You Can Get It Too: On Immigrant Business Owners Killing and Exploiting Black People
A store clerk of Middle Eastern descent shot a black man to death at a gas station last month.
Police said Simmons and Jawher had been in an argument inside the store, and Simmons left. Jawher followed him outside, police said. There, they got into another argument, police say, and the clerk shot Simmons.
Charges say Simmons “did not steal or leave the store with candy” and that Jawher followed Simmons outside the store and shot him in the back of the head as Simmons walked toward his car.
This is a common trend. One of the main catalysts in the 1992 L.A. Uprising was the shooting death of 15 year old Latasha Harlins over a bottle of orange juice. The relationship between Black communities and convenience stores operated and owned by Asian (whether they be Middle Eastern, East or Southern) is generally fractious and mutually hateful. These capitalists (yes, they’re capitalists) pool resources, buy up cheap real estate in black communities, and open these convenience stores to “serve” the surrounding food deserts. They also sell things such as liquor, cell phones, cigarettes, and in many cases, drugs. In short, these are exploiting businesses preying on the isolation of these communities from American economic and social life. The community and the store owners themselves know this, and subsequently distrust each other. The community steals from and rips off these businesses as often as possible, rightfully so, and the clerks and owners at these businesses (usually never black, not that it matters) carry weapons openly, and use them freely and with no recourse.
With this history, it’s no wonder that building solidarity between the exploited and oppressed of these communities both within and outside of the United States is a chore for the revolutionary. How are we supposed to build Afro-Palestinian solidarity when the Palestinians that our people come into contact with in their day to day life sell them overpriced food and drinks with a scowl and a pistol on their waist? People are products of their social environment and the black proletarian/prolet-lumpen community in STL sees itself, rightfully, as exploited by these capitalist elements that have come into our communities, contribute nothing, but take our communities’ wealth back to Creve Coeur, Ballwin, and Chesterfield and use them to send their kids to college. Nobody likes or accepts being exploited, nor should they be forced to in the name of some one way, lip service, bullshit solidarity.
If you have a business in a black community, you must realize that you are there as a guest. The majority of business in a community should be done by those in that community. You don’t see black owned stores in Mexican barrios, or Little India, or Little Saigon. The community would not patronize such places. I’m not a fan of “buy black”, but I’m not a fan of “everybody eats off the labor of Black people either”. We’re already exploited, killed and abused enough by the white supremacist system that, ironically, spurred your migration here in the first place by bombing your countries to ruins and turning them into killing zones. It’s the epitome of selfishness and opportunism to denounce imperialism in your own land and then come here and become a willing servant in the oppression of my people who have been here, at the very bottom, from the very beginning. If you come here, open a business in our community, overcharge us, sell drugs to our children, sell liquor to our middle aged and elderly, do not support community organizations that we have founded to take care of ourselves, and kill us to boot, you should not be surprised when you find yourselves being subject to boycotts, revolutionary taxation, and the occasional anonymous arson attack and armed assault on your property and vehicle. Let’s be real, you’d do the same if someone was in your neighborhood doing the same. You already see how we are with the pigs. If you want to be a pig, you can get the same treatment that they do.
Get it together or get the hell out.