The epidemic of bigoted attacks on Asian-Americans continued this week with a violent incident at a Korean-American-owned convenience store in Charlotte, North Carolina this past Tuesday.
A man armed with a metal post invaded Plaza Sundries near the Charlotte Transit Center and set about smashing the store to pieces while simultaneously spouting racial slurs aimed at the business’ proprietors.
According to The Charlotte Observer:
“Surveillance footage of the incident shows a man coming into the store, pulling a rack full of merchandise to the floor and swinging a street sign post trying to break the glass on the refrigerators. Customers file out of the store, some jumping over the spilled merchandise on the floor. About a minute into the unprovoked attack, a man in a red shirt comes into the store.’
“The man in the red shirt, apparently a friend, is cheering the attacker on. As police arrive, the attacker helps himself to a Monster energy drink.”
“It’s like the first thing they can think of when they look at us,” Sung said. “Usually, it’s the first thing that comes of their mouth.”
“My husband’s parents get spit on, stolen from, threatened, and verbally AND physically attacked on a daily basis. Filing police reports are part of the daily routine at their store in the public transit,” Lee Sung wrote in ther appeal.“Things have gotten exponentially worse since the pandemic. Business is harder. People are angrier. Simply requesting customers to keep in compliance with the mask mandate frequently results in physical altercations,” she added.
“(My parents) put food on our tables, so they go into work with positive attitudes every day, but they just get beat down every day with daily situations,” he told The Charlotte Observer.
The son described the incident as not even the worst that his parents have expereinced, saying that the store gets vandalized at least once a year with damages of $5,000 to $9,000 between lost merchandise and subsequent closures for clean up.
Sung is worried that the publicity about the attack may lead to even further harassment.
“They’re just waiting for whatever they did to be on the news, so they can brag,” Sung said. “On the other hand, I feel like once they see it, they’ll feel satisfied and then leave us alone.”
Original reporting by Marina Pitofsky at The Charlotte Observer.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.