campaign to help Lyo reopen her store. Some have come by to personally hand her checks. Still others plan to hold a benefit on behalf of Lyo.

“They call her ‘Mama,’” said Marvin Warfield, who lives nearby. “She was like a mama of the community.”

Some have reported that Korean American store owners were targeted during the rioting. There were 250 stores hit during the rioting, 50 were owned by Korean Americans. You can read comments from Jennifer Lee, a Korean American sociologist from the University of California, Irvine about the relationship between Blacks and Korean American relations on PRI.

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One Comment

  1. K. H. Y says:

    RE: Neighbors in Baltimore coming to aid of Korean American grocer vandalized during rioting: It’s unfair. When Black Americans get attacked, there’s a big protest or riot. When Asian Americans get attacked, nobody cares. And it’s not the first time that Asian Americans’ shops got attacked in the riots. Asian Americans own their shop by working hard, working long hours. They contribute a lot to the communities. They did all the positive things, why they’re suffered from riots?

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