On Being Racist and Asian
Minyang Jiang

Wow, as a black man it’s so important to read this. I appreciate your honesty and so I’d like to present the black perspective.

One topic that comes up a lot in discussions among black people are the Chinese and Korean businesses prevalent in our communities. It’s a tough topic for many black people because we all can point to many instances when we’ve been treated unfairly by Asian store owners.

It’s like a slap in the face because many times these same Asian businesses have a customer base that is overwhelmingly black. How can you derive most of your profit from the black community yet despise us at the very same time?

In impoverished black communities many Chinese and Korean folks tend to own beauty supply stores, nail salons convenience stores and Wing stops and so they interact very closely with members of the community. Many of these proprietors use these profits to lift their families out of poverty but are totally unconcerned about the well-being of the black communities they serve.

You all set up shop in black communities that are in poor economic shape but become contemptuous when you have to deal with the dysfunction that such poverty produces i.e. theft, homelessness, desperation

There is very little interest in helping the members of the community because extracting profit is the primary concern. At what point do these attitudes towards the black community start to reinforce problems within the black community?

As a teenager I remember going to Chinese food restaurants in my neighborhood (88% black) and seeing mice in the stores on multiple occasions. These are restaurants that my family ordered from for years.

I remember going to the Asian owned hair store for a hair pick (I had an afro) and being followed around the store mercilessly by the children of the shop owner; they had taught their children to suspect black people of stealing!

This is all to say that many Asians shopkeepers become the handmaidens of white supremacy by preying on the financial vulnerability of black people while training their children to work against us. I would like to remind all Asian folks that these rights you enjoy, including the right to vote, were not simply given to you by the good grace of white people; they were fought for by Black Americans.

You can say we’ve done a poor job with the time we’ve had in this country but I urge you to do your research and truly understand why the black community is in such poor shape; you can start with the “13th” documentary available on Netflix by Ava DuVernay. Also it is important to study the role our government’s Federal Housing Authority has played in discriminating against black home buyers, see “redlining”. And then there’s the subprime mortgage crisis that wiped out close to 50% of black wealth, while the Asian and white community has bounced back since then we are still suffering from the crisis. This country has a legacy of treating black people badly and now the Asian community is doing it too.

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