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A disturbing anti-Asian attack on a convenience store roils North Carolina

A disturbing anti-Asian attack on a convenience store roils North Carolina

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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.”

An employee of a private security company patrolling the transit center detained 24-year-old Xavier Rashee Woody-Silas after the attack and he was arrested for robbery with a dangerous weapon, communicating threats, disorderly conduct, injury to personal property, and resisting a public officer.

Mark Sung, whose parents own the store and were working there at the time of the attack, told the newspaper that his family faces racism on a regular basis with comments like “Chinese (expletive)” and “Go back to your country” flung their way almost every day.
“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.”
Mark’s wife Lee Sung described the constant level of abuse that her in-laws must endure in a Go Fund Me appeal that has already raised over $36,000 for helping to pay for the damage that Woody-Silas inflicted on their business.
“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.
Mark Sung described the Sisyphean effort his parents must make every day as they try to operate their business in such a climate of bigotry.
“(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.

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Sung is worried that the publicity about the attack may lead to even further harassment.

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“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.”

Since Donald Trump started blaming China for the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, anti-Asian violence has skyrocketed in thr United States with a recent study from California State University’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism showing that hate crimes against Asian Americans in 16 of the country’s largest cities have spiked nearly 150 percent during the past year.
You can watch surveillance camera footage of the despicable assault in the video clip below.

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Original reporting by Marina Pitofsky at The Charlotte Observer.

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