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D.C.'s Black-Korean Dynamic: A Simmering Tension

What do the $54 million pants man, Roy Pearson, and the new D.C. schools superintendent, Michelle Rhee, have in common?

Their moments in the news in recent days have lifted the lid off a cauldron of black-Korean tensions. This relationship has a volatile history in Washington, running back to 1986, when Rev. Willie Wilson of Union Temple Baptist Church famously led a boycott of an Asian-American grocer in Southeast who had supposedly disrespected a black customer. The episode culminated in Wilson saying, after being asked if his demands were inflaming racial tensions, that if he and his followers hadn't forgiven the Asian shopkeeper, "we would have cut his head off and rolled it down the street."

Interestingly, until the start of last week's trial, the mail on the Pants Man was focused almost entirely on issues of abusing the legal system, the eternal battle over tort reform, and how the District could possibly have such a fellow serving as an administrative law judge. But once the trial started--and most importantly, once the first news photos of Pearson started appearing online, on TV and in the paper--the tenor of reader reaction changed dramatically. I still heard plenty of outrage about how Pearson was tormenting the owners of the dry cleaners and wasting the court's resources, but now that it was widely known that Pearson is black, a good chunk of the mail shifted to matters of ethnic rivalry.

Similarly, the surprise announcement that Rhee, a Korean-American woman, would become the first non-black chief of the D.C. school system in nearly half a century immediately engendered all manner of comment about supposed antipathy toward blacks by Koreans--all this from people who know nothing of Rhee's background, approach or personality.

I'll spare you the comments that consist solely of racist vitriol, but I think there's value in looking at the texture of the incidents and complaints that readers report about encounters with Korean merchants. I doubt that these incidents are much different from those that could be catalogued about any dry cleaner, no matter the owner's ethnicity, but here's one of the more thoughtful comments I've received from readers who believe the pants case is more about black-Korean tensions than anything else:

"The main thing here is the strained relationship between Korean businesses and Blacks with regard to customer service or lack thereof," wrote Keith Jones, a legal assistant at a major Washington company. He told of an Asian-owned grocery in his D.C. neighborhood where he says the owner routinely sells coffee creamer that has passed its sell-by date, as well as a dry cleaner that he says charges exorbitant rates.

"It is clear that the Korean merchants have a lot of businesses in urban America and that they are unified," Jones writes. "Blacks in these urban settings, for the most part, rely solely on Korean establishments in their neighborhoods. This is due to access and ultimately, their socio-economic status. I am certainly not saying that this justifies the Pearson case, especially not the amount. From the examples I gave from my own experience, however, one can only imagine what a Black person experiences daily dealing with the Koreans."

And here's an account from Rosemary Reed Miller, the longtime owner of Toast & Strawberries, which was one of the city's best-regarded boutiques, talking about her experience with a Korean dry cleaner:

"I had brought in a pair of pants which had a small spot. They cleaned that area, but left a larger spot on another area of the pant. When I pointed that out (unfortunately, I didn't see the spot until after I had paid), they told me that the large spot was on the pant when I brought the pants in. They wouldn't give me my money back, and implied that it would be another fee to get out the second spot. I decided to walk.

"When you're in business--and I had a small shop, Toast and Strawberries for over 20 years--I know you can't be perfect with everyone, but this I thought was unreasonable. I've lived long enough to share [Pearson's] pain. I am African American, but didn't sue. However, I feel as though I should have sued that cleaner even though my silk pants had a modest price tag. I've fought for the civil rights of all people all of my life. People need their rights to be addressed, and the people who 'wrong' them should be educated not to do something like that again to another person.

"I appreciate his suing on my behalf. Obviously $60+ million is 'over the top.' And I understand that
Korean-Americans have made efforts to be 'nicer' to their Afro-American clientele, but I think these cases are examples of their needing to be more sensitive. If they had listened with more understanding in the beginning,
and paid him for his 'lost' pants, I would hope that Mr. Pearson wouldn't have had such a strong sense of outrage."

Why do the kinds of poor customer service that might otherwise result in a grumble or a decision to shop elsewhere morph into ethnic tension in the black-Korean dynamic? This has been the subject of considerable study since the 1992 Los Angeles riots, in which some Korean grocers took up arms against black rioters, and the years that followed, when some rappers took after Korean merchants in their lyrics? (Warning: That link goes to a song with R-rated language.)

In part, this divide is a continuation of black-Jewish tensions that developed when many shops in American ghetto neighborhoods were run by immigrant Jews. But there's an additional element that many of the academics end up focusing on: It's a culture clash between two groups with very different behavioral mores.

Contrast a Korean social manner in which merchants may put change down on a counter rather than touch a customer's hand, or an infelicitous command of English that can make a shopkeeper seem distant and even disrespectful, against an African-American culture in which strangers are expected to make eye contact and acknowledge one another in a respectful exchange. Here's a black writer's perspective on this, and here's a Korean writer's view of a similar situation.

Did Roy Pearson sue the Chung family, owners of Custom Cleaners, because they are Korean immigrants? There's no evidence of that. Will the rank and file of the D.C. school system refuse to give Michelle Rhee a chance to succeed because she is Korean-American? Certainly most people are better than that. But in both cases, the noise around the black-Korean tension is loud enough to make hard situations much harder, and that's worth keeping a close eye on.

By Marc Fisher |  June 20, 2007; 7:11 AM ET
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Comments

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This is very interesting, and of course, sad at the same time. I'm a Korean-American, but because I was adopted by white parents, I have no knowledge of Korean culture so I can kind of see this situation from an outsider's perspective, even though physically I appear Asian.

I've always felt saddened that minorities can't be more understanding of each other, given their commonalities in their minority standing. Although Afrian-Americans may resent Asians as being a so-called "model minority," I can assure that you that this stereotype in no way makes life as a minority any easier in terms of race relations.

Growing up in the south, I've endured my fair share of racism/prejudice, and my sister was even physically assaulted by other non-Asian minorities. I have no doubt that Koreans have prejudices against blacks, and vice versa. Fortunately, now living in the DC area, I've never experienced any problems with DC's African-Americans.

Posted by: Arlington | June 20, 2007 8:12 AM

This is a bunch of nonsense. The Korean owned cleaner in my neighborhood in the Southern Maryland suburbs was EXACTLY the same towards me--a white woman--when they ruined my silk blouse. When I pressued the issue (no pun intended) I was basically yelled at and told to take my business elsewhere.

I don't believe people are treated differently because of color--it is simply the urban demographics that allows it to be cast in that manner.

Posted by: Not just African Americans | June 20, 2007 8:30 AM

This is a bunch of nonsense. The Korean owned cleaner in my neighborhood in the Southern Maryland suburbs was EXACTLY the same towards me--a white woman--when they ruined my silk blouse. When I pressed the issue (no pun intended) I was basically yelled at and told to take my business elsewhere.

I don't believe people are treated differently because of color--it is simply the urban demographics that allows it to be cast in that manner.

Posted by: Not just African Americans | June 20, 2007 8:31 AM

I just read what I posted and must clarify: I don't believe dissatisfied customers are treated differently by Korean dry cleaners solely because of color...I'm not saying that prejudice does not exist.

Posted by: Oops | June 20, 2007 8:40 AM

Based on my experience at the Korean American owned carry out near my office my African American colleagues are not treated with the same amount of respect and do not receive the same amount of service that a bubba American like me gets.

Back several years ago was looking for a driver for my girlfriend for her bday. Thought I would stop my the local golf shop. Didnt know it was owned by a Korean American and didnt care I like to support local merchants. The store owner waited on all his Korean American clients all three of them. He never even acknowledged my presence. I left. Returned a couple of days later with a Korean American colleague. Same deal. Filed a complaint with the county. Took my business to Washington Golf Center. Where I bought the driver, some balls and some clothing for my girlfriend. Local merchant lost a $2k sale. My complaint was upheld as was my suit. Proceeds went herding dog rescue. He is now out of business. Awww too bad.

Posted by: Vaherder | June 20, 2007 8:53 AM

Why do people assume these behaviors of Korean merchants are evidence of their behavior towards African-Americans? I know a Korean-run store in very-white Falls Church used to routinely sell expired and even spoiled food, and even called the police when a customer brought back expired food and asked for a refund. It's hard for this not to sound racist, but my experience has been that many Koreans take a very lax attitude towards safety regulations, whether it's lead paint removal standards, child car seats, contractors insuring their laborers, etc. Maybe these tensions stem from different cultures and expectations brushing up against each other.

Posted by: Roy | June 20, 2007 8:58 AM

I think the African American community is very sensitive to how they think they are perceived by non-whites and so they demand a special kind of respect, from whites and non-African American minorites that somehow feels satisfactory. If a person decides not to give it in heaps, suddenly they are seen as racist against African Americans. What about the lack of respect given to store owners and workers by African and white Americans? They all seem to forget that you get kindness and respect when you give it.

Posted by: Risa | June 20, 2007 9:00 AM

Gee, Marc, might have been nice if a reporter checked into the background just a little. The LA black community had a significant grievance with the Korean community in 1992. From http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0429/p01s07-ussc.html:

``L.A.'s black community was primed to explode by an earlier incident. Several months prior to the King-beating verdict, Latasha Harlins, a 15-year-old black girl, was shot and killed by a Korean grocer in an altercation over a bottle of orange juice.

The grocer had been found guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the death, but received a sentence of probation. For many poorer African Americans, the verdict was an outrage, and became a symbol of what they considered decades of economic colonialism by Korean store owners who operated in black neighborhoods.``

Kill a girl, get probation. What's more ludicrous, that sentence, or a $54 million verdict over a pair of pants? I'll bet Marc has wasted more column inches over THE POSSIBILITY of the latter. And way to deal with Willie Wilson in a fair, balanced manner. What are you doing, trying out for Fox News [they wouldn`t take you]?

The animosity over Mr. Pearson's race is because Mr. Pearson is black, not because he has taken on a pair of Korean immigrants. Becuase Mr. Pearson is black, the Korean cleaners get promoted to ``honest, hard working`` since, by default, blacks are lazy and scheming. All that is left is a WaPo Magazine cover.

Personally, this black man has zero animosity against any Asian. I admire that they buy 100 percent into the American dream, I like that they support each other in opening businesses, and I have never been personally mistreated by any one of them, including cleaners. I support Ms. Rhee`s nominantion and wish her well; if she could excel teaching Baltimore kids, she can do well anywhere. I also recognize that other black people are particularly prejudiced against Koreans and other Asians, but it is disingenuous -- and typical -- of Marc to imply that that prejudice is without foundation. So ironic that people who lambaste blacks for being lazy regularly read the postings of one of the laziest -- both in terms of intellect and effort -- reporters the city has ever seen.

Posted by: RL | June 20, 2007 9:06 AM

Growing up in the heart of the Dixie over 30 years ago as an Asian-American was, to put it mildly, tough. As a minority among minorities, Asian kids got jabs from just about every other racial groups. What I could not understand at the time was that we were 5 times more likely to be picked on by African-American children than the Caucasian kids, even though Caucasians outnumbered African-Americans by 5 to 1. Asians, who made up less than 5% of the student body, probably served as a convenient outlet for anyone to unload their frustrations on, including some of the black children who might have been victimized by racial slurs themselves from numerically superior white kids.

Of course, there are many contributing factors to this Black-Asian tension we see across the US today. Both sides feel they are disrespected by the other. Too often, both sides feel the other acts in a disrespectable manner. There is an element of envy in some instances if one ethnic group appears more successful than the other. (Often overlooked is the fact that those who advanced farther than the rest worked their tails off to get there, working 16 hours a day/7 days a week, while overcoming language and cultural barriers).

But I can't help but to wonder, if the Asians had numerical advantage over the blacks as whites do over them, would this tension be as strong?

Posted by: Quan | June 20, 2007 9:10 AM

Vaherder, I didn't know sheep played golf.

Posted by: Maryland | June 20, 2007 9:11 AM

You know, it's generally not a good idea to take the behavior of one person or a couple of people and extrapolate it to a generalization on the entire ethnic group.

Think about it reversed toward your ethnic group, guys.

Posted by: Terry in Maryland | June 20, 2007 9:13 AM

Marc, I think you're ignoring the obvious journalist trifecta. Another DC-area Korean made the national news two months ago, his face played non-stop on NBC and every other news outlet for a few days. You might want to go back and sift through the remarks left by readers on Post message boards to learn more about what a tolerant and colorblind city you live in.

Posted by: athea | June 20, 2007 9:15 AM

I'll save you the long dramatics. This topic or tension as you put it, is bigger than Washington, D.C. It's happening all over America. If you haven't experienced it, you wouldn't understand. Also, there was an Episode in season 2 of the hit TV show Lost where, Michael (black), made a racial statement about Jin (Korean), saying "they don't like us". This is nothing new. It happens and it happens a lot.

Posted by: gvnelson215 | June 20, 2007 9:24 AM

Im tired of this story now. Finding people who are mean and people who are thinskinned is pretty easy. Pointing out that people in opposing categories share a racial backgorund is not a significant social observation. Some Koreans are racist. Not news. Like most Americans, many are in love with the tautology that success and status are driven by traits inherent to race. They think (some) black people are poor because black people are shiftless. And some black americans are in love with, rather than trying to reverse, the narrative of their collective total social dispossession. They seek to affirm it in every minute of their lives. (i.e., if the creamer is spoiled, their oppression thus continues unabated.) Not news. But not all Koreans are racist and not all black people see the world in racial slight-vision. Not by a long shot. This is not a conflict between races, however perennial that form of storyline. Its bad journalism to reify every legal conflict into racial terms because of race of the parties, and its still bad journalism (actually, tabloidism) to write about it as a racial story because there is a phenomenon of talking about in racial terms.

Posted by: dmw | June 20, 2007 9:27 AM

It sounds like some poeple are big babies; Americans are bit too obsessive about customer service.

We do most of our shopping in a Korean grocery store. It takes a little getting used to, and almost all the non-Koreans who shop there are immigrants. Many Eastern Europeans, Asians, Africans, Hispanics, all of whom seem to grasp that cheap prices mean bad service, and that there are going to be some risks in that. (Toast and Strawberries lady--are you an infant? Of course you go over your stuff with a fine- toothed comb before paying. Sheesh.)

There are high class versions of every type of service for the sissies of the world. Use them and shut up already.

Posted by: joe | June 20, 2007 9:34 AM

My husband and I had the opportunity to travel through Asia a few years ago. In Japan, we noticed people weren't much for personal space, but at the same time they were at all times courteous to us and one another. In Thailand, people were extremely warm and friendly, and would often go far out of their way to help strangers.

Korea was like being hit in the face with ice water after Thailand and Japan. The currency exchange person at the airport tried to cheat us. We lost count of how many times the locals tried to cut in front of us in line (and bear in mind, we've been to Italy, where line jumping is a hobby). Even in Tokyo we weren't physically shoved around like we were in Seoul.

Our next door neighbors of thirty years standing are first generation Korean. Their English is still limited, but they are wonderful neighbors. When we told them about our trip, they winced and said, essentially, that to really enjoy Korea you either have to be Korean or travel with Koreans.

Posted by: Sonia | June 20, 2007 9:34 AM

Why can't the judge simply find that an offer of $12,000 to settle the matter of missing trousers met the standard of satisfaction guaranteed? And since Mr. Pearson turned down that offer, too bad, he takes nothing.

Posted by: foozler | June 20, 2007 9:35 AM

Koreans are a pretty, uh, brusque lot. I'm Chinese, and they'll come right up to my face and ask "Are you Korean?" I guess it's a culture thing.

Posted by: Fred | June 20, 2007 9:36 AM

I think the Korean American community gets a lot of flack for perceived mistreatment of the black community. But there is very little coverage of mistreatment of Korean Americans by the black community. I think there is blame to go around on both sides.

And I have to say, I don't get the best service from Korean owned beer/wine stores and dry cleaners. But to be honest, I don't get the best service anywhere, unless I shop at Nordstrom's (and I can't afford to shop there much). The service industry as a whole has really gone downhill. And it's not just poor service to black people (though they may get worse treatment). How hard is it to be nice, smile, be patient, and empathize when a customer has a complaint?

Posted by: Jim | June 20, 2007 9:37 AM

Korean store owners have always treated me like a criminal when I walk in their stores. I'm a 33yr old Afro-American man. Very successful and am clean cut, but for some reason, I get followed around by them. And they won't put my change in my hand. And no eye contact. Hmm... they are racist. Plain and simple. I only shop in their stores because of convenience only; their products are often old and stale, and generally suck. But if I need a bottled water because of the heat, I have to wade through the racism to get it. humpfh...Koreans.

Posted by: Me | June 20, 2007 9:43 AM

Hey Maryland so your father went pre op and your mom is also your sister. The family that plays together stays together punk! Have anything else to say? And golf isnt cerebral enough for my sheep. Why hit a little white ball around when you can torment humans and dogs on the trial field.

And your handicap is? Besides living in Maryland and having an IQ in double digits!

Posted by: vaherder | June 20, 2007 9:47 AM

Well, duh! Of course the lawsuit is about a racist judge seeking redress from a lifetime of perceived injustice.

Posted by: Captain Obvious | June 20, 2007 9:49 AM

While I agree that significant racial tension between blacks and asians colors many small businesses in the city, I would point out that the dynamic at work bears a strong inclusionary factor as well. In the Bloomingdale neighborhood, for example, I witnessed a shockingly venomous racist diatribe directed at the asian workers at a carry-out (behind bullet-proof glass) by a group of black patrons who felt they were being ignored. After that display, I would be hard-pressed to serve them either (or refrain from calling the police). Yet much of the actual violence in the neighborhood (armed robbery and assault) has been directed at black shopkeepers (Ethiopian immigrants) next door, operating a slightly upscale market that many local blacks do not feel is "for them."

What I feel is missing from the debate over racial tensions is the underlying feeling of exclusion that many urban blacks experience. I believe it is that exclusion that fuels the anger leading to these acts of retaliation (if one assumes that retaliation is even the right explanation). The roots of the exclusion are most certainly in relative poverty - a condition that will only ever be remedied through significant changes in both culture and social policy. That is to say, I am not optimistic.

Posted by: The dynamic is more complicated... | June 20, 2007 9:55 AM

i want to sue someone. i want $2 billion dollars. How do I get started?

Posted by: spawn | June 20, 2007 9:55 AM

If this episode exposes anything, I think it exposes the fact that black America is perhaps more racist than any other ethnic group in America. African Americans are quick to infuse race into every discussion, quick to play the race card in any conflict, and are often openly hostile to whites, Koreans and latinos, based purely on race. As evidenced in Marc's column, the Rev. Wille Wilson, respected leader in the black community, would probably be wearing a robe and a hood if he had been born white (let me guess, did that Korean shop owner whistle at a black woman?). Racism and discrimination against blacks is obviously a real (if rapidly declining) problem in this country, but African American leaders (and the culture in general) have managed to perversely perpetuate the very racial tension used as an excuse for many of the problems black America faces. Most of America has wised up and is getting past ugly racism--ironic that the one group who has been damaged most by racial tension is also the group that is making it hardest to leave it in the past.

Posted by: woof | June 20, 2007 9:58 AM

I cannot help but think that the pants case has much more to do with Pearson's personality than his pigmentation. Please remember that the Chungs had refused to accept his business after a prior bad experience and only relented after he pleaded with them to let him continue to bring them his cleaning. They knew this guy, knew him as an individual, not some anonymous African American. And he knew them, had had a dispute with them, knew how they would react to a customer service situation, yet he still asked to be accepted as a customer. Sure, there is value in examining the larger sociological implications of the meeting of cultures, but in this case much more can explained by simply stating the obvious- Judge Pearson, while intelligent and passionate, is obsessive and lacks all sense of proportion. Just slightly nuttier than your average jar of crunchy Jif.

Posted by: crc | June 20, 2007 9:59 AM

Black people, White People, Asians, Jews, blah blah blah...

Face it, everyone has issues. Just look around our city. There is something to dislike about every group, and everyone likes to blame the "other" without recognizing their own failings.

Human Beings, to quote the late Mr. Vonnegut,"are about 1,000 times dumber and meaner that they think they are."

Posted by: chris | June 20, 2007 9:59 AM

Koreans can be nice and a pain like most people but they have different culture. I know they treat filipinos in their country like dirt. I was stranded once in korea and they separted all the filipinos at the airport from other passengers and myself and confisicated their passports until the could find another flight for them to leave on.

Posted by: Niceday | June 20, 2007 10:05 AM

This discussion actually alludes to an issue that's been bothering me for decades. I've been to a lot of so-called "diversity training" over the years, and it's always couched in wan generalities that do very little to help the discussion of racial and ethnic differences. What we really need is some sort of "cultural codebook" that tells us that Koreans prefer not to touch strangers and will therefore put change on the counter rather than in the customer's hand, and that African Americans think it's disrespectful not to look someone in the eye, and that some Latinos think it's disrespectful to look directly in the eye someone in authority, and so on. No wonder we misunderstand each other!

Posted by: Mel | June 20, 2007 10:08 AM

Given that so many Korean immigrants started businesses soon after their arrival in this country, I wonder what their level of knowledge about basic American business values was. Had they ever heard of "the customer is always right" or does such a concept not exist in their homeland (as it hardly exists here anymore)? Certainly arguing with customers rather than trying to reach a compromise, as a number of posters have reported, suggests a different approach to running a business than most native-born Americans expect. Where does licensing come into the picture? Should anyone requesting a retail business license be required to take a test on standard business practices? What's the role of the business association representing Korean-American retailers?

Posted by: eo mcmars | June 20, 2007 10:09 AM

Ask nearly any store owner in SE or NE, regardless of race, if they have been robbed or vandalized. They will answer "yes". By whom? An African-American. Stereotype??? Could be, but for those of you who have never had a gun pointed at you by an African-american kid...it makes it hard to just be nice and trust everyone. Believe me, I have tried and tried.
Instead of being mad at Koreans, how about being mad at those African-Americans who everyday perpetuate the stereotype?!?! The crackhead driver, the anne arundel school incident, every news story from PG county. It is time to stop blaming the media, society, other minorities, pres. bush and just try to live to a higher standard. It is obvious that if racism still lingers after all these years, you are going to have to start looking at yourselves and your own attitudes to change the perception.

Posted by: smellsthebacon | June 20, 2007 10:13 AM

Koreans businessowners are just horrible to all their customers. They should get out of our country and do business elsewhere. There are other ethnic groups that could do a far better job at customer service. And other ethnic groups that would be more of a pleasure to work with. Others ethnic groups that would at least act like they WANT to work and do business with you. They just piss me off.

Posted by: Ethos | June 20, 2007 10:14 AM

This collection of comments reminds me of Spike Lee's brilliant work in Do The Right Thing, and reprised in 24 Hours - the montage of people of different ethnicities and different neighborhoods spouting their anger - and sometime just bile-about every other group...

The bottom line (as I'd like to think Spike meant it) is that everybody has a beef against everybody if you let yourself think that way -- and bad things happen when too many of us do.

Posted by: John | June 20, 2007 10:17 AM

Some people seemed surprised by the actions
and reactions. This is nothing new.
Look at our collective histories.
The human race is at once brilliant and
pathetic. Because none of us can muster the fortitude to be the best we can be at all times this is the result.

Posted by: Mike | June 20, 2007 10:18 AM

It is interesting to me that people will

(1) acknowledge there are differences between ethnic groups that are causing conflicts and then

(2) insist that the historical heritage of ethnic groups must not only be allowed to continue but also must be taught to our children in school, thus maintaining the very problems we are experiencing.

Anybody else see the irony?

Posted by: SoMD | June 20, 2007 10:22 AM

Korean businessowners are not nice people. I bet their families don't even like them.

(Well, their families like them for the boatloads of mony they bring in, but not beacuse they treat people fairly and have a concept of human compassion)

Posted by: May | June 20, 2007 10:23 AM

You know, if you really dislike a shop-owner that much, you can always choose not to shop from them. I mean, if nobody shopped at a place, it would basically go out of business right? So you can infer that because a place that you don't like stays in business, it is because people continue to shop there.

So if you dislike a shop because you feel the shop-owner is rude or racist but continue to shop there, then it is clear that you feel convenience is more important than your principles. You deserve no compensation for this. If you stop shopping there, but it continues to operate because others continue to give it business, then perhaps you should consider that the problem exists between you and the shop-owner, not between your race and the owner's race.

Posted by: Some common sense? | June 20, 2007 10:23 AM

Racism is ok if you're African American. Didn't anyone explain? Just take a look at the Post coverage of Fenty's cabinet. Because we're in a "black majority city" the cabinet "lacks color" if any other color but brown is included. Louis Farrakhan is laughing his ass off.

Posted by: Seoul Man | June 20, 2007 10:26 AM

Small business owners working in poor, high crime areas tend to be suspicious and very, very vigilant against being ripped off. They operate on razor thin margins, and can't afford to take any more losses than absolutely necessary. They don't provide the same level of customer service that you'd find in a business serving more affluent customers. They "play the odds" by paying particular attention to people who strike them as suspicious, or simply fit the same demographic, economic and behavioral profile as those who've ripped them off before or who have a reputation for ripping off other small businesses in the area.

None of this is new, or unique to Korean businesses in urban areas. It's been going on as long as people have tried to eke out a living with low-margin businesses in lower-income areas. The truth is, if you or I tried to run the same store for a few years, we'd end up doing business in pretty much the same way.

Cultural differences simply increase the opportunities for misunderstanding.

We all need to grow up, though. There are some businesses I don't shop at, simply because there are some people I don't like doing business with. They may be rude, or incompetent, or simply not honest.

That's not grounds for an absurd lawsuit, or an excuse for some sort of battle between races. Shop, or don't shop. If enough people don't shop, they'll change or go belly up. But for goodness sakes, don't make the ordinary annoyances of life out to be more than they are. That ultimately leads to the kind of insane tit-for-tat feuding that tears countries up all over the world.

Posted by: Huh? | June 20, 2007 10:32 AM

Given that so many Korean immigrants started businesses soon after their arrival in this country, I wonder what their level of knowledge about basic American business values was. Had they ever heard of "the customer is always right" or does such a concept not exist in their homeland (as it hardly exists here anymore)? Certainly arguing with customers rather than trying to reach a compromise, as a number of posters have reported, suggests a different approach to running a business than most native-born Americans expect. Where does licensing come into the picture? Should anyone requesting a retail business license be required to take a test on standard business practices? What's the role of the business association representing Korean-American retailers?

Posted by: eo mcmars | June 20, 2007 10:43 AM

I grew up with Korean immigrants whose parents were diplomats, professors and scientists- great people and absolutely had no problem fitting in to US culture and society except for that Kimchi smell. ;-) I worked in an office building that had a wonderful deli until the owners sold it to Korean immigrants. Within 30 days it was a disaster. They turned off the air conditioning at night and all the chocolate melted and they refused to refund my money or throw out the damaged candy. In a week everyone boycotted the candy, so it never got replaced. The older couple who ran the deli ordered amazing rye breads and rolls from a bakery in Baltimore, the Korean couple bought their bread at Costco and tried to foist white bread off on every sandwich- a reuben needs rye bread, period. They started charging extra for a pickle spear. They turned the refrigerator down so the sodas weren't cold. They sold Costco muffins for $1 each and I TOLD THEM that people can go to Costco and buy the muffins themselves, they needed to find a different supplier of muffins or bake their own. My office went from going to that deli for lunch every day and ordering trays from them to NEVER going at all and ordering from other places. I talked to them many times about what they needed to improve, but they always told me that "everything same, everything same" as the old owners. Their business, clearly NOTHING like the original place collapsed. Their loss, but our office's loss too. Because so many Koreans are so different from each other, I do not use this to paint an entire culture, but then again, my wife and others tell the same story. If I went to a Korean church, I'd make sure someone did a seminar on business ownership and customer service. And also, I knew wonderful Korean dry cleaners who were great people, but got too expensive to use ($6 to clean pants).

Posted by: DCer | June 20, 2007 10:43 AM

I just stopped by a Korean-owned breakfast/lunch place near Pennsylvania and 20th that I frequent largely because they are so friendly, good-natured, and efficient. I'm white, but there was an African-American guy in front of me---a laborer wearing one of those black lifting trusses---and they smiled, called him sir, and treated him with the same respect they do all their customers, who are a remarkably multi-ethnic group.

I've seen African-Americans give them a hard time about little things like how many strips of bacon they put on their sandwich, or be unnecessarily rude to them about a misunderstood or mistaken order, and they respond with a degree of patience and accommodation that I couldn't reasonably expect of anyone.

I've gotten lousy service and great service from people of many racial and ethnic groups. But if you ask me for the best example of good, friendly service I can think of, the Korean sandwich place wins hands-down. I assume their African-American, African, Latin American, Asian, white, Arabic, and whatever customers wouldn't keep going there if they didn't feel respected too, and my observation is that everyone is treated well.

Posted by: Mike | June 20, 2007 10:49 AM

Anyone ever seen that statue of the lady who's holding a scale in one hand and a book in the other, and she's blindfolded? I think I may have read somewhere that she's supposed to, oh I don't know, represent justice or something.

Please--even by his own accounts, this is not a racial issue. He is supposedly suing "on behalf of consumers everywhere." (I personally do not remember ever asking him to do or say anything on my behalf, but I bet I'm not going to see any portion of his $54m either.)

Any chance this guy is just suit-happy? The only racial comments were made by spectators not involved in this case (a witness' mockery of an Asian accent notwithstanding).

Why does everything have to be about race? I've heard more racial BS with regard to this case than I did about Cho Seung-Hui, and that guy KILLED people (not that racial comments would be appropriate there either...mental instability knows no color). All these people did was lose his pants for a few days, try to give them back, give him a second chance when he begged to be allowed back in their store, offer him three separate, generous settlements...wait, why does this guy have a case?

I really hope the judge presiding over this case is more color-blind than its spectators.

Posted by: Mona | June 20, 2007 10:49 AM

As you can see, our little Melting Pot isn't very flavorful. There are some flavors that are simply not palatable when mixed.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2007 10:52 AM

So what's the problem, DCer? Not all Koreans are the same - some work hard, pay attention to the needs of the people around them, and make it - others don't.

Not all Anglos are the same - some work hard, pay attention to the people around them, and get ahead - others don't. Same for Latinos - some do a great job, and build great lives - others don't. Same for blacks - some work hard, pay attention to how they treat other people, and are very successful - others don't.

Some people are lousy at business (heck, some are lousy at life in general). That's got nothing to do with being Korean (though trying to make it in a strange country, far from home, doesn't make life any easier). It's also no excuse for the nut Pearson to make a non-horse equine out of himself.

Posted by: Huh? | June 20, 2007 10:52 AM

Did anyone mention "Do the Right Thing"? If you're not familiar with that film, and are interested in these issues, it's a must-see. Spike Lee creates situations and dialogue that a white director could never have gotten away with without being called racist. Like the character who basically tells his buddies who can't stop complaining about the Korean grocer to either shop somewhere else or shut up.

Posted by: Dave | June 20, 2007 10:56 AM

"Very successful and am clean cut, but for some reason, I get followed around by them."

Oh, this happens to everyone. Koreans aren't the only ones who do it, either. It happens in small businesses the most, because the proprietors have more of a vested interest in keeping shrinkage (costs from theft, vandalism, inventory loss, etc.) low. The only place it doesn't really happen is Safeway, Target, and any department store--good luck finding ANYONE to help/follow you around in there.

If I owned a liquor store, I'd follow everyone around too, but I have to admit to one stereotype: I'd probably pay more attention to college-age kids than anyone else.

Posted by: Mona | June 20, 2007 11:02 AM

I think in general, community in U.S. and across the world, where there are African decents, other non-African decents, are warey about because of the high profile crimes, brutality, uncivilized acts by these group affecting them. It is not about discriminating about skin color only. It is about how the society has learned over the years, this group just do thing are danger or harmful to them in extraordinary way. Therefore, wherever you see African presents, people are cautious. Because, they are either innocent or they are the worse criminal of some kind. You name it. One out of five Black men have a history of criminal record. Many serious crimes such as rapes, assaults, rubbery, drive by shooting, social unrest arise from the Black community. Even African decent have the small person in the total population. Represent the majority in prision time, correctional facilities, juvenille hall, mental facility.

It is hard for the non-African society to live in this kind of live style. Image if NY, Boston, Miami, and other big cities withouth Black, you can image how peaceful and less danger place to live? Well, Hispanics or Asian gangs, but they hardly committe crimes against outside races. But, most Black crime against races other than themselves. That's creating a hate!

Feedback

Posted by: EL | June 20, 2007 11:10 AM

I think I recall from one of the stories on this case that the Korean dry cleaners had already paid him for another lost clothing complaint years ago and didn't want his business any more (did they dispute the claim but pay him anyway to make him happy?), but that he convinced them to keep serving him (he must have been satisfied).

And now they're paying the price. Surely if they had refused to clean his clothes after the previous incident he would have sued them over that too. For crying out loud, they offered him $12,000 and he wouldn't take it! How much more satisfaction can you provide?

But I digress. Pearson's actions can't be understood as anything but an obsessive, vindictive attempt to harrass them and ruin their business. Nowhere in his lawsuit, from what I've read at least, does he ever suggest that this is a civil rights or racism case. In fact, he himself portrays it as a consumer crusade on behalf of all consumers. Well, not on behalf of me. I'm embarrassed for my city and my country that this story has been used to make the U.S. an international laughingstock. The fact that he presses on, with no embarrassment, shame, or apparent self-awareness at all, is a pretty good indication of what kind of individual he is.

Posted by: Did I miss something? | June 20, 2007 11:11 AM

I gotta agree with the others, just because you have the means to run a small business does not mean you SHOULD.

I can recount several business just like DCer mentioned. They were great places, promptly ruined by the new cost cutting owners.

Having said that I also realize how tough they have it running the types of businesses they run in the locations they run them in.

But as a person with a decade of retail management experience, they are pretty bad at customer service, as a group.

Not that black people are much better, and I say that as criticism of my own people.

Posted by: Silver Spring. | June 20, 2007 11:12 AM

So what's the problem, DCer? Not all Koreans are the same...

Some people are lousy at business (heck, some are lousy at life in general). That's got nothing to do with being Korean (though trying to make it in a strange country, far from home, doesn't make life any easier).
...
---------

Did I not mention that a Korean institution such as a church run seminars on good customer service? That is the solution to the problem. I think you missed my point, my office building had one single deli, not room for two, and the couple who bought it did so with no training in how to run it correctly and total disregard for normal, educated conversations about what we wanted in that deli. They lost big time and we also lost a great deli, THAT IS THE PROBLEM! The fact that so many people have repeated the same story to me makes me think that there is a lack of peer training in the Korean business community that is hurting the public's impression of Korean businesses. It's up to them to take positive action. I gave them serious business advice and they refused it. I hope any local immigrant community business group reviews these comments for the validity they hold- that food is a matter of taste and if you can't understand a different culture yet do not take over a beloved restaurant because you will lose money.

Posted by: DCer | June 20, 2007 11:25 AM

I am a 56 y.o. WASP male who lives in North Arlington. The drycleaner/tailor I use in my neighborhood is owned by Korean-Americans. I have never seen the owners treat their customers of any "flavor"- white, black, Korean, Indian, Hispanic, etc male/female, young/old poorly nor have I seen the customers treat the owners poorly.

Guess it depends on individual circumstances so you can't stereotype or I'm lucky in my surroundings.

Posted by: RLH3 | June 20, 2007 11:26 AM

Racial tension does exist. There are ton of factors behind this, but I would like to mention couple that just sprung to my mind first. I think the tension obviously has a lot to do with cultural differences, but also psychological effect from physical difference.

Many Asians, Koreans included, put emphasis on formalities when meeting people; bowing, avoiding direct eye contact, minimal physical contact, gentle tone of voice, etc. Whereas African Americans greet each other more heartily, with generous hugs and cheerful welcomes. This might seem like a stereotypical description, but this is something I constantly observe in social settings. This total contrast in behavior, I think, put them at odds right off the bat.

Also, many Asians are smaller in physical stature than African Americans, and Caucasians, a factor which I think puts them on the defensive psychologically.

So when you look at a store setting, run by Asian person, concerned with social formalities and already intimidated to some extent by physical difference, dealing with larger customers who are used to totally different social mannerisms, we are bound to have totally unintentional misunderstanding and conflicts.

Having said that, I think the best course of action is not to point fingers at each other with blame, but make genuine effort to understand each other. Get to know each other's culture. Tolerate idiosyncrasies we perceive in each other. I think everyone, regardless of race, should try harder in this regard.

Also, as far as I can tell, Pearson's case is not about race. If Pearson had history of picking on Korean or Asian merchants, then that might be the case. But this is a totally isolated incident. This case has to do with a merchant, who may have mistreated their customer, and a customer, who is making completely outrageous demand on account of his outrage.

Pearson should have accepted $12,000 settlement offer. His ridiculous pursuit of this lawsuit is not only causing frivolous lawsuit debate, but also starting this sensitive debate about racial tension, and possibly inflaming it.

Personally, I think Pearson is an idiot. Idiocy has nothing to do with race.

Posted by: Judge Dreaded | June 20, 2007 11:39 AM

Korens and Blacks
Racial tension in DC
Noone wants Pant suits.

Posted by: Pants Haiku | June 20, 2007 11:41 AM

The Toast and Strawberries woman amuses me, particularly because my girlfriend had an episode with her, where she (my gf) was trying to do some volunteer work at T and S and was treated very unprofessionally and rudely. Miss T and S has a very big ego. She exudes unlikeability...

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2007 11:49 AM

Blacks supporting Pearson is reflective of the black idiots in DC. These same morrons elected a crack addict to be mayor several times over. Worry about your kids shooting up neigborhoods and less about dry cleaning.

Posted by: Guido | June 20, 2007 11:52 AM

I think the question should be Why aren't black entrepenuers taking advantage of this situation to provide the type of stores with the level of respect and service that they desire? Complaining about Koreans is not changing the situation.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2007 11:53 AM

People make bad business decisions every day - and their businesses fail as a result. That's how the market works.

Sure, more opportunities for business education would be good - regardless of race, creed, culture or national origin. Of course, the truth is most people won't take advantage of them. (The other truth is that people are often inundated by unsolicited business advice, some of which is good, and some of which is terrible. In this case, you were likely just one more.)

You're discussing this as if ethnic "communities" are the players involved, with duties and obligations to each other. That's not the case. Specific, individual people are the business owners and customers in these situations. Sure, it would be great if a church or community center offered some classes. But there's no monolithic Korean community to be the "them" that "it's up to . . . to take positive action."

And you have no right to demand that the deli you love never be sold, change, or stay in business. Owners want to retire, new owners think they can build a better (or more profitable) mousetrap, and stuff happens.

Posted by: Huh? | June 20, 2007 11:53 AM

As an African American woman--you are sensitive to what may be racism. But I believe these cases mostly are about bad customer service. And there is ways to demand better customer service in terms of what speaks to the bottem line. It is not good customer service to speak in XYZ manner. One customer satisfied spurs many--one customer dissatisfied turns away even more.

But I travel--and have been to many places where bad customer service can come from all hues.

People from a different county in general have a different expectation of customer service based on the culture of the original country. And it has nothing to do with what you look or what they look like.

I once purchased an ice cream cone from a shopping mall in a tourist town. I had walked a bit away when I realize the cone was dripping down my arm. In my state I asked the nearest shop keeper for a napkin. In a heavily accented voice she said--no--why did you not ask the store you bought it from and proceeded to chatise me for my poor foresight. I saw she had no customers. And to her it was a very reasonable assertation. A few months later I return to the same town and she had gone out of business by then.

Where she was from people go in buy what they want and leave. The concept of competing for customers may be a new one. In other places window shopping is rude --so walking around a store may be met with suspicion.

The tourism bureau recognized this issue and tried a series of customer service trainings for their mostly immigrant merchants. Tourist dollars are important and so are the immigrant business owners who provided a much needed function.

In order for both to be successful they needed to step in. I could have provide a hundred funny stories. The standard service expectation we have as American are not what is expected all over the world, from how long you should wait, refunds and how many free packets of ketchup.

Posted by: KTB | June 20, 2007 11:55 AM

As an African American woman--you are sensitive to what may be racism. But I believe these cases mostly are about bad customer service. And there is ways to demand better customer service in terms of what speaks to the bottem line. It is not good customer service to speak in XYZ manner. One customer satisfied spurs many--one customer dissatisfied turns away even more.

But I travel--and have been to many places where bad customer service can come from all hues.

People from a different county in general have a different expectation of customer service based on the culture of the original country. And it has nothing to do with what you look or what they look like.

I once purchased an ice cream cone from a shopping mall in a tourist town. I had walked a bit away when I realize the cone was dripping down my arm. In my state I asked the nearest shop keeper for a napkin. In a heavily accented voice she said--no--why did you not ask the store you bought it from and proceeded to chatise me for my poor foresight. I saw she had no customers. And to her it was a very reasonable assertation. A few months later I return to the same town and she had gone out of business by then.

Where she was from people go in buy what they want and leave. The concept of competing for customers may be a new one. In other places window shopping is rude --so walking around a store may be met with suspicion.

The tourism bureau recognized this issue and tried a series of customer service trainings for their mostly immigrant merchants. Tourist dollars are important and so are the immigrant business owners who provided a much needed function.

In order for both to be successful they needed to step in. I could have provide a hundred funny stories. The standard service expectation we have as American are not what is expected all over the world, from how long you should wait, refunds and how many free packets of ketchup.

Posted by: KTB | June 20, 2007 11:55 AM

"Pearson should have accepted $12,000 settlement offer."

Pearson should go away and shut up. He's made a nationally recognized idiot of himself. If we want to talk "should have," he should have asked for the cleaners to find the pants or replace them - period.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2007 11:57 AM

I am amazed at all the "one time I . . ." stories that are somehow being peddled as universal truths about Koreans.

Since it's apparently acceptable, here's mine: One time I was walking down the street when a about 5 year old black kid pointed at me and said to his dad, "Look, a chink". His dad just laughed. So now I think all black people 5 years old and older think that I'm a "chink".

Sound ridiculous? Of course it is, and that's why I don't actually believe that. But I wanted to illustrate the absolute ignorance behind comments such as the one from May that said: "Korean businessowners are not nice people. I bet their families don't even like them. (Well, their families like them for the boatloads of mony they bring in, but not beacuse they treat people fairly and have a concept of human compassion)"

How about a black store owner that yelled at my friend as he walked by, "Get out of our neighborhood cracker!" while he was headed to the Anacostia metro? So now do I think all black business owners are bad people with loveless lives? No.

So come on May, how ignorant are you? Seriously. And I'm calling out the other's with similarly ignorant posts, like Ethos and Fred.

Posted by: Korean in Beltsville | June 20, 2007 12:00 PM

We have a large Central American contingent near my house, and a Latin market (Korean-owned) that serves as their grocery/convenience store. Yes, the prices are higher, and yes, sometimes the merchandise is past its pull date. We shop there when we need ingredients not readily available at our Safeway or Giant (ripe plantains, for example). The owners aren't what I would call overly friendly -- maybe better characterized as crusty, but I am there to buy food, not socialize. No complaints from the customers, although I do wonder why so many non-Korean ethnic enclaves have Korean businesses that they support, rather than their own. Seems to me that America is the land of opportunity, and the Koreans are answering the knocking.

Posted by: LL | June 20, 2007 12:17 PM

And you have no right to demand that the deli you love never be sold, change, or stay in business.
----

yes I do! It's called "Commercial Zoning." It happens every day. That's how it works in the USA. Why is this a confusion to some entrepreneurs, I will never know.

Secondly, the Korean bBusiness community has attended every day of the trial. They introduced the idea of an immigrant or ethnic business association TO ME via their PR, I did not create that in my mind- they are the people promoting themselves as a voice for their community. So now when I acknowledge them you want to paint it like they don't exist? What can that even mean?

Posted by: DCer | June 20, 2007 12:22 PM

Name of the group attending the trial is the Korean Dry Cleaners Association and they have a website at:
http://www.kdla.org/
Much respect to them for reviewing this trial as an issue of their concern.

Posted by: DCer | June 20, 2007 12:25 PM

Ha - good one Maryland! Vaherder likes to make up "true stories" that conveniently support his ignorant viewpoint of the day.

That's funny vaherder - for someone that claims to work so hard herding sheep and training collies, you sure are on the computer an awful lot in the middle of the day. Now, suddenly, you also have an office and co-workers, and are a terrific golfer. If it something smells like sheep manure...

Posted by: Rosslyn | June 20, 2007 12:27 PM

Good topic Marc, with lots of posts. I especially enjoy the "your momma" type of comments here. Some seem well thought out, some not so much, but all are enjoyable to a degree.

If only you had added something about gun control we would be trying to crash the WAPO server with the responses.

Posted by: SoMD | June 20, 2007 12:38 PM

All races are the same. These anecdotes about all these jerks are the proof. There are Korean jerks and there are African American jerks. There are jerks in every race. Living in this country, everyone should have received some kind of mistreatment by some jerk from some race. Should the entire race be judged by these jerks? Of course not. Now can we just get on with it?

I can't believe people actually think this is an race issue. If you were mistreated by one of those jerks from whichever race, then that's between you and that jerk. That jerk also deserves strong condemnation for lack of courtesy and humility.

But barring actual physical harm or intentional abuse, no mistreatment by a small store owner is worth $54 million dollars. There are people suffering and dying all over the world due to lack of resources; Africa, North Korea, Iraq, you name it. Do you know what $54 million could do for these people? One man, who got mistreated by a dry cleaner over pair of pants, does not deserve $54 million. That's the issue here, not the race.

Posted by: Judge Dreaded | June 20, 2007 12:38 PM

DCer, you need to learn a bit more about zoning laws. They can be used to prohibit certain types of uses for a location, such as using a residential lot for a coal-fired power plant, or putting a strip club next to a school. They can also be used to prohibit certain architectural changes - such as placing a 30-foot neon sign on the front of a historic building.

But they do not and cannot require that a specific business be maintained at a specific location forever, without change in products, services, management or ownership.

Your statement is flat out wrong. Depending on the zoning laws, you can object to your deli being converted into a bar or a brothel, but you have no legal right to stop the owner from selling it, or simply closing his doors.

Unless, of course, you've entered into a contract with him requiring him to remain in business at that location for a specified minimum period of time? Thought not.

Members of the Korean business community are, of course, very interested in the trial and the way it may reflect on Koreans doing business in the area. They are not, however, a collective entity (like, for example, a corporation or a local government) that has any rights or obligations as a separate entity in this case. That's a bit like saying the black community has a collective responsibility for the insanity that Mr. Pearson is perpetrating.

Bottom line - when it comes to things like a neighborhood deli going belly up, it's not all about you. In fact, it's not about you at all.

Posted by: Huh? | June 20, 2007 12:41 PM

Washington Golf Center is owned by a Korean-American.

Posted by: vaherder = idiot | June 20, 2007 12:41 PM

correction: Washington Golf Centers are owned by Korean-Americans. I believe there are several owners.

Posted by: vaherder = idiot | June 20, 2007 12:44 PM

This issue is not about racism.

This is about customer service--and the fact that Koreans have no concept of what customer service is.

Posted by: Right | June 20, 2007 12:44 PM

As a 50-something African-American man, I have long felt that Korean merchants in predominantly black neighborhoods see us only as base commerce - taking our money while not wanting to have anything else to do with us. These merchnats often have no stake or ties in the communites where their businesses are located and tend to be clannish. About a decade ago, I went into a convenience store owned by a Korean proprietor to purchase a lottery ticket. I gave the merchant a $20 dollar bill and only got back change for a $10. When I, without rancor, pointed out that I hadn't rceived my proper change the merchant started yelling and screaming and told be I was "banned" from his store. When I tried to further press my case, he came from behind the counter and grabbed me trying to forcibly usher me from his store while still screaming and thretaening to have me arrested. Fortunately, a passing police officer saw the scene and stopped. I was asked what happened and said I was only trying to get my correct change. The shop owner called me a "liar and a thief," slammed and locked his store and refused to talk with the officer. These merchants need to be more sensitive to the clientelle whose money they so willingly take.

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 20, 2007 12:51 PM

Hey there, Korean in Beltsville, you said "How about a black store owner that yelled at my friend as he walked by, "Get out of our neighborhood cracker!" while he was headed to the Anacostia metro? So now do I think all black business owners are bad people with loveless lives? No."

The reason he yelled that at your friend is because he knows when the white people start moving in, he will soon to be forced to leave. You can not deny that gentrification is real. He was just showing his emotion to what will be happening to him shortly. White folks can live anywhere they want, Blacks can't.

Posted by: May | June 20, 2007 12:52 PM

Current list of stupid stereotypes:
1. Koreans are rude, racist, and don't get customer service (the concept of customer service, by the way, is a load of crap. the customer is not always right).
2. Young black men are violent criminals.
3. Jews are money-grubbing.
4. Old people don't tip.
5. Italians/Russians are all mobsters.
6. The Irish national pastimes are drunkenness and wife-beating.

And don't even get me started on those West Virginians and Mormons.

Posted by: Will | June 20, 2007 12:55 PM

Hey Will, I agreee with your list of "stupid stereotypes".

Except for number 1 that one is true.

Posted by: SilverS | June 20, 2007 1:00 PM

I really hope this is some sort of secret test to see how many people here are willing to use a few personal examples to justify their racism.

Posted by: Will | June 20, 2007 1:18 PM

Bottom line - when it comes to things like a neighborhood deli going belly up, it's not all about you. In fact, it's not about you at all.
---
If it's not about the customer then why is it a retail business? No, I stand by my comments that you took a little too literally, hardy har har.

How many times have I bid on a proposal knowing that I had to subcontract out work I didn't want to do because the customer demanded it? half the time? That is business and to do otherwise is some weird hobby someone is trying to make money at and not a real business.

In the district the ANCs get involved in tighter zoning than just big box stores and liquor licenses. So what you wrote does not match reality, but I'm hardly that pedantic.

Posted by: DCer | June 20, 2007 1:20 PM

WHAT?! When were those laws permitting people of any race to live where they want repealed? I must have been sleeping on that one.

People can live where they want.
Let's not confuse race with soci-economics.
If you can afford a home in a neighborhood where you want to live, by all means, make an offer. Realtors, lenders, et al know that it is illegal for them to discriminate.

People may discriminate, but idiocy does not.
(To be honest with you, I thought Pearson was silly before I even knew the color of his skin.)

Posted by: to May | June 20, 2007 1:26 PM

It's amazing to see how people view Black-Korean tensions and the supposed racism and ignorance of Koreans.

First, to generalize all Koreans as a lump sum and refer to them all is racist and ignorant is quite racist and ignorant in and of itself.

Second, the outcry that Koreans are ignorant is amazing considering that more then 2/3 of Americans are unable to locate Great Britain on a map (this fact is according to Michael Moore). I'm willing to bet that none of the posters here (unless they are Korean) know who the name of the current sitting President of the Republic of Korea.

Third, Korean businesses as a whole are not all rude and racist. There is a US federal Circuit Court of Appeals case where a man tried to testify as an expert that all Korean businessmen are corrupt. Needless to say, the Court found that testimony to be completely bogus.

I am a Korean-American, one that grew up both in California and South Carolina. I have been made fun of for my skin color by both Whites and Blacks. We see it everywhere. Rosie O'Donnell on her show made fun of Asians as a people that only say "ching chong chong." I have had Whites and Blacks say that to me even though I am fluent in Korean, English, and Russian. The sad part of it is that those who do taunt me probably would not be able to live even a month in a different society where English is not spoken.

Posted by: David | June 20, 2007 1:27 PM

Custom Cleaners = Korean owners = Mistreats customers = All Korean businesses mistreat customers?

Roy Pearson = African American = Lacks common sense = All African Americans lack common sense?

Missing pair of pants + poor customer service = $54 million compensation?

Posted by: Judge Dreaded | June 20, 2007 1:27 PM

for those too young to remember, the 60s movie The Pawnbroker is an excellent look at the tensions/dynamic of an "outsider" running a business in the inner city.

Posted by: eo mcmars | June 20, 2007 1:28 PM

Vaherder, by the way, Washington Golf Center is also Korean-owned as is Golfdom.

Posted by: cha_charoni | June 20, 2007 1:29 PM

Will, I'd add a number 7 to your post.

7. Young people don't tip.

Posted by: Liz | June 20, 2007 1:30 PM

I don't look so much at the races of the people involved. My experience with merchants of all stripes is that they are greedy, disrespectful, and arrogant, and if I could actually LIVE without having to patronize any of them, I would. My last big offenders were Triple A and the Riden-Bringhurst management company. I'd like to sic the judge on them.

Posted by: questionauthority | June 20, 2007 1:33 PM

Hell is other people.

Posted by: Jean-Paul Sartre | June 20, 2007 1:37 PM

Yes, there are rude Korean merchants but there are also many, many kind Korean merchants.
Years ago, a Korean owned convenience store was robbed in South Central Los Angeles. The mother was shot and later died. As a result of the support from the neighborhood, her funeral was moved to South Central where over 1400 people from the neighborhood came to pay their last respects to the woman whom they ALL called Mama.
Let's try to be openminded. There are all sorts of people. Period.

Posted by: ? | June 20, 2007 1:46 PM

I'm willing to bet that none of the posters here (unless they are Korean) know who the name of the current sitting President of the Republic of Korea.
----

Is this a joke??? Everyone knows Kim Jong Il!

(that's a joke, btw)

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2007 1:46 PM

I wonder why there aren't many black-owned & operated dry-cleaning businesses.

Posted by: Rural view | June 20, 2007 1:52 PM

Why should anyone be surprised that racism is alive and well in 2007, when the law of the land for the last 40 years has been "your race determines how the law impacts you"?
Martin Luther King's ideology endorsed and promoted a color-blind society; his sociological descendents abandoned his ideology many decades ago.

Posted by: DoTheRightThing | June 20, 2007 2:09 PM

Why should anyone be surprised that racism is alive and well in 2007, when the law of the land for the last 40 years has been "your race determines how the law impacts you"?
Martin Luther King's ideology endorsed and promoted a color-blind society; his sociological descendents abandoned his ideology many decades ago.

Posted by: DoTheRightThing | June 20, 2007 2:09 PM

Surprisingly, I agree with both sides on most observations. One thing most will probably not agree with me on is this: every single ethnic group, has less respect for african-americans than they do any other group. No group in this country is treated worse than african-americans (except historically native americans). I've experienced it. The only solution is for my people, african-americans, to do for self. Since that isn't going to happen, we have to deal with the white supremacist racism that is inculcated in every other group in this country. Do for self, we will get respect then. Anything less, we'll be treated to good ole american racism.

Posted by: dcbill | June 20, 2007 2:12 PM

Surprisingly, I agree with both sides on most observations. One thing most will probably not agree with me on is this: every single ethnic group, has less respect for african-americans than they do any other group. No group in this country is treated worse than african-americans (except historically native americans). I've experienced it. The only solution is for my people, african-americans, to do for self. Since that isn't going to happen, we have to deal with the white supremacist racism that is inculcated in every other group in this country. Do for self, we will get respect then. Anything less, we'll be treated to good ole american racism.

Posted by: dcbill | June 20, 2007 2:13 PM

We are a sad lot.
No wonder the Creator has left us to ourselves.

Posted by: mike | June 20, 2007 2:16 PM

Hi there Rural view. You said"

"I wonder why there aren't many black-owned & operated dry-cleaning businesses."

It is because the Koreans have saturated the dry-cleaning business. They've taken it over and locked other races out. Just like all the pharmacists are Jamaicans! (Ever seen a Korean Pharmacist?)

Besides, would you even go to a Black-owned drycleaner in the first place? Please.

Posted by: Howdy | June 20, 2007 2:20 PM

C'mon dcbill, ELEVEN posts of the same thing? Jeesh, learn to use the c.o.m.p.u.t.e.r

Posted by: C'mon | June 20, 2007 2:22 PM

To use a delicate country expression, Pearson is a "one-eyed pants snake". I hear these snakes are found on every continent and in a full range of colors.

Posted by: Rural view | June 20, 2007 2:40 PM

Is dcbill and vaherder the same person?

Posted by: Huh? | June 20, 2007 2:42 PM

DCer, get a life.

"If it's not about the customer then why is it a retail business?"

It's a retail business to make money for the owner. To do that successfully, it has to provide a product or service that people are willing to pay for. But the "the customer is always right" is just a convenient hyperbole that's used to underscore the importance of good customer service for businesses that want to attract and retain customers - it's not universally true, and it's certainly not a legal or moral principle that customers can use to claim as a "right" any fool thing they want.

When an owner wants to retire, or take up another venture, the decision about whether to sell has nothing to do with the customer. When a business is failing, the decision about whether to close or restructure is definitely not about the needs of the customer - it's all about what's possible, what makes the most financial sense for the owner, and what is necessary to satisfy the claims of any creditors.

When a small business goes belly up, our sympathy should be with the owners who lose their livelyhood, the landlord that loses rent, and the suppliers and other creditors who likely will not be fully paid - not with someone who's simply forced to find another deli.

"In the district the ANCs get involved in tighter zoning than just big box stores and liquor licenses. So what you wrote does not match reality, but I'm hardly that pedantic."

No, you're not pedantic - you're simply wrong.

A) I said that "you have no right to demand that the deli you love never be sold, change, or stay in business."

B) You responded by saying "yes I do! It's called 'Commercial Zoning.' It happens every day."

DC has tough zoning laws - but they do not:

1) Prohibit a business owner from selling his or her property;

2) Prohibit a business owner from changing the recipe for a sandwich, the supplier for a muffin, the way they train sales staff, or the quality of the help they hire; or

3) Prohibit a business owner from going out of business.

The original deli owners were completely within their legal rights to sell. The new owners were completely within their legal rights to change the suppliers for the food they offered (no matter how ill-advised it might have been). The new owners are completely within their legal rights to close their doors. Zoning laws have nothing to do with any of that.

To sum up, you had no right to demand that the deli:
- never be sold;
- never change; or
- stay in business.

All of your pontificating about zoning laws, and how unfortunate you are to have lost your favorite deli, doesn't change that.

When someone asks you to spend money at their establishment, it's about you. When they're deciding whether or not to sell or close, it's got nothing to do with you - and you have no legal or moral standing gripe about it.

Posted by: Huh? | June 20, 2007 2:50 PM

"Why should anyone be surprised that racism is alive and well in 2007, when the law of the land for the last 40 years has been "your race determines how the law impacts you"?"

Gotta call you on this one. Other than affirmative action and other civil rights legislation, please cite a single example of a state or local law that specifies a right, duty, obligation or penalty that is explicitly tied to race.

Posted by: Demos | June 20, 2007 2:52 PM

access: the right to obtain or make use of or take advantage of something (as services or membership)
Socio-economic class: a broad group in society having common economic, cultural, or political status.
Mr. Jones' assertion is:
"Blacks in these urban settings, for the most part, rely solely on Korean establishments in their neighborhoods. This is due to access and ultimately, their socio-economic status.

I'm unaware of any law or organization that is refusing anyone the right to open and own a business in the district, especially a dry cleaners. So access is not a reason for reliance.
Political status? There are more registered African-American voters in the district than any other social class, so its not that they lack political clout in the district.
Economics? Certainly there are large numbers of African-Americans living below the poverty line in the district, but aren't there also many who are affluent and quite capable of investing in a dry cleaning business?
So if any portion of Mr. Jones' theory is correct its that the reason for the reliance is cultural. Cultural denotes that the problem lies within and not in blaming someone else for your plight. It also denotes that its something that you can recognize and overcome.
If it is the Korean's fault that they have cultural short comings on how to treat patrons, then who's fault is the cultural short comings of the people reliant on their services?

Posted by: gjm | June 20, 2007 2:55 PM

Hey, Demos. You must be white. The laws are written supposedly for everybody, but HOW those laws are enforced directly impact people of the Afro-American race. For example, the law says you can't drive drunk, period. Now the cops that enforce that law can (and do) target people of a certain race. And even when the person they pull over is white, their sentence is just a slap on the wrist (a la, Paris Hilton). I can actually go on forever about how laws affect race. I mean there was a law that a black person and a white person couln't get married! nuf said.

Posted by: Me | June 20, 2007 2:58 PM

The Asian merchants I have encounted are all the same. They become very aggressive, make outrageous justifications, and are not customer service orientated to say the least after ruining your items. I am a black women born and raised in DC. Recently, I took my down comforter to a cleaners in NE. The sign read EXPERTS in cleaning down comforters. I contemplated several weeks prior to taking my comforter there. I asked a women receiving my comforter several times, will my comforter look the same, the fabric the same and other questions. She told me not to worry they clean comforters all the time. I said okay. When I retrieved my down comforter, it was flatter than a pancake. I mentioned to the man that my comforter was not like this went I bought it in. He had all these justifications, as they all do when approached about their wrongdoing. I asked that he put it back in the dryer to perhaps fluff the feathers. I contacted an attorney prior to going to retrieve my comforter the following day. I was advised to walk out with my comforter if it was not up to par. Do not pay and do not talk too much. Just take your comforter and leave. I did exactly what I was advised to do. The merchant followed my out the door. He acted if he wanted to grab my arm. I told him nicely not too touch me and if he would like I would sue him for destroying my comforter. Which would he like? I got in my car and drove off. I guess he thought it over and decided that the cost of destroying my comforter would be much less than if I had pursued legal action. These folk should be required to attend training sessions to adequately communicate with customers, customer service etiquette, and whatever else it may take to receive a smooth transaction.

Posted by: Grace | June 20, 2007 3:01 PM

Racism is not only between people of two races. Racism exists between people in the same race. The most frequent example is within the black race. Dark-skin women often doesn't like light-skin woman and vice-versa. If you can't even get along with people in your own race, how do you think other will judge you?

Posted by: Fact | June 20, 2007 3:02 PM

Well as a Black person living in a Black community that has Korean merchants, I have never had a problem with them. If we all treat each other the way we want to be treated the world would be a better place. Is that going to happen, I don't think so! But I have witness young Blacks straight out disrespecting these particular workers at the neighborhood carry-out. And If I were the Merchant, they wouldn't be allowed in my store. And these are young kids. Bad service is bad service, I'll give you that! But why would you purposely antagonize the people who are fixing food for your consumption? That, I don't get! I've found that if you are pleasent to people, they in turn are pleasent to you! And you can always take your business elsewhere! So instead of standing there making an ass of yourself, just take your business elsewhere!

Posted by: Angryman | June 20, 2007 3:02 PM

What is racism? If you and the people closest to you have repeatedly been victims of violent crime perpetrated by black males (in relatively "safe" neighborhoods, and even in broad daylight), are you a racist because you start crossing the street when you see a black male dressed like a thug coming toward you on the sidewalk--or are you just using common sense?

It's all well and good to spout rainbows and flowers about how we should all love one another, but once members of the same demographic repeatedly send your friends to the hospital, its kind of hard to not develop a certain amount of prejudice--especially when the offending demographic happens to glorify guns and street violence (ala gangster rap).

I'm a bleeding heart liberal, but even us "can't we all get along" folks tend to get a little hard-hearted once they've been commanded to lay face down on a sidewalk with a gun held to the back of their head by some teenage thug living out a Death Row Records fantasy. Black America has got a whole lot of inhouse cleaning to do before they can reasonably expect not to be treated with suspicion (motivated by self-preservation) by their wary neighbors (including shop keepers). I'm not saying its right or its fair, but it's the way it is, and the black community needs to step up and shoulder some of the responsibility for fixing the problems. A good start? Don't shout down people like Bill Cosby when they try to engage in frank dialogue about what is wrong in black America.

Posted by: woof | June 20, 2007 3:03 PM

Vaherder, isn't it time to shear your girlfriend? She's getting a little woolley.

Posted by: Maryland | June 20, 2007 3:03 PM

Hey Me,

then you need to be more precise. The "the law of the land for the last 40 years" has not, in fact, distinguished between people based on race (other than, as I mentioned, in the case of affirmative action and other civil rights laws).

Now, you may have a gripe about the way laws have been enforced at various times and in particular places, but that's a different matter. Our laws have been thoroughly restructured since the time of Jim Crow.

"I mean there was a law that a black person and a white person couln't get married! nuf said."

That law was repealed long ago. "Nuf said."

As an aside, you should consider picking a better example than Paris Hilton - if anything, the judge seems to be singling her out to make an cautionary example of her.

Posted by: Demos | June 20, 2007 3:06 PM

HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY

As a KOREAN MAN married to a BLACK WOMAN I can tell you this -- YOU DO NOT WANT TO PISS THESE PEOPLE OFF!!!

Man, my wife is like a rabid pitbull when she gets angry. I pity any drycleaner who messes up one of her good dresses.

I'm frightened of her. She's scary.


HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY

Posted by: Chun | June 20, 2007 3:14 PM

What the HELL does any of this case have to do with race? NOTHING! People in this area inject race into every single issue, no matter how irrelevant it is. And -- surprise -- it's always a matter of "somebody isn't respectful enough" of the stupid, lazy, ignorant, superstitious black people.

--- Faye Kane, homeless smartmouth --- see more of my smartmouth opinions at blog.myspace.com/fayekane

Posted by: FayeKane | June 20, 2007 3:15 PM

Until this week, I never realized Pants Guy was African-American. My fundamental opinion of him/the case hasn't changed: this is someone w/ basic mental health issues. This doesn't appear to be the only episode supporting this thesis, either. I'm sure they'd never talk in public (for fear of being sued), but wouldn't you like to get the inside scoop from the ex-wife or the former boss? It's kinda sad really--this is a smart guy who needs serious help.

Posted by: he's just crazy | June 20, 2007 3:19 PM

No, you're not pedantic - you're simply wrong.
-----
I'm not sure you're reading my posts correctly, I was slyly making the comment that you've gone way overboard and can't distinguish the forest for the trees in my comments. You are being pedantic beyond belief.

Posted by: DCer | June 20, 2007 3:20 PM

Hey Demos,

I'm just saying... whether or not the race-based laws are still on the books or not is irrelevant. The laws are PURPOSELY written to ALLOW racism towards a certain race. This country was built on racism and the current laws still allow it to flourish although the words "Black", "white", "Asian", etc are not used. I know you get what I'm saying, you're just being contrary.

Posted by: Me | June 20, 2007 3:27 PM

The Korean corner grocery owners in my area are very friendly. I've never seen them disrespect anyone. But I have seen local youths steal from them. It was my observation that those local youth were nearly always black.

Posted by: Hillman | June 20, 2007 3:28 PM

Absolute nonsense. There is no simmering tension between blaks and Koreans. It's funny when I see white men write about tensions amongts other ethnic groups. I'm a 40 year old black male and think the black men pressing charges against the dry cleaner is ridiculous. He ought the be put in kail for wasting everybody's time and money...only after getting a proper A$$whipping. So THIS is the landmark case that will finally bubble over "Tensions" between the two groups? Pa--leeassee. Get real folks!

Posted by: gtaylor301 | June 20, 2007 3:35 PM

"I'm not sure you're reading my posts correctly, I was slyly making the comment that you've gone way overboard and can't distinguish the forest for the trees in my comments. You are being pedantic beyond belief."

Perhaps.

And perhaps you're misreading mine. You cited an example of a totally incompetant set of Korean business owners. Big whoop - incompetence comes in all races, creeds, colors, nationalities and accents. Businesses go under all the time, for all sorts of stupid reasons - being Korean has nothing to do with it.

We're fine so far - I suspect we really don't disagree all that much on that issue.

But then you tried to defend your "right to demand that the deli you love never be sold, change, or stay in business."

That's ludicrous. If you'd wanted to say "well, yeah, but I hate to see it go," or "it was unnecessary," or "it could have been prevented," or "of course, not, but we all lose when something like that happens" then I'd say "yes, of course."

But it's completely silly to bloviate about zoning laws because you don't like the new owners of a store, or are inconvenienced by its closure.

Posted by: Huh? | June 20, 2007 3:36 PM

"Come in, We're Open!"
Hangs from the cleaners front door.
Advice to live by.

Posted by: Pants Haiku | June 20, 2007 3:38 PM

Chun, do you really think your post have any redibility? Oh, wait, vaherder's back.

Posted by: MoCo | June 20, 2007 3:42 PM

PS Kail..ooops I meant Jail. As for Rhee, people are and should be upset, not by her ethnicity but her lack of experience as a Superintendent. Plus i think people are upset by the 11th hour dead of night appointment by the "Great Orator" Mayor Mumbles..oops I meant Adrian Fenty

Posted by: gtaylor301 | June 20, 2007 3:42 PM

I have learned something from this discussion. Not about racial attitudes, no. I already knew how fast stereotypes rise to the surface.

But I had no idea how much golf equipment cost! Vaherder? A missed sale of 2k for a driver, some balls, and some clothing? Holy cow, or sheep, or whatever. Glad I am not a sportswoman.

Posted by: Leila | June 20, 2007 3:45 PM

The reason he yelled that at your friend is because he knows when the white people start moving in, he will soon to be forced to leave. You can not deny that gentrification is real. He was just showing his emotion to what will be happening to him shortly. White folks can live anywhere they want, Blacks can't.
_____

This is the biggest bunch of Bull I've read, and I've read a lot of Bull on this Blog! There is never a reason for any business owner to tell a potential customer base to get out of the neighborhood then follow it up with a racial slur!!

There would be no Getrification of Blacks would take care of their own neighborhoods! It's not White, Asian, Hispanic or any other ethnic group that comes into you community and trashes it! Go to any complex in SE and you will see trash strewn all over the place and trash cans are readily available! So stop blaming everybody else for Gentrification, it's some black folks in those very communities fault! Then those very folks go into other neighborhoods and do the same things, with the trash and the hanging all over the place and no respect for other peoples property! I deal with this mentality all the time as the President of my HOA!! How people are just trifling!! STOP BEING TRIFLING!! And it starts with throwing trash in TRASH CANS!!

Posted by: Angryman | June 20, 2007 3:47 PM

Hey Me,

I get what you're saying - I simply disagree. We've spent the last fifty years fighting institutional racism, and have thoroughly rewritten our laws in the process. Do we still have racists in our society? Sure. But the laws we have on the books are not "PURPOSELY written to ALLOW racism towards a certain race" - in fact, we've added a number of laws that have been carefully written to prohibit racism.

The closest thing to a counter example I can think of is the sentencing disparity between crack cocaine and powder cocaine. That was driven, if you remember, by widespread concern about the crime driven by the widespread availability of crack a couple of decades ago. To the extent there's a political momentum today, it's to lessen the disparity.

Posted by: Demos | June 20, 2007 3:47 PM

This is about pants.
And an outrageous lawsuit.
No Justice, No Pleats!

Posted by: Pants Haiku | June 20, 2007 3:48 PM

race aside...this case has set back the DC voting rights movement nationally, and for that I will not forgive Mr. Pearson. If you talk to people outside the District area, you get a sad head shake and "there go those idiots in DC again" comment. Even my mother, rabid liberal that she is in Oregon, who I have coerced into putting a taxation without representation sticker on her Subaru (of course) said basically the same thing, "what is wrong with the District that this sort of thing happens? what is the government doing?"

sad.

Posted by: northzax | June 20, 2007 3:53 PM

The reason he yelled that at your friend is because he knows when the white people start moving in, he will soon to be forced to leave. You can not deny that gentrification is real. He was just showing his emotion to what will be happening to him shortly. White folks can live anywhere they want, Blacks can't.

Posted by: May | June 20, 2007 12:52 PM

Hey May...
You might as well stop wasting your time writing because no one is going to pay attention to your ignorant ass. Go back to Africa and stop supporting businesses owned by Asians if you don't like it here. No one is asking you to stay.

Posted by: DT | June 20, 2007 3:58 PM

Really, really JUST curious:

"This country was built on racism and the current laws still allow it to flourish although the words "Black", "white", "Asian", etc are not used. I know you get what I'm saying, you're just being contrary.

Posted by: Me | June 20, 2007 03:27 PM"

Is there a reason you capitalized everything but "white"?

Posted by: Just curious | June 20, 2007 4:07 PM

When I lived in Baltimore, liquor stores had bullet proof glass. The one store near Hopkins had a guy with a shoulder holster with gun, to bring out cases to customers. If ghetto people had some manners, then maybe the business owners would return the same way. At a liquor store on Georgia Avenue, people were yelling at the owners complaining that they were charged cheaper last time and yelling throughout the whole store they were getting ripped off. They were buying two deuce dueces of beer which cost, what a whole 2.50 together? Why were they yelling? Just because they can. So FU to all you racists who think businesses should kiss your ass when people harass them on a daily basis.

Posted by: DT | June 20, 2007 4:08 PM

Go back to Africa and stop supporting businesses owned by Asians if you don't like it here. No one is asking you to stay.

Posted by: DT | June 20, 2007 03:58 PM

_____

Now see, this is exactly the kind of stuff that keeps blacks on the racial edge!! Why is it the first thing some ass wants to say to us is to Go Back to Africa!! Why, our ancestors built this country and for FREE I might add!! So why should we go anywhere!! And no, we don't insert race into every thing but if we did, could you blame us with stupid comments like that!!

Posted by: Angryman | June 20, 2007 4:09 PM

Hey DT,

Cool it with the racist attacks, sweetheart. I'm allowed to say what I said, right? I'm allowed to say anything I want, right? (1st Ammendment stuff)

I'm just saying that I don't like the Korean business-owners. (I like their women though, yum)

Posted by: May | June 20, 2007 4:10 PM

Hey DT,

I actually agree with you on a lot of points but why do we have to resort to saying Go back to Africa in the course of this dialogue? Was that even called for?

Posted by: Angryman | June 20, 2007 4:14 PM

So it's okay for you to bash Koreans but it's not okay for me to tell you to go back where you are from? You're being racist, and when the tables are turned you don't seem to like it. So shut your hole.

Posted by: DT | June 20, 2007 4:14 PM

Angryman,
I was making a point. It's easy to talk trash about other cultures but when it's flipped over back to them, people seem to have a problem with it. I didn't mean it, but my point was made...

Posted by: DT | June 20, 2007 4:16 PM

I think there is a certain level of tension between Korean immigrants and African-Americans, as there is between most immigrant groups and African-Americans and, in some instances, between the various immigrant groups. This is because all of these groups are in competition, economically, for the same relatively small (when compared with what native whites have) piece of the pie. The tension is most pronounced between African-Americans and the immigrant groups because the former, perhaps understandably, feel most economically threatened by the latter. For example, up until the past 10-15 years, low-skilled jobs in the hospitality and construction industries were typically filled with lower and lower-middle class African-Americans. Now, those positions are mostly filled with immigrant labor (an interesting topic for another day: who really suffers economically because of illegal immigration).

Another example is, as mentioned, Los Angeles. The violence discussed above wasn't the cause of the tension. Instead, what was happening was Korean immigrants were opening businesses in all-black neighborhoods (not moving in, though, which is an important distinction when you are looking at "outsiders"), but not employing any neighborhood workers. These neighborhoods, such as Watts and Compton, are physically segregated from other parts of the Los Angeles area because of a lack of public transportation: if you don't have a car, it will be virtually impossible to get a job outside of your neighborhood. So, basically the Korean business owners were viewed as people who were coming in to buy up previously black-owned businesses without providing any benefit to the community they entered. There were also always allegations of price-gouging, etc., but I'm not sure if there was any empirical evidence of it.

Anyway, none of this justifies the pant suit. I don't even really see any evidence that this specific case has anything to do with race. There is a tension there, though, but I wanted to point out that at its root is economic competition, and not any cultural or inherent differences.

Posted by: ex-socal | June 20, 2007 4:20 PM

hey May,
If it wasn't for Korean business owners risking their lives in ghettos with their businesses you'd have to rent a car like Pearson to go somewhere else to buy stuff. Maybe you don't have a car, maybe you don't want to lose your spot, maybe you don't like taking the bus. It's the opportunity cost of going down the corner to get something quick for something that costs more, or driving into the 'burbs for something nicer for the same price. You pay for convenience. And the fact that you hate Korean business owners and how you like Korean women just cemented how ignorant you really are.

Posted by: DT | June 20, 2007 4:21 PM

Hey, Just curious,

Yes there is a reason I capitalized everything but "white".

Your obviously smart... you can figure out why.

Posted by: Me | June 20, 2007 4:23 PM

This article is CRAZY! Marc YOU are playing the race card - must be a slow news day. Combining two stories that involve koreans & blacks to CREATE a story about asian-black tensions is a waste of print (and I'm black man saying this). The only stories here are that (1) an ALJ took advantage of the judicial system because he knows the law and obviously is a flawed character and (2) this is the 1st time an asian will be superintendent. End of story!

Posted by: Job | June 20, 2007 4:23 PM

I am Korean and one time I was jumped by a group of 4 black high school kids on U Street. I don't extrapolate this experience as representative of all black men and I don't think Korean dry cleaners can be pigeon-holed in a similar fashion.

I go to a local Korean drycleaner and I've seen white customers verbally abuse the Korean female workers simply because they can (i.e., The Koreans don't speak English well so it's hard to defend themselves and second, they prefer to avoid confrontation).

Let's avoid blaming and start focusing on how our communities are similar. For example, Koreans and African Americans are both very spiritual people with high Protestant church affiliations. They should all go to church together!

Posted by: SC | June 20, 2007 4:24 PM

Hi there DT,

But Korean woman ARE STILL HOT though!

Very appetising little things...

Posted by: May | June 20, 2007 4:26 PM


This is Bull###. I'm black and I've been treated with nothing but respect by Koreans. Maybe some blacks need to check their own bedside manner.

Posted by: Rob | June 20, 2007 4:26 PM

Hey DT,

No blood, No Foul!! LOL But seriously, I just hate it when folks lump us all in the same boat. We, as blacks have got some serious issues to deal with within our own community! And just like other races, us upstanding hard working black folks don't like thuggery and hoochery any more than anyone else! And just like in some of the posts, if I'm walkin' alone and am being approached by several Blacks looking Thugish, I will cross the street to!! Does that make me racist, NO! And it doesn't make anybody else racist either. It's all about your personal safety, and for that reason, you have to do what your gut tells you....

Posted by: Angryman | June 20, 2007 4:27 PM

"Your obviously smart... you can figure out why."

Because you are a racist who hates whites.

Aaaand who's probably such a hypocrit that if someone were to capitalize whites the way you write Blacks and Asians, you'd freak. On behalf of Whites everywhere, let's find out, shall we?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2007 4:29 PM

Come on people, don't get distracted. Stay focused.

Focus on the pants! The PANTS!

Posted by: Judge Dreaded | June 20, 2007 4:36 PM

I think we need to have the dialogue without all of the personal attacks! We have to agree to disagree without name calling or telling people where to go back to!

Posted by: Angryman | June 20, 2007 4:38 PM

By the way, a friend and I got mugged in Petworth in March by 12 black kids. We were just walking back from the bars and just minding our business when these kids tried to distract us, and stole our stuff. We were surrounded, sucker punched from behind, numerous times. Yeah it's nice to see a friend get sucker punched, then take a step to help him only to get sucker punched from both sides, and then on the back of the head a couple of times.

Do I hate black people as a whole? No.

Do I generalize a whole race based on what several did? No. Do I cringe when I see a group of black kids? No.

For people to say they hate Korean business owners is ridiculous. Just because someone's English isn't perfect doesn't mean they are stupid. People are too ignorant to realize that if they went overseas to start new and was lucky enough to get a loan to open a store... how people would treat them if they didn't know the native language.

People are so easy to talk trash but yet they still frequent the businesses they hate. Hypocrites. Yet they yip and they yap but people know better. I mean, who's gonna take a guy serious that's suing over a pair of pants for $65M? Who'd stupid enough to listen to a guy that demanded a business reimburse him for car rentals because he didn't want to use them anymore? Who's stupid enough to listen to a guy who really thinks a loophole in the law will allow him to get $1200 for every day that he thinks he's wronged, amounting to $65M?

It's people like May that perpetuate the problem. But it's also the people that listen to ignorant dumbasses like that too that further perpetuate it.

Posted by: DT | June 20, 2007 4:41 PM


Good post, woof..You nailed it.

Posted by: Rob | June 20, 2007 4:41 PM

AMEN to Angryman! whooo hooo!
"No personal attacks please."

Although, I must say, they are hillarious to read. I've been cracking up over here throughout this entire blog!

Posted by: Me | June 20, 2007 4:43 PM

HAHAHA!

The classic line of this entire blog is:

"Very appetising little things..."

hahaha, the women ARE like Sushi!

Yummy.

Posted by: New | June 20, 2007 4:48 PM

Ugh, the objectification here is disgusting. If there's one thing everyone here should agree on, it's that Korean women, or any women for that matter, wouldn't go near you Neanderthals with a 200-foot cattle prod.

Posted by: Ick | June 20, 2007 5:00 PM

Just wanted to chime in as another woman in support of Ick's comment.

Posted by: Double Ick | June 20, 2007 5:03 PM

And your Korean neighbor living next to you in your Mcmansion may own several massage parlors where they exploit women from the ROK and other Asian countries. There is one maybe 1/2 a mile from the West Springfield Police Station on Rolling Road in a medical complex. Just a front for prostitution and since FCPD doesnt bother them we can assume money or favors are being exchanged.

Posted by: vaherder | June 20, 2007 5:37 PM

vaherder knows where the sleazy massage parlors are. Go figure.

Posted by: NoVa | June 20, 2007 6:13 PM

Wow, this was just one giant piece of flamebait.

You will get nowhere asking questions like this.

Someday, all the races will blend to the point where no one can actually 'tell' who was what. Here's looking forward to that someday, even though it won't happen in our lifetime. But one can always hope.

Posted by: * | June 20, 2007 6:56 PM

Oh, and you can "tell" who is what now?

Posted by: Laughing at you | June 20, 2007 8:06 PM

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/06/20/crash.assault.ap/index.html

If you follow this link you'll read a story which I find extremely horrific but, very sadly, not very surprising. I'm sure that there was a racial component to this murder. Which part of ACCIDENT do these people not get? Correct me if I'm wrong, but why does it seem that anytime there is such a melee following an accident, the "beaters" are always black? I don't buy the theory that the races are physically or genetically all that different from each other. Is it more of a cultural thing?

Posted by: Racist-in-all-of-us | June 20, 2007 8:10 PM

Here's the main question I have: We all know people we met from Boston or Brooklyn or Los Angeles or Dallas Texas or Savannah Georgia or Baltimore who act the same right? We know people for whom the place they were raised rubbed off on them, gave them a distinct personality and they grew to totally accept that personality right? I know African-Americans, Jews and Italians from Brooklyn who all act the same, right, because they're from Brooklyn. BROOKLYN! They grew up in that culture and that's the culture that they brought to adulthood.

So why would anyone try to doubt me when I talk about certain attitudes that Koreans exhibit. It's not like the second generation doesn't lose those attitudes because they're American- they do. But it's not like Korean culture is so vacant and so vague that it doesn't have certain tenets that are brought to this country- IT DOES! KOREANS HAVE A CULTURE. Watch the soap operas on AZNTV.

And it's not anymore racist to talk about pervasive cultural attitudes than it is to DENY THAT KOREAN'S HAVE A DISTINCTIVE CULTURE. Which is what the so-called "Color-blind" people do.

We are different and those differences can be a source of pride. They can also be a source of problems. One stereotype about Koreans that a Korean friend told me about in 1990 was this: She said that every time a Korean girl gets anorexic her parents make her go to church instead of a psychiatrist. She told me that the old stereotype of Koreans is that they'll send their kids to church for a year before they'll send them to a psychiatrist. I heard this stereotype in college from this girl. I had a Korean coworker who laughed about it and said it was very true. Then Cho Seung killed all those people.

Is it a false stereotype or is it a common cultural attitude like "ugly americanism" or "New Jersey accent" or "Southern Hospitality" or the SoCal surfer?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2007 9:06 PM

The complaint that Korean storeowners are rude is pathetic and tired. If African Americans are offended by the behavior, they should either (i) stop shopping at their stores or (ii) open up stores of their own. Why they choose to whine about Jewish-owned or Korean-owned stores, but then ditch their community and marry white women at their earliest opportunity, is remarkable.

Stop whining.

Posted by: B.S. | June 20, 2007 10:19 PM

Why they choose to whine about Jewish-owned or Korean-owned stores, but then ditch their community and marry white women at their earliest opportunity, is remarkable.
----
I will ask Shirley next door when she's planning to ditch her community and marry a white woman.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2007 10:41 PM

Late to the party, I know, but I must point out Marc's unfortunate choice of exemplary links to delineate a "black" vs. a "Korean" attitude toward the opposite groups:

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1264/is_n12_v27/ai_19261654
http://www.oah.org/pubs/magazine/asianamerican/chang.html

The cited "black writer's perspective" contains some glaring grammatical boners in the first four sentences, and the cited "Korean writer's view" states "because of the relatively lower educational attainment of African Americans compared with their own high educational background, many Korean immigrants tend to look down on African Americans."

Trying to underline the point? Or just a hasty citation?

Posted by: Andy | June 20, 2007 10:48 PM

Reading these post is enough to make one go into a Depression. What has happen to in the world? Sometimes, I wonder, is diversity a good thing or should be live in countries of the same color and ethnic background. In today's world, everyone seems to be stressed regardless of color. I am to the point, I have become a HERMIT and stay to myself. After death, I wonder we will have to deal with racism in the after life?

Posted by: Satan KKK Member | June 20, 2007 10:51 PM

As Korean American I know a lot about Korean's prejudice toward non-ethic koreans. I have seen blatant disrespect toward African American one time in a Korean resteraunt. A Black gentleman walked in sat down and decided to order. As the korean waitress was about to take the order a korean man interrupted her as he was about to give his order. Instead of finishing to take the order she dropped everything and went over to his table to take his order. I saw the man visibly upset and he get up and left. When the waitress went back to the table she noticed that he was gone. I scolded the waitress for being so rude. Her reaction was..Ooops I made a mistake,, no big deal.
Korea and Japan is handful of nation where almost everyone in that country is one ethnicity. When I immigrated to USA when I was a kid, the whole concept of different ethnic group residing in one country was a very different concept for me. Lack of ethnic diversity in Korea certainly is contributing to many Korean's misunderstanding and sometimes racist attitude toward Afican Amaricans. But, there are also many Korean Americans who are quite embarrassed about that as well and want to change the situation.

People should also realize that racism goes both ways. I went to college in Newark, NJ in a predominantly black neighborhood. When walking in and out of the campus I've been called "chink", "gook" and other profanities from black people in the neighborhood many times. I think it's a shame that there is so much animosity between people. It makes me sad at times.

Posted by: A. Yoon | June 21, 2007 12:08 AM

Although the topic seems to be race tensions which is about as likely to be solved as landing on the sun, here's the real issue behind this story:

Local DC government and lawmakers are made up mostly of crack smoking convicted felons which protect themselves no matter what as this and other unethical and unlawful activity is engrained into the DC political culture. Judge Pearson is just another knucklehead in the mix.

The DC voting public seem to love this type of leadership even though DC is a rathole, continues to have increasing crime and the highest unsolved murder rate in the nation. And what else would you expect there as likely, it would also have to rate very high in racial tensions.

CLEAN UP THE LEADERSHIP WITH REAL LEADERS WHO ARE SINCERELY COMMITTED TO MAKE DC A BETTER PLACE FOR ALL RACES.

Posted by: John K. | June 21, 2007 3:05 AM

I'm sorry, is the writer of this article trying to justify Pearson's ridiculous lawsuit because the owners are Korean, and therefore, like all Koreans they are mean businessmen? Is he really citing two examples of mean businessmen and using that as a platform to argue that all Koreans run a nasty business? Talk about inciting racial tension; is this what passes for journalism?

Posted by: John | June 21, 2007 5:59 AM

Incidentally, does anyone know what so many of East Asian descent are historically involved in the dry cleaning business?

We all have a lot in common--racially abused by rich white folks. (That includes Italians, Irish, and other currently "white" groups.)

Oh, and if you do about 5 minutes of googling, you should be able to find a pretty good indicator on the impact of racism on real estate searching and buying/selling.

Posted by: xian | June 21, 2007 8:11 AM

When any of us honestly examine ourselves, we find that we're unpleasant when our lives are miserable; circumstances can magnify that but aren't the reasons for what is a condition of the human heart. We are all prone to externalize what really is a problem with ourselves, and until we each take a crack at exploring that, nothing will change, people won't change, I won't change. This is a timeless, universal problem--it doesn't matter if you're black, white, Korean, whatever.

That said, I was elated at the grace that flowed out from the Virginia Tech tragedy, and I was elated that Mr. Fenty could appoint a certain Ms. Rhee. I thought, wow, we've come a long way from 1992. But I am saddened and disappointed by The Post's irresponsible reporting and the tenor of the comments posted here, throwing gas on embers.

Posted by: JY | June 21, 2007 8:42 AM

xian, have you thought about moving back to your native Asian country if things here are so bad?

Posted by: Bye-Bye | June 21, 2007 8:43 AM

If the Korean-black conflict really is driven by very different behavioral mores, would the solution be both sides learning to recognize those differences, and not to take different mores as personal slights? Don't we lock ourselves into perceptual prisons when we assume that our own behavioral mores are the only ones to have?

Posted by: Tonio | June 21, 2007 8:47 AM

One cannot be a racist unless one is in a position of power and is able to wield that power over another ethnic group.

Slavery - Jim Crow - Profiling

The only group with any real power is the one controlling the Armed Forces.
(White Folks)

Who created weapons of mass destruction?
(White Folks)

Who put Saddam in power then took it away?
(White Folks)

Who helped Noriega sell drugs?
(White Folks)

Remember the Shah Of Iran?
(White Folks)

See where I'm going?

And I can still say...
some of my best friends are white folks.

go figure.

Posted by: mike | June 21, 2007 9:20 AM

What is interesting about this Korean/African American dichotomy is that there is another ethnic group that has invested heavily in urban service businesses, such as gas stations, motels and convenenience stores--Indians, who may actually be from India or Pakistan, but who seem pretty much the same to this baby boomer white guy.

Yet no one ever speaks of conflict between Indians and African-Americans. Does it not occur? If so, is that possibly because Indian and Pakistani immigrants generally have a better command of English than Korean immigrants?

Or is it just because all Americans, whatever their race, color or creed, love Apu from the Quickee Mart?

Posted by: Jack | June 21, 2007 9:25 AM

How is it that poor immigrants that don't know English and don't know "American culture" can supposedly monopolize business in ghettos?

Weren't blacks in these neighborhoods born in America? Isn't their only language English? Did they ever go to school in America? Don't they supposedly know what "American customer service" is and how American businesses are run?

Then how come they can't do what Koreans can do even in their OWN neighborhoods?

Are Koreans some kind of geniuses or are blacks some special kind of stupid to let this happen? Think about it.

I've spoken to numerous immigrants from Asia who HAVE JOBS and some are making a very good living. They didn't know English, they didn't go to American schools, they didn't know American culture, they were thousands of miles from their origin and sometimes in areas where they weren't wanted simply because of their skin color and eye shape. They worked long hours, and now their kids are getting an American education and going to good American universities so they won't have to work at the laundy or the restaurant like their parents.

So these Asian immigrants are doing better than a certain type of people who were born here and raised here. And in their own neighborhoods, too. Who's fault is that?

Posted by: Answer? | June 21, 2007 9:28 AM

"One cannot be a racist unless one is in a position of power and is able to wield that power over another ethnic group."

Right on Mike!

Great examples too. Whites can be quite the power-hungry race. They have done so much to keep others down/dead. Still do.

Interestingly enough, most of my best friends are white too. I guess as a person of color, I subconciously need to be around whites to help advance my career, get hot women and travel to the Hamptons. The company you keep really does affect the quality of your life.

Posted by: Me | June 21, 2007 9:45 AM

I had not idea Pearson is black until I read this article. Is his race suppose to change the way people look at this lawsuit? The entire time I thought Pearson was just a really really stupid man.

Posted by: Jen | June 21, 2007 9:49 AM

My parents own a building in Southeast DC on Martin Luther King, and ended up leasing the space to a young, African-American dentist who wanted to build a business in the 99.99% black community there. He seemed kind, jovial, and open about who he was and what his intentions were. Time went by and his monthly payments progressively came less on time until eventually he was not paying his rent. He kept claiming that he did not have any money even though his business was doing quite well from all accounts. To make matters worse, he'd done some internal renovation work without the notice or approval of my parents, including an X-ray room he had built (which coincidentally did not have any lead shielding and was just a piece of ply-wood). After 4 years of this, this young dentist walked away without having paid his last 3 months of rent and a boatload of money. My parents were stuck with a trashed office space (yes, he left it in a mess), owed rent (he didn't leave a forwarding address), and bad memories. What kind of impression did this leave on my parents of African-Americans? Zilch. They were just left with a poor-impression of that particular young dentist. Why hold an entire group of people hostage for the actions of one moron?

Posted by: bumblefreak | June 21, 2007 10:07 AM

To Ick, I've had 3 Korean girlfriends. Just FYI.

Posted by: May | June 21, 2007 10:11 AM

"Are Koreans some kind of geniuses or are blacks some special kind of stupid to let this happen? Think about it."

Black commentators such as William Raspberry have suggested that the black community suffers from a sociological form of post-traumatic stress disorder. Just as individuals raised by emotionally or physically abused parents lack self-esteem, as the theory goes, an entire culture that endured similar abuse (slavery and Jim Crow) can suffer the same lack of confidence to some degree.

Posted by: Tonio | June 21, 2007 10:32 AM

Great. Another "neutral" idiot trying to incite racial tension based on the fact that the parties just happen to be, well, not white. There is truly no point to this story other than to incite anger over a non-issue. Please be more responsible.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 21, 2007 10:56 AM

May: That's fine. My opinion still stands - no self-respecting woman should take that kind of attitude that treats her like a piece of meat. With the demeaning rhetoric that you've used here, I doubt that these women were attracted to you for your mind.

Back on topic - whatever black/Korean tensions there may be, I think a great deal can be attributed to simple misunderstandings over cultural mores. What isn't acceptable in one area is considered perfectly respectable in another, and there's nothing wrong with either way. A lack of eye contact or some tossed change doesn't mean this person has a personal vendetta against you - but on the other hand, it wouldn't hurt for shopkeepers to make a small effort to change the way they greet customers. It would make a big difference if both sides would just acknowledge each other's gripes and what the other is dealing with on a daily basis. Sad that that's easier said than done.

Posted by: Ick | June 21, 2007 11:55 AM

Just as an addendum: I don't want my first comment to be seen as a personal attack - I just disagree with what's been said here about Korean women, and hope that those who touted them like hot tarted-up trophies will consider how that could be seen as pretty offensive.

Posted by: Ick | June 21, 2007 12:00 PM

YEAH .. I GOT ME LIKE 3 KOREAN GIRLS!! LOL I also got me bout 10 black girls, 20 latinas, and about 30 white girls. Check it out, no one gives much credit to your online love life. Didn't you know, everyone on the internet has way too many girls to handle, I mean people get on the the net just so they can give their penis a rest. Oh a little tid bit for you, everyone's e-penis is at least 15 inches and can go for MONTHS!! You didn't know? Everyone on the internet is getting more action than a porn star here. Keep your player stories to yourself - NO ONE CARES ITS THE INTERNET!

Posted by: Diggity | June 21, 2007 12:19 PM

Speaking in terms of Majority...
MAJORITY of 1st generation korean merchants open their business in black neighborhood, because they think(like to know your opinion) blacks spend their money more freely. Also, MAJORITY of 1st gen korean merchants can't speak English well (even though most have high education), so they tend to pick a business that requires less conversation (dry cleaners, beauty supplies, corner grocers). They can forget about working for a company.
MAJORITY of 1st gen Koreans think MAJORITY of people where their shops are thugs or the one who steals items (b/c it happens frequently). MAJORITY of blacks don't like these 1st gen Koreans b/c they are rude and takes away their money but don't contribute to the neighborhood (majority lives in affluent white neighborhood). In summary, 1st gen Koreans have their shops in black neighborhood because they have to, and majority of blacks don't like it.

For korean shop owners, everyday is viewed as going into a battle ground b/c you never know when you are going to get shot.

Solutions: there aren't any.
Advises for Korean mercants: 1st Gen Korean merchants require some sort training that MAJORITY doesn't means everybody.
Advises for blacks: I think Bill Cosby put it well. Better education and get out of the ghetto.

Peace.

Posted by: Peace | June 21, 2007 12:23 PM

"Posted by: woof | June 20, 2007 09:58 AM" WELL PUT!!!

Posted by: dasmaks | June 21, 2007 12:40 PM

"the black community suffers from a sociological form of post-traumatic stress disorder"

This is just another excuse for self-pity and laziness. The Irish suffered through famine and the Jews suffered through the Holocaust but they rose above the hardships to make life better for themselves, their families, and their fellow people. Even black South Africans have risen higher since the end of Apartheid than blacks in the U.S.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 21, 2007 12:51 PM

"One cannot be a racist unless one is in a position of power and is able to wield that power over another ethnic group."

Are you effing kidding me? What kind of simplistic nonsense is that crap? Being a racist is a thought process, it's defined as a prejudiced belief that one race is superior to others. Having the power to do damage with racism is an entirely different matter, but to claim that one cannot be a racist unless one is a member of the power structure borders on imbecilic. It's really nothing but a justification to hold certain beliefs. After all, it's OK to hate if you're on the bottom looking up, right?

Mindless BS. But I guess it helps folks sleep well at night.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 21, 2007 12:53 PM

The Pearson case has nothing to do with race. It has everything to do with a vindictive, petty, bitter man abusing the flawed system. This is the same man who peppered his ex-wife with 200+ requests for information in their divorce hearings. This is a man who refused numerous attempts to recompensate him for his lost pants.

The race thing only comes up because of the media. Makes for an interesting angle, but it has little to do with Pearson vs Chungs.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 21, 2007 1:10 PM

Another aspect of black/Korean tensions is something that has always seemed irremediable to me: how do I as a black person separate racist rudeness from rudeness in general? Knowing how much racism there still is in the world, it's very easy for me to think the Korean (or white or Hispanic or whatever) salesclerk is dissing me because I'm black, when she may very well be just as rude to anyone and everyone else. I can't put myself in the body of a white woman and experience the same rudeness firsthand, so it's easy for me to believe it's directed at me and my race even if it isn't. If anyone's got a solution for this one, I'd like to know.

Posted by: Sam | June 21, 2007 1:11 PM

I was born to an African American father and a Korean mother. Since my skin is dark and my eyes are light brown, I come off as black to most people.

What Ive learned in my life, is to try to take a moment to identify with people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds by learning about them and their culture. I dont want to assume that folks in less afluent areas are ignorant, but when I go into a store or restaurant owned by latinos, asians, or even italians, I try to observe what the acceptable behavior is and remember Im in someone elses place of business and to respect their traditions.

Posted by: A-Brown | June 21, 2007 1:12 PM

I don't think the tension is specific to Koreans. Many towns with black and immigrant populations see the same thing, whether the immigrants are from Asia, Europe, or South America. Usually in this country, new immigrants are on the bottom of the ladder. One quick way to advance a rung is to find someone to regard as lower than you. When they look around at the newspapers, local news, local community, it is pretty easy to see which group is regarded as the bottom.

Black people, on the other hand, see the newcomers acting superior, when they should have to earn their place like everyone else has had to. The typical reaction is hostile. Why shouldn't it be? Why the heck should the immigrant grocers, gas station attendants, etc, get to assume that I'm a criminal, a lower class citizen, good only for my money before they usher me to the door?

Posted by: College Park | June 21, 2007 1:15 PM

when it comes to Asian-owned businesses and customer service, -what kind of customer service do you expect when you are paying 1 dollar to dry-clean a shirt or 4 bucks for a lunch-plate?


Most Asian business are family-run and the person you see at the counter is likely working 7 days a week / 15 hrs a day. If I had to work those insane hours just to make a 20 cent profit on a 1 dollar dry cleaning shirt I would be a little grumpy too.

Posted by: regarding customer service -get a grip! | June 21, 2007 1:22 PM

This is Bull###. I'm black and I've been treated with nothing but respect by Koreans. Maybe some blacks need to check their own bedside manner.

Posted by: Rob | June 20, 2007 04:26 PM

--- THANK YOU ROB! Thas the attitude every person need to have!!!!

My parents have owned small businesses my whole life in urban, Black neighborhoods...there were good and bad people....there were good people who did bad things....and there were bad people who did bad, too...and yet even for the bad kids...they could say my parents cared more for them then their own parents...I can't count how many times my parents would put in extra food, or give out odd jobs to the neighborhood kids, they'd also have customers' home numbers on hand in case anything happened to their kids. They've been shot at and robbed, yet do not judge a whole people.

My dad came to the defense of one neighborhood kid b/c the cops thought he had attempted robbery. And same guy moved on to have a good life and get married...first stop after the church ceremony was my parents carry-out to say thank you. My parents couldn't attend the wedding but prepared a monetary gift for the new couple, that guy was another son to them. My parents look down on other Korean business owners who try don't adhere to proper business practices b/c it gives them a bad name.

We're ALL different.

Posted by: CDP | June 21, 2007 1:37 PM

So let me get this streight there is a battle between two ethinic minorities, because they have different beliefs and cutlures and don't seem to get along. A few times battles and riots have broken out? So when does Bush send in the troops and wipe out both sides ala Bosina and Iraqi? When people get alone it is because they have been able to see beyond their differences and put their own intersts above those of the community. Obiously when things get bad people tend to try and seperate themselves from each other. If Canadians started to attack Koreans and Blacks (African Americans), I am sure they would find a need to survive together (or maybe we are both too stuborn and would die together). Maybe one day Koreans will culturally see being customer oriented is good business practice. Maybe African Americans will see being hostail towards non Afrian Americans will bring them respect. If we don't face what the issues are though and pretend it is about 65 millions dollars I don't think it accompishes anything. At first I thought what a Jack Butt this Judge was, but then reading the comments I find it interesting that he had to got to these extremes to be heard. I feel the longer we hide our true feelings towards others (due to being politically correct) the longer and more frustrated both side will become. Lets face it Americans are very divided (prejudice) just as the rest of the world is. If one person does something stupid and the other retalites both are stupid. Race doesn't matter. Both these people are probably good people, just over reacting to things they have held inside for so long. The V Tech killer, The suiced bomber on 9/11 and Judge Pierson all have made a statement and taken it their frustrations on stranges and people they feel alienated from.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 21, 2007 1:50 PM

Looks like the white media is looking to stir up another riot with poor reporting that pits two racial groups against each other. Note the unbalanced testimonies highlighting two obviously awful places of business. And wow, looking at rosemary's quote...talk about misguided.

Posted by: Truth | June 21, 2007 2:18 PM

Let's cut through the crap and hyperbole.

From Merriam-Webster Online:

Main Entry: rac•ism
Pronunciation: 'rA-"si-z&m also -"shi-
Function: noun
1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
2 : racial prejudice or discrimination
- rac•ist /-sist also -shist/ noun or adjective

http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/racism

So, by definition #1 a racist is one who believes that race is a determining factor of inherent superiority, and by definition #2 a racist can be ANYBODY who practices prejudice or discrimination based upon a persons race.

That means anybody, NO MATTER WHAT Race, can be a racist because of their actions. The color of your skin doesn't make you a racist, your environment doesn't make you a racist, your parents didn't make you a racist (no matter how hard they try) ... YOU make YOU a racist.

It makes racists so obvious a blind person could SEE them for what they are.

Posted by: SoMD | June 21, 2007 2:25 PM

"This is just another excuse for self-pity and laziness. The Irish suffered through famine and the Jews suffered through the Holocaust but they rose above the hardships to make life better for themselves, their families, and their fellow people."

And that's what blacks should do as well. That was my point.

Posted by: Tonio | June 21, 2007 2:26 PM

Yeah. You have people like May saying it's okay for black business owners to yell at white people in their hood, saying he hates Korean business owners, but loves Korean women because they are very "appetising."

Great way to spell, you ignorant ass. Also another great quote from May.

"White folks can live anywhere they want, Blacks can't."

But if you weren't black, I'm sure you would yell at Black people to get out of your neighborhood as a business owner, hate Black business owners, but love Black women because they are "appetising."

Posted by: DT | June 21, 2007 3:12 PM

To be honest, I like black people more than white people. I love black people! The thing is, I'm a 33 yr old white woman from Virginia. I'm married to a black man. Does that make me racist that I feel blacks are superior to whites? Hmm...

Posted by: Sonia | June 21, 2007 3:16 PM

Hey DT, Korean women are the hottest thing on this planet. Black women, white or Australian women for that matter, can't stack up to that good 'ol Korean sweetness.

And hey, why is it so wrong to COMPLIMENT a race? Korean women will always be "appetising", like little delicacies that give me a delightful or pleasing.

Posted by: May | June 21, 2007 3:23 PM

...feeling all over.

Posted by: May | June 21, 2007 3:25 PM

if you're going to stereotype all Korean business owners as disrespectful, rude, etc., then you are no better than those Korean business owners who stereotype Black people as thieves, hoodlums, etc.

All people are different regardless of race.

This isn't about race. It's about a scumbag who uses his position to give people a hard time. Apparently he did the same to his ex-wife during their divorce.

Posted by: md | June 21, 2007 3:29 PM

I'm not racist, I have PREFERENCES. Just like everyone else in the world. Just FYI.

Posted by: May | June 21, 2007 3:30 PM

Sonia, you go girl!!!! When will we ever see pass color or race? Can we all just get along. As a black woman, I know racism from the past and the present. Some whites, Latinos, and Asians will remind blacks, they are dark skin Negroes. Asians and Latinos have fair or light skin with straight hair. Hair texture mean a lot in this society on superority. Many Latinos identity with being white, because they have straight hair and fair skin. I was looking a some profiles on the internet, and middle eastern men identified their race as white. Hopefully, God and Satan want discriminate in Heaven and Hell.

Posted by: Brenda Martin | June 21, 2007 3:30 PM

Brenda Martin, and us whites are called crackers cause we have light skin!

Posted by: Salted | June 21, 2007 3:40 PM

Thanks, Brenda Martin!

I still have not had a reply to my question of whether I'm a racist. I'm seriously curious what to you all think.

Just to reiterate, I like black people more than white people. The thing is, I'm a 33 yr old white woman from Virginia. I'm married to a black man. I feel blacks are superior to whites.

So am I racist?

I've been battleing with this question for years.

Posted by: Sonia | June 21, 2007 3:49 PM

Move to the midwest and you won't have costumer service problems.

You see, what I just said was stereotypical. We humans have this primitive trait of grouping and classifying. Sometimes it helps us, like when we classify animals to understand evolution; sometimes it hurts us, like when we say racist things.

Just remember that next time when you feel like saying or doing something racist, just take a moment and think your actions over. A little bit of logic and intellect from the outer layers of the brain will help you see through the primitive firings of the human brain.

Posted by: Jerry | June 21, 2007 3:54 PM

I'm married to a black man. I feel blacks are superior to whites.

So am I racist?
Posted by: Sonia | June 21, 2007 03:16 PM
**********************************
"Am I a racist?"
Is the question she has asked.
Of course, IDIOT!!!

Posted by: Pants Haiku | June 21, 2007 4:05 PM

You say you are white.
And blacks are superior???
You are a blowhard.

Posted by: Pants Haiku | June 21, 2007 4:13 PM

Are you implying that--

i) Korean inner city shop owners, in general, behave differently than non-Korean inner city shop owners?; and

ii) Korean inner city shop owners, in general, treat black customers differently from non-black customers?

If both answers are not yes, you are manufacturing racial tension than addressing them.

Posted by: Eric | June 21, 2007 4:24 PM

It's sad that someone has the nerve to say "get out of our country." I was born here and I'm Korean and I also owned a business on the South Side of Chicago (Ghetto). Koreans work hard to make money wether running a business or becoming a doctor or lawyer. Our parents make sure we are succesful in life as model citizens. If you ever goto a store in the Ghetto and watch how the customers treat not only the Korean owned businesses but every other group it's not very easy to deal with yet we do it to make a better living to support ourselves and our families. Everytime I see a police officer pull over a car filled with African Americans the officers search the passengers as well as the car. Anytime I get pulled over or some of my white friends get pulled over, they ask us for our drivers lic and insurance card and that's it. My point is that African Americans are stereotyped for a reason and that reason has nothing to do with any other races but your own. I now operate a business in the suburbs and it's heaven. Lets get away from racial tension for some moron sueing a cleaners for 54 million dollars. He's just plain stupid and not only will he lose this lawsuit but is about to lose his job as well.

Posted by: dan | June 21, 2007 6:11 PM

African Americans really need to learn from Korean business owners. Koreans come here (like my parents) from a different country, can't speak a word of english, have no type of credit, and start a business. If you don't like us Koreans in your area doing business you should start your own. If you go around this great country of ours and look at some of the store signs in these areas you will see "BLACK OWNED." Who is being racist? For the lady who is married to the African American who thinks blacks are superior, you mam are a moron for asking "am I a racist." She's probably married to Pearson. You will find rude people in all races and if you don't like one store owner don't do business there. It's so freaking simple yet all I hear are complaints.

Posted by: dan | June 21, 2007 6:24 PM

Brenda Martin, the only ones who care about light skinned and straight hair is African Americans. I've witnessed African Americans treat darker skinned African Americans like crap because they are darker. You also say "you go girl" to some white lady that says "blacks are superior to whites" but you say we should all look pass the color and race.

Posted by: dan | June 21, 2007 6:31 PM

As a 2nd generation Korean store owner's daughter for 20 years, please take into consideration people who come into a store screaming:

1) Go back to your country
2) ching ching chong
3) is that smell dog since that's what all you people eat
4) Yellow SOBs
5) and then shoot your father dead.

Posted by: daughter | June 21, 2007 7:23 PM

As a 2nd generation Korean store owner's daughter for 20 years, please take into consideration people who come into a store screaming:

1) Go back to your country
2) ching ching chong
3) is that smell dog since that's what all you people eat
4) Yellow SOBs
5) and then shoot your father dead.

Posted by: daughter | June 21, 2007 7:23 PM

"I'm a bleeding heart liberal, but even us "can't we all get along" folks tend to get a little hard-hearted once they've been commanded to lay face down on a sidewalk with a gun held to the back of their head by some teenage thug living out a Death Row Records fantasy. Black America has got a whole lot of inhouse cleaning to do before they can reasonably expect not to be treated with suspicion (motivated by self-preservation) by their wary neighbors (including shop keepers)."

I did not hold the gun to your head. I was nowhere around. The kid holding the gun to your head is not my child or friend. I do not know him. I do not look like him. I do not talk like him. So while we may share complexions, he is no more my responsibility or problem than yours. There is no ``black America``. There is just ``America``.

Reading all of this, it seems to me that

(a) Koreans should not open cleaners in black neighborhoods; it makes little sense to me to do business under circumstances in which you are suspicious of your customer base. If you do, deal with it when they act in the manner you suspected of them in the first place.

(b) Blacks should not patronize Korean cleaners; why patronize someone you think hates you? If you do -- because you are too lazy to act on your convictions -- deal with it when they act in the manner you suspected of them in the first place.

(c) There are a whole lot of ig`nant black folk.

(d) There are a whole lot of racist whites.

(e) Nothing gets the posters' juices flowing like the oppo to express racial hatred. Keep all that in mind next time there's some catastrophe and the only person capable of helping you is of a race you scorn. Personally, the only person I'd leave to his own devices is Marc, but that is because I reserve my hate for lazy journalists.

Posted by: RL | June 21, 2007 8:04 PM

Ron, I ran a business on the south side of Chicago for many years and it was customers like yourself that made my day better not because you are nice but because you have COMMON SENSE. I treat the customer the way they treated me. If they came in calling my gook or saying crap like ching chong I would not be that nice or helpful. If a customer came in and spoke like a respectful person I would treat him as such. I did employ kids from the area where I had a store and out of 10 I would say only 2 were fired for stealing. The really bad thing is that out of 10 customers I would have only 2 (Rons)that were respectful and I would go out of my way to tell that customer how much I appreciated him or her. I have met some very respectful African Americans who I can honestly say that I would think of as a friend or even look up to as a person but the rest of the community is bringing them down and it's sad that hard working African Americans are paying the price.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 21, 2007 8:24 PM

Abe Lincoln wanted to send the slaves back to Africa, but he was assinated because of this idea. If he wasn't shot and the slaves were sent back, would this mess still be happening?

Posted by: Just asking | June 21, 2007 9:17 PM

I have to say all this hate and prejudice really disturb me. Does it make everyone feel better to put down a person of another race and make themselves feel better? Racism stems from ignorance and you know after traveling alot the rest of the world views Americans as ignorant red necks don't give in to that stereotype. There are good koreans and bad koreans. Good African Americans and not so nice ones. I know people use the example of how all those robberies in the district are done by blacks but believe it is economically driven and not because they are black. I'm sick of the race issue. Blacks against Asians, Asians against other Asians. Its true though I'm koreans american and many koreans in korea discrimnate against blacks. its not an inherent trait among koreans but due to the fact that they are a very homogeneous country they don't respond well to foreigners. The Japanese are the same. Some stores in Japan say "no foreigners allowed". You do have to admit that back when America was mostly white they did not react well to immigrants and foreigners either. Peace

Posted by: MHL | June 21, 2007 10:57 PM

The term racist has been thrown out so many times it has lost much of its meaning and shock value. I get called a racist quite often, and that has become an indicator to me that I have won an argument and my opponent has nothing of value to respond with. What I constantly witness is blacks offering excuse after excuse as to why they cannot or will not succeed. My apartment complex was very nice and peaceful until a group of 'thugs' moved in in March. Now there is loud music almost every night, horns blown instead of knocking on the door, another fight Sunday in the parking lot, and constant trash left around. I call the police about once a week, since my cordial confrontations go unheeded or are met with disdain.
Am I supposed to believe that they show a complete disregard for their neighbors because of slavery 150 years ago, or the civil rights movement 40 years ago?
They wear their pants so low their ass-cheeks are visible through their underwear, then expect to be taken seriously? Yeah, right.
They let their early-teen aged children roam around at all hours of the night, then try to blame whites on their high crime rates? Yeah, right.
They shoot each other over the color of a bandana, then demand respect? Yeah, right.
They still act so angry about slavery, but never mention their fellow Africans who captured them and sold them to the slave-traders. Even though their ancestors had to endure the evils of slavery, they do not recognize where they would be had their ancestors NOT been brought here. Has anyone looked at Africa lately?

Why do they have to come into a nice place and mess it up, like my apartment complex? Have they ever moved into an area and made it nicer? I thought they only wanted to get out of the ghetto, but no, they are trying to make a new one here.

And of course this does not apply to everyone. Many black folks have become successful and contribute to the fabric of America.


Posted by: AngryRealist | June 21, 2007 11:05 PM

Dan, why do Koreans open up their businesses in black neighborhoods? If you and other Koreans don't like blacks, keep your businesses in a Korean area or white neighborhood. You are wrong Dan, many Hispanics focus on their skin color and hair texture, and they look down on Afro Latinos or Hispanics. White Cubans in Miami are very racist against Afro Cubanos. Dan you don't know what you are talking about. Go back to Korea.

Posted by: The Black DiVa | June 22, 2007 1:22 AM

AngryRealist

Haha.You say all of those negatives things and then add a little disclaimer at the end.Nice :)

The Black DiVa

Are you even serious?

Posted by: james | June 22, 2007 7:33 AM

Hey Angry Realist,

So basically you're saying "some dem niggas are good, but most of dem is bad"

Racist-ass

Posted by: Me | June 22, 2007 9:29 AM

Blacks rob, steal, act like ignorant trash, are dumb as monkeys, and can't seem to get off their asses to make something of themselves even though the White Man hands them life on a silver platter.

If it's not the White man, it's Koreans. If it's not Koreans, it's Jews.

Stop blaming other people and open your own damn stores you lazy nigs!

Posted by: Michael | June 22, 2007 10:09 AM

Michael, open their own stores? What, other than hair and nail joints? HA!

Posted by: Gotta get my hair done | June 22, 2007 10:29 AM

Whites have killed millions of people, caused slavery and smell like wet dogs.

If you want Blacks to go back to our country, then pay for our travel costs... you're the ones that brought us here in the first place!

Idiot.

Posted by: Are | June 22, 2007 10:56 AM

Let Jesus enter into your heart.

Posted by: Peace | June 22, 2007 11:04 AM

To Michael - Why is the white man handing
out life?
I guess you really do believe your God.

Look at history. The white man has done nothing but take.
Everywhere you go you leave a trail of death.

But realize this if nothing else:

As evidenced by the growing population of those of colour. The white man will become extinct. You are already on the endangered
species list. Yes, you are your own species.

Thru evolution or revolution.
It is just a matter of time.

Posted by: mike | June 22, 2007 11:11 AM

Dan,
I am not quite sure about your motives for this article. Are you trying to encourage the African-Americans in the community to rise up against hard working Korean-Americans that worked so hard to build good relationship with others? Is this your way of 'divide-and-conquer' tactic, so you can make more headliners?

This case has nothing to do with race. It's about an individual venting his anger at a merchant for losing his pants, after his bitter divorce. He could have easily vented his anger at, let's say, Wal-Mart. He just happens to be a black, and the merchant happens to be a Korean-American. Please don't use this cheap race card.

About the superintendent, black community would've had issues with the new appointment as long as the person was a non black. Blacks in this country have suffered injustice for too long, and they often vent their angers at someone.

When they are very strong, they even vent their angers at powerful white societies (e.g. Wal-Mart, McDonald's, U.S. Government, etc.). However, such cases are extremely rare. Instead, they often vent their angers at people that are weaker. They happen to be economically and politically weaker Latinos, Asians and less fortunate whites. This is very sad, but eqally true.

From what I see, blacks are directing their angers at the wrong places for the wrong reasons and causes. I hope this trend can reverse at some point. However, white journalists, such as you, are not allowing this to happen, because you continue to use cases such as this to divide minorities in this country.

from very concerned citizen

Posted by: Jim | June 22, 2007 11:20 AM

If DC becomes a state, DC can have Senator Marion Barry and Senator Roy Pearson. :)

They won't be any worse than the current Senators.

Posted by: stewart | June 22, 2007 12:00 PM

Hey, RL. You mention that LA black community had a significant grievance with the Korean community in 1992 and reference an article:

``L.A.'s black community was primed to explode by an earlier incident. Several months prior to the King-beating verdict, Latasha Harlins, a 15-year-old black girl, was shot and killed by a Korean grocer in an altercation over a bottle of orange juice."

What you fail to mention is that, if I remember the incident correctly, the girl was stealing the bottle of orange juice and when confronted, she physically assaulted the female owner who was a lot smaller. The female owner claimed self-defense, I believe.

Posted by: NC | June 22, 2007 12:44 PM

Some experiences from the West Coast from a Chinese American guy:

There is this HUGE Korean-American guy that I know from a basketball we play in. The guy is like 6'3", 250 pounds and intimidating presence when you run into him. I think overall he is a friendly guy but he comes off as very bossy and demanding to me in our interactions. He seems to only respect the people who run the basketball league we play in (which I don't fall into that category).

As far as general Asian/Black relationships go out here in the West Coast (San Fran Bay Area to be specific), I think it is better than most people would expect. Despite the dumbness of that "Why I Hate Blacks" article writer Kenneth Eng, everyone gets along. I referee basketball with black folks constantly and they are cool people.

Even if there was tension (like when Kenneth Eng article was written), there are so many Asian people (and activist groups) around that things are kept from getting out of hand.

That being said, I am sure there are still people (Asian, Black, White, Latino) who harbor ill will toward other racial groups. I've seen it and I've been on the receiving end of comments that can be best described as "racist".

Posted by: Don | June 22, 2007 12:54 PM

Black Diva, We do business in black areas because the money is good. I'll be blunt so a dumbass like yourself can understand. African Americans spend money and from what I've noticed so far is that not many of them like to save money or invest. It's all about cell phones, hair, nails, and shoes. I love to make money and make sure my future is good. If the opportunities are in a black area I will be there to make money. Until lazy people like yourself decide to get up and start your own businesses I will be there making my money. You say go back to Korea, is that all you have? We are all ignorant to other races and the only thing we can go by are what we see or experience in life with the other races and from what I've seen so far from African Americans fit the stereo type to a tee. It's just so sad to see the few that stand out being hurt by people like you. Don't just complain about things. Get out there and do something about it moron.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 22, 2007 1:50 PM

Korean Power!!!

Posted by: KP! | June 22, 2007 2:03 PM

Don (basketball referee from west coast),

What is your point? Are you saying Chinese are docile and cool, while Koreans are big, evil and hate blacks and other races?

I've seen many extremely violent Chinese-Americans who bossed people around them all the time. I've witnessed some of my Chinese neighbors treating their house maids very badly. I know, because those maids also take care of my house. The maids tell me that the Chinese people treat them very badly, almost as if they are their slaves. Does this mean that rich Chinese people always treat their house maids in a bad way. I don't think so.

Posted by: Jim | June 22, 2007 2:30 PM

Hey May, learn how to spell appetizing, you moron. When you pay for hookers, I guess you can compliment them any way you want.

I love the ignorance spewing from the comments. Look at who most of it is coming from.

Posted by: DT | June 22, 2007 2:35 PM

Hi NC, there was nothing I omitted intentionally. As I recall (and we are talking recollection), the owner SUSPECTED the girl of attempting to steal the OJ. The girl protested that she was not stealing, there may have been something along the lines of "why do you think all black people are thieves". I do not recall the black girl getting physical, she may have, I just do not know. I think it was videotaped, but again, I am not sure, and being that no one else on this blog -- especially lazy Marc -- seems to be overly concerned with facts, I am not going to take the time to google all this to be sure. Bottom line: if the owner/killer claimed self-defense, the defense failed because she was convicted. And got probation for a homicide case. Then, a few months later, you get cops videotaped beating Rodney King. And acquitted. So from a black perspective, there was substantial evidence to support a belief that black lives were worth less in the LA of that era. It simply was not as simple as lazy Marc set it out to be.

BTW, it has now been a week since the trial and still no verdict in the pants case. It appears that the judge at least thinks that Mr. Pearson's claim has some substance, because if it did not, it seems to me a short judgment would be quick to write. That`s not what the lynch-Mr. Pearson crowd wants to hear, of course. . .

Posted by: RL | June 22, 2007 2:50 PM

And speaking of, who is more hateful: the racist posters or Judge Pearson? Personally, I think it's the racists, so I'd like to see Judge Pearson get more than a minimal verdict, just so the racists can get their panties all in a knot. Marion Barry getting off just doesn`t have the same juice that it used to, so we need a new black man to p**s them off. And BTW, I lump Marc right in there with them -- he won`t hesitate to play the race card to stimulate visits to his blog, the income from which he used to keep his kids out of DCPS.

Posted by: RL | June 22, 2007 2:57 PM

Hey, RL. Didn't have to much googling after all. Here's the excerpt from Wikipedia (FWIW):

"Latasha Harlins (1976-1991) was a 15-year old African American girl shot and killed on March 16, 1991, by Soon Ja Du, a Korean American store owner. The South Los Angeles store, Empire Liquor, was normally staffed by Du's husband and son. However, on the morning of the shooting, Du was working behind the counter because her son had received death threats from local gang members against whom he was testifying in court and her husband was out resting in the family's van. Harlins' death came just 13 days after the videotaped beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles Police Department officers.

In a video captured by the security camera in the store, Latasha Harlins was seen putting a $1.79 bottle of orange juice into her backpack. Du observed this action by Harlins, but did not notice that Harlins had then approached the store's counter with money in her hand. Empire Liquor had frequent problems with shoplifting and burglary, as did most grocery markets in the area. Du confronted Harlins by grabbing Harlins' sweater. Harlins responded by punching Du at least three times, knocking Du to the ground. Du then threw a stool and immediately reached under the counter to retrieve a handgun. Harlins threw the orange juice onto the counter, turned and started to leave the store. Du fired once, hitting Harlins in the back of the head, and fainted."

The incident happened AFTER Rodney King beating and the girl DID assault the female owner. Understandable why the owner would claim self-defense.

Perhaps it is a cultural thing. If a small Asian woman grabbed my shirt, my first reaction would definitely NOT be hitting the woman in the face three times and knocking her to the ground.

Posted by: NC | June 22, 2007 3:27 PM

RL, you don't seem to remember the video but remember the conversation? I saw the video and the black teenage girl was repeatly punching the lady. Of course that wasn't excessive enough to justify self-defense and she got convicted. And I'm still trying to figure out what your point is. Black lives are neglected when teenage moms and dads don't take responsibility of their action and let their kids run wild. BTW, pants trial is taking long because judge is trying to make sure that Mr. Pearson doesn't have too much wiggle room for appeal(he will definitely appeal the case). If you think he has a shot at winning the trial, you are a joke.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 22, 2007 3:30 PM

Dan, bite me!!!!

Posted by: Black DiVa | June 22, 2007 3:31 PM

Dan, bite me!!!!

Posted by: Black DiVa | June 22, 2007 3:31 PM

Dan, bite me!!!!

Posted by: Black DiVa | June 22, 2007 3:31 PM

Dan, bite me!!!!

Posted by: Black DiVa | June 22, 2007 3:31 PM

Hey Don,
I couldn't help but notice how utterly stupid you are. You're going to stamp a whole ethnic group based on a 6 foot plus basketball that isn't nice to you?

What does being a Chinese American from the West Coast have anything to do with this? The last time I looked, people will treat you the same no matter where you are or what coast you're from. Whether they don't like you because of your personality or something as ignorant as your race. Who cares what your race is and where you are from.

Posted by: DT | June 22, 2007 3:32 PM

wow. nice comeback, black diva. nice.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 22, 2007 3:36 PM

RL aka cc aka Pearson:

You still here? you can't leave alone? Apparently, you want to continue to antagonize the posters here. Verdict is scheduled to be released soon. Come back when they happened cuz we wanna bash your little sick fa#t further.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 22, 2007 3:39 PM

Black Diva,
Learn how to use a computer. Way to come back with a witty response to your ignorant posts.

Posted by: DT | June 22, 2007 3:39 PM

Listen, all you white folks were racist to Blacks for hunderds of years, with no repercussion. You enslaved us, you beat us, raped our women, etc. Why can't we do that back to you? Funny how when the laws changed to abolish slavery and to treat Blacks fairly, somehow you all made sure to protect yourselves by making it illegal for us to get your asses back. (Just by saying it's illegal for anyone to commit violence towards anyone else.) All I'm saying is that now it's the Black people's turn. Just trying to be fair, that's all. Since I can't enslave you, beat your ass and rape your white women, I have to resort to words. Sucks.

Posted by: May | June 22, 2007 3:40 PM

Wow. Nice comeback, May. Nice.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 22, 2007 3:42 PM

Black Diva,
Learn how to use a computer. Way to come back with a witty response to your ignorant posts.

Posted by: DT | June 22, 2007 3:42 PM

Black Diva,
Learn how to use a computer. Way to come back with a witty response to your ignorant posts.

Posted by: DT | June 22, 2007 3:44 PM

May, you're smart as sh*t! What do you do for a living anyways?

Posted by: DT | June 22, 2007 3:46 PM

I love you Black Diva!

DT, dumbass, she obviously hit the submit button 4 times on purpose to show the lever of her frustration with you. (She's been posting to this blog for quite a while now... I'm confident she knows how to use a computer. Why don't you learn how to use your brain.

Posted by: May | June 22, 2007 3:46 PM

This has nothing to do with Koreans and everything to do with the black community. People forget that tons of Koreans own stores in poor Latino neighborhoods too. How come the Latinos don't get angry at Koreans like the blacks? Because Latinos care more about taking care of their family that if some store owner puts change in their hands. I mean c'mon. The neighborhood I live has these a-holes working at 7-11 that yell at me because I read their magazines but my life is not so pathetic that I have to protest them.

Posted by: Urban Whiners | June 22, 2007 3:49 PM

Dt, Thanks for the compliment. I'm a lawyer by trade, but I've been teaching private high-school kids for the past 3 years.

Posted by: May | June 22, 2007 3:53 PM

That's right... teaching impressionable, young, rich, white kids.

Posted by: May | June 22, 2007 3:55 PM

Hey May,
Your confident that she knows how to use a computer? Wow, that means alot! We can all sleep easy at night now knowing you have confidence in someone calling herself Black Diva, knows how to use a computer. I don't think you've uttered anything smart throughout the past day or two. Why don't you change it up a bit and make a smart post? If you're capable. But I doubt it.

Posted by: DT | June 22, 2007 3:55 PM

The bottom line is that Pearson is a moron. Black diVa, I would bite you but only if you're hot. I'm not trying to cut on African Americans because I made a good living doing business in black areas. All I'm saying is that you as African Americans need to step up in this country. Don't make people like me think that you're the typical African American and do something that will make me think otherwise. Actions really do speak a lot louder than words. Are you HOT???

Posted by: dan | June 22, 2007 3:56 PM

Actually, sometimes I misteach them stuff on purpose... just to get back at the white race.

So when they grow up, they'll be dumber than their white counterparts and hopefully give the Black kids an advantage getting a job, etc.

Posted by: May | June 22, 2007 3:56 PM

Oops, I meant "...dumber than their BLACK counterparts and hopefully give the Black kids an advantage getting a job, etc."

Posted by: May | June 22, 2007 3:58 PM

Wow a lawyer by trade... so that means no law firm will hire you as a lawyer so you're tutoring white kids. You teaching them 1+1=3?

Posted by: DT | June 22, 2007 3:58 PM

Ding Ding Ding! You are smart DT. You're getting it.

Posted by: May | June 22, 2007 4:00 PM

I highly doubt you are a "lawyer by trade" and that you teach kids. You're way to ignorant for that.

Posted by: DT | June 22, 2007 4:00 PM

May is an idiot. His comments bring his race down. That's just so sad.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 22, 2007 4:02 PM

You're just as delusional as Pearson, either way. Keeping spitting out your ignorance... it's entertaining alot of people.

Posted by: DT | June 22, 2007 4:03 PM

Hey DT, why do you keep responding to me so much?

You gay?

You're gay, aren't ya?

Want some of this...?

Posted by: May | June 22, 2007 4:05 PM

Well, nice chattin with you white folks.

Now I've gotta run and teach these white kid's summer school classes.

White Power!

Posted by: May | June 22, 2007 4:09 PM

Nah man. It's because you keep typing but bullsh*t keeps coming onto the screen. You've said nothing smart. You think you're being witty. But you're not.

Witty comeback. Brilliant. It's dumbasses like you that would get knocked in two seconds if you were in the same room as me, saying all the stuff you've been typing.

Posted by: DT | June 22, 2007 4:10 PM

Yep, you're gay... you said you wanted to "knock" me. Is that gay-talk for the "backdoor" stuff you like?

Posted by: May | June 22, 2007 4:17 PM

May, nothing DT has said would make any of us feel that DT is attracted to you in anyway shape or form. All i see is you trying to bring up gay things which makes me think it's YOU who wants your fantasies to come true. You said you misteach the white kids so the black kids have a better chance of landing the better job. Why not just teach the black kids better so they can really make a difference in this society. I agree with DT that you're not a lawyer or a teacher and you fit the stereo typical black person which is nothing to brag about. Go collect your welfare check, go buy yourself a 40 and pass out.

Posted by: dan | June 22, 2007 4:35 PM

It's not about African American and Korean. It's really about crazy customer and rude owner. Let's face it. It happens everywhere not just in Korean-owned store. Why do you people make everything race-related issue? Pearson is on news everywhere world-wide. This is so embrassing! We became a laughing stock and our legal system a joke.

Posted by: Virginian | June 22, 2007 5:12 PM

BLACKS ARE THE MOST IGNORANT RACE AND THUS RACIST

Posted by: Truth | June 22, 2007 7:09 PM

White people don't use racial language except privately.

Blacks on the other hand LOVES to act KKK-like by harassing Latinos and Asians. Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity gave them more power than they deserve. Power to be racists.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 22, 2007 7:11 PM

May, you really, really, need to start taking your medicine again.

Posted by: Doctor White | June 22, 2007 8:45 PM

If you want Blacks to go back to our country, then pay for our travel costs... you're the ones that brought us here in the first place!

Posted by: Are | June 22, 2007 10:56 AM

Yet again, another statement that proves blacks are too lazy to get a job to earn money for their wants. They can spend thousands of dollars on crack, Northface, and Nike, but they just can't seem to afford that ticket back to the Motherland. I guess they're more content here because there's not much for them to steal in a third-world country.

Posted by: Easy Money | June 22, 2007 9:04 PM

Yes, DT is a little Queen!!!!!!! hahaha

Posted by: Black DiVa | June 22, 2007 9:25 PM

I concur, I think DT is a fudge packer also.

Posted by: Liberal Democrat | June 22, 2007 9:29 PM

Dan was that your brother at Virginia Tech. who went loco?

Posted by: Liberal Democrat | June 22, 2007 9:32 PM

Maybe this is a side affect in the Korean culture by being a smart a-- like Dan, they go nuts and kill people, plus here voices. The rag papers in the Grocery store stated, the shooter was a DL homosexual Dan.

Posted by: Liberal Democrat | June 22, 2007 9:34 PM

Maybe this is a side affect in the Korean culture by being a smart a-- like Dan, they go nuts and kill people, plus hear voices. The rag papers in the Grocery store stated, the shooter was a DL homosexual.

Posted by: Liberal Democrat | June 22, 2007 9:35 PM

You welfare queens and thugs can yap all you want, but we all know who the superior race is.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 22, 2007 11:01 PM

You know somehow we're the ones who keep ending up in the Ivy League despite being here only a few years. It's cause we work harder.

I think the Koreans ought to go back to Korea, because this disgusting piece of crap country is not worth their time.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 22, 2007 11:07 PM

A black person trying to insult another race by bringing up a murderous criminal? No need to say anything further.

Posted by: Urban Whiners | June 22, 2007 11:30 PM

Urban Whiners, you are wrong, I am a white male, not a black.

Posted by: Liberal Democrat | June 22, 2007 11:51 PM

Thanks Mr. White Male for telling us what to think. You know sometimes we poor ethnics just don't have the brainpower to think for ourselves.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 23, 2007 12:05 AM

Please go get better education and get out of ghetto. Koreans and other asians have passed you and now hispanics are about to wave good-bye to you guys. Heck, blacks from Africa has passed you by also. Have some sense of pride and go study.

Posted by: lazy | June 23, 2007 12:31 AM

Lazy, you name should be crazy. Most Hispanics drop out of school. Most Hispanics coming to the United States from Central America and Mexico are poor and uneducated. Drive thru Langley Park, Maryland, 11th & Park Rd. NW, and look at those savages hanging out drunk and on drugs. Parts of Ward 1 and 4 in the District have become Salvadorian barrios. Lazy, I think, you are a fudge packer too.

Posted by: Black DiVa | June 23, 2007 9:18 AM

Black DiVa, you have not said anything on this chat yet that reflects any intelligence that you may remotely possess. Your posts have been full of hate and rage. There are no signs of diplomacy within you. Do us a favor and go have your hair and nails done and don't come back.

Posted by: Liquid Gold | June 23, 2007 11:05 AM

Black Diva, you are missing the point. Only way to get out of the slum is to get better education. If you are satisfied being slightly better than hispanics, then you are hopelessly lost. You might say that you have the PhD degree, but I'm talking about the majority of blacks. Statistically they have the highest rate of dropouts and lowest number with undergraduate degrees. Now, what are you gonna do about that? Just blame the past and system and being lazy? No one pitty you anymore. Do something about it, damn it.

Posted by: lazy | June 23, 2007 12:38 PM

It's really sad that you would even bring up the Virginia Tech issue. Yes he was Korean and yes he was a total nut job. This post is about some moron bringing a lawsuit for 54 million dollars for a pair of pants and the tension between Koreans and African Americans. The Virginia Tech issue is really sad because so many people lost their lives and you think it's funny to suggest just because I'm Korean that I can be his brother. Stay on the topic and if you don't have anything constructive to say don't say anything.
Hispanics are hard working people who rarely complain. We have corners in Chicago where if you drive by you can see up to 100 Hispanic males who are not just standing there to mingle but waiting for odd jobs such as moving, painting, and other things. They are trying to make money to support families back home. So Black DiVa don't try to bring down another race just because you have nothing good to say about yours.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 23, 2007 2:09 PM

At least the Latinos actually do stuff for their communities. Blacks always whine about how other races come into their communities and open businesses. Then people ask the blacks why they can't open their own businesses and they bring up the usual: racism, Jim Crow, slavery blah blah. If you drive through a Latino neighborhoods their are a ton of Latino owned businesses. Go to a black neighborhood and you see Asians owning the businesses while the blacks are driving leased Navigators on leased 22 inch rims.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 23, 2007 2:45 PM

For the person who doesn't use your name and lazy. The both of you are on the verge of a nervous breakdown. By your ranting on here, I can see you are bi-polar. Please don't snap and start killing people.

Posted by: Black DiVa | June 23, 2007 7:57 PM

Black DiVa, I see by your last post that the crack shipment must have arrived. Or did they weave the yak hair in too tight?

Posted by: Pimp Daddy | June 23, 2007 9:45 PM

Sad. So very sad. Can someone else talk some sense into Black Diva? Is she refusing to hear me because I'm not black? All I said was that better education is the answer. I don't know about others out there, but I don't have much respect for a person who are uneducated AND lazy. Guess what, if someone has a PhD degree, whether they are black, white, yellow, brown, whatever, you know what you would call that person? Doctor. Instant respect. Of course, it's far more than just a title. With intellect comes power. With power, you can change the world. Now do something about it, damn it.

Posted by: lazy | June 24, 2007 1:08 AM

Pimp Daddy, it seems, you got to the crack pipe earlier. Lazy, I know you are not black, but a racist little Asian queen. I hope you are taking your medicine and don't go loco like your cousin.

Posted by: Black DiVa | June 24, 2007 2:10 AM

Just look around. Do you see any homeless Korean-Americans? Have you seen any other minority groups succeed this fast in few decades? If Koreans are so bad at running business, then the problem is with all those people who keep on giving business to rude Korean business owners. Stop having victim mentality! If you don't like the service, then realize you're in a country that runs on freedom to shop where ever you want. The fact stands. Koreans are successful. We came here and learned the system; and we are using the system to achieve the "American dream". Hey all those complainers, here's another reality to chew on: those Korean business owners' children will be your doctors and lawyers someday, if not already. So please stop with crying and complaining how some minority didn't treat you right. If you don't like the service go some where else because frankly, we Korean-Americans also hate complainers.

Posted by: Rich Korean | June 24, 2007 4:37 AM

I respectfully question the "philosophic value" of a few anecdotes of unhappy customers buying from Korean-American merchants. The typical dry cleaner moves hundreds or thousands of garments weekly.

The per capita income of Koreans in Korea, while increasing, has been lower than that of Black Americans as a whole during the past twenty years. Korea is not a "poor country" but it is hardly a rich one either. Its PCI is more like Portugal's than Switzerland's and even that is a recent uptick. Immigrants from any background are not necessarily reflective of their home country demographically, but it seems that if Black Americans have higher incomes than Koreans, there should perhaps be a large supply of Black-owned small businesses and Korean-American-owned businesses in black neighborhoods should be an fairly infrequent event, rather than often the norm.

This $56 million suit is beyond asinine. Most wrongful death suits don't claim such high damages.

Posted by: Crablaw Maryland Weekly | June 24, 2007 12:10 PM

Koreans?


South Korea absent ?


A defense official said Pentagon officials and U.S. veterans are upset that South Korea's government prevented all official representatives from attending the June 12 Victims of Communism Memorial ceremony, despite the fact that 54,000 Americans died retaking the country from communist North Korea after its 1950 invasion. Some 224,000 South Koreans also were killed in the war.


More than 1,000 people, including many foreign diplomats, attended the unveiling of the monument to honor the estimated 100 million people who have been victimized by communism since the Bolsheviks first seized power in Russia in 1917.


"There was not a single representative from the Republic of Korea, Korean Embassy or Korean War Veterans Groups," said the defense official, who noted that organizers were told that embassy personnel could not attend.


The official said it appears that the current pro-North Korea government in Seoul is "so interested in appeasement they will dishonor their own war dead killed by communism both in the North and South, during the Korean War and since."


Army Maj. Gen. John K. Singlaub, a former chief of staff of U.S. Forces Korea, said the South Koreans' failure to send a representative was an insult.


"Of all the nations that were attacked and occupied by communists, the United States lost more people trying to retake that land for the South Koreans and we suffered greatly," Gen. Singlaub said.


A South Korean Embassy spokesman could not be reached for comment.


Meanwhile, China's communist government protested the memorial ceremony. Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters June 13 that Beijing said the United States should stop "making ideological judgments" about other nations.


The death toll from communism in China has been estimated at 19.5 million to 75 million.


Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2007 1:23 PM

As a Japanese who has lived in Denver and Los Angeles, I have many Korean and African-American friends. I have seen how moneyed elites use obscene threats and the absurdly high costs of litigation to ruin peoples' lives. Yet as much as I absolutely despise unethical "professionals" like Pearson, I have seen Koreans who I considered trusted friends use the system to their advantage when it benefits them personally, and throw their non-Korean "friends" under the bus when it suits their purposes. There are two sides to every story. The perceived injustice in how that story is told only serves to perpetuate the cycle.

Posted by: Brian Hayashi | June 24, 2007 1:32 PM

Answer to Rich Korean posted at 4:37

Hey snot nose, you must be one of those
Annadale live at home pretty boys? you know
the ones who vie for the hand of the pretty
Korean lady when you get a good job or degree? I seen you in your BMW that Daddy
pays for. You dont impress me. Do you want
me to answer your questions? How did the
people get where they are in a few decades?
They use a guy named Tungston Park to
buy a few congressman, Who in turn allowed
the flow to come in. In so doing that
a lot of money had to come out of the country Political money so they use mules
to bringit in and then loaned the money for
the mules to buy business at double the
going rate. Want more? Then they pooled the money to buy the Bronx produce market
in full which was a whopping price to then
control produce in New York City.

Then they jacked the price of fruit through the roof so you can get to school
Its called monopoly works well in Asia


Want a little more ? then they decided to
form an association so strong to put a monopoly on the dry cleaning industry in
Fairfax and keep it closed to any other
ethnic groups, then you failed. Now
they have Dryclean depot and Zips and we
have a choice at a much lower cost. See we
got tired of paying for your medical school
so you can marry the pretty girl who marries on cash only basis. I guess that should shut you up a bit.

Posted by: Mike | June 24, 2007 1:43 PM

Hey Mike, How many dicks you suck today? Judging by the way you type, you must have semen coming out of your ears you fag.

Posted by: Harumph | June 24, 2007 11:44 PM

Mike, are you hispanic?

Posted by: Asking | June 25, 2007 9:45 AM

Could it just be garden variety prejudice and discrimination against Koreans? But because it is perpetrated by blacks, we consider it a `racial phenomemon`, and try to figure out how the Koreans may have brought it on themselves, or how the black community somehow is justified? Basically, the black community gets a pass on any kind of prejudice or discrimination on their part, because of how horribly they have been treated by whites historically?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2007 10:35 AM

Pearson LOST his insane lawsuit and is ordered to pay the Chungs for all the crap he put them thru. This fool is going to be unemployed again. What a LOSER!!!

Posted by: dan | June 25, 2007 10:35 AM

was there any doubt that Pearson would lose the case? Silly man. I kinda feel sorry for him now. Divorce, lost case and have to pay for thousands of dollars of legal fee for the Chungs, and probably won't get renewed of his comfy position. So sad. But no worries. He will live comfortably with the food stamps and other loop-holes that he will explore.
In another subject, did you see how people abused Ms. Rhee with unfair questions in the chatting hour? Questions such as, 'are you going to find a house in a nice neighborhood so your kids can enroll in the nicer school district?' What parents wouldn't? I applaude her for her plan of enrolling her kids in public school.

Posted by: lazy | June 25, 2007 11:29 AM

Where's Mr. Sharpton? Isn't he coming to the rescue? I mean, Reverend Sharpton.

Posted by: ha ha | June 25, 2007 11:32 AM

Can't we all stop saying racist and predudicial stuff on our comments. I cringe at reading some of the stuff you guys write. Can't everyone just treat each other with more respect.

Posted by: What the? | June 25, 2007 11:34 AM

Can't we all stop saying racist and predudicial stuff on our comments. I cringe at reading some of the stuff you guys write. Can't everyone just treat each other with more respect?

Posted by: What the? | June 25, 2007 11:35 AM

Can't we all stop saying racist and predudicial stuff on our comments. I cringe at reading some of the stuff you guys write. Can't everyone just treat each other with more respect?

Posted by: What the? | June 25, 2007 11:35 AM

Is there really anyone naive enough to not know that this is typical? Asian immigrants in general DO border on the fradulent when it comes to their complete lack of any concept of customer service. Not all, but most are. Even the good places- like where I have my nails done- you know that they really aren't going to be friendly. You go there because they're good at what they do. Period, bottom line. Why is it racist to admit the factual basis of stereotypes? I am married to a half-Asian born and raised here, and he'll readily admit that this is true. And it is also 100% true that Asian immigrants are in general a highly racist, ethnocentric group of people. They think their better than everyone, not just Black people. It's just that they are more prejudiced towards Blacks than anyone else. (And someone is really going to argue with me about that? It's as true as saying the sky is blue.)

Mr. Pearson got carried away. He should have settled his lawsuit for $3,000 when he had the chance. Back then, when he had a settlement offer of $3,000, he had a point. Now, he's just embarrassed himself. Too bad.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2007 1:22 PM

Blacks Hate Asians. But Blacks Want To BANG Asian Women. Blacks Are Prejudiced Against Asians. But Blacks Want To Bang Asian Women.

ROY "I-LOST-MY-PANTS" PEARSONS IS A PREJUDICED BLACK IDIOT WHO HATES ASIANS. BUT HE CAN'T KEEP HIS PANTS ON BECAUSE HE WANTS TO BANG ASIAN WOMEN.

ROY "I-LOST-MY-PANTS" PEARSON LOST IN COURT TODAY AND DESERVES TO LOSE HIS SHIRT AND MORE IN COURT.

GO ROT IN PURGATORY YOU IDIOT ROY PEARSON. YOU ARE PROOF THAT BLACKS HATE ASIANS BUT AS A BLACK MAN HE ALWAYS WANTS TO DROP/LOSE HIS PANTS ON PURPOSE TO BANG ASIAN WOMEN.

Posted by: ROY PEARSON loses his PANTS in COURT today | June 25, 2007 3:01 PM

I would love it if some hootchie would surface and say that Pearson was her baby daddy. That would be the topping on the cake!

Posted by: Exploring | June 25, 2007 3:17 PM

As a Korean-American, it makes me sick to my stomach when a fellow Korean blasts the entire African-American community for the crazed actions of ONE individual. Likewise, it concerns me when someone accuses the entire Korean community for general business malpractice and disrespect.

Idiots like Pearson exist everywhere, in all cultures, in all shapes and sizes. Him being black has nothing to do with his insane lawsuit. And just because one Korean market happens to sell expired products does not mean all Korean-owned businesses do. The owner being Korean has nothing to do with his cheapness laxity in checking his stock.

I admit that some Koreans "hate" black people just because they're "black" and also that some black people "hate" Koreans just because they're "Korean." If people would just rid themselves of the stubbornness to understand and accept cultural differences there would be no racism. But unfortunately, this world is not perfect, and it's easier to harbor misinformed cultural biases than to spend the time to explore another's culture and boundaries.

To my fellow Koreans, just because someone's black doesn't mean they hate you and want to hurt or steal from you. Learn American culture from them; if you show interest in how things are done in America, and if you ask them questions, they will answer.

And to the African-American community, just because a Korean refuses to give you change in your hand or meet your eyes doesn't mean he doesn't respect you. Give them time to adjust to a new culture, and maybe spend some time to get to know theirs.

Posted by: Samantha | June 25, 2007 6:25 PM

There is a clash of cultures and values. From the Korean side, they are working hard to gain a piece of the American pie. They are afraid that this wonderful opportunity in America might be snatched away. Its illustrative that the President of South Korea canceled appointments and scheduled a meeting of his cabinet to discuss the impact of the Virginia Tech shootings on U.S. South Korean relations. To me that almost borders on paranoia.

From the black side, Koreans come into our communities and buy businesses. Seldom do they hire residents. Often there is more than language problems, there is palpable disdain towards their customers. They have appeared to exploit the weakest part of American society, the African American. The anger about bad treatment is palpable. Most of us don't have any way to react. The riots in LA or suing for 54 million aren't the answer. Are boycotts over bad treatment not ethnicity? (It will be seen as racial even if it isn't).

My daughter, a 24 year old violinist, called me from NJ fuming over treatment that she had at a Korean owned beauty supply shop. The service stunk. However, what really go her were the comments in Korean about her and black customers. You see after playing violin with Koreans for years she has picked up the some of the language. She called and asked if there was a way to take back the black hair care business from the Koreans. She didn't mind the fact that they owned most of the black hair care stores until she her encounter with that shopkeeper.

Black people tend to be very welcoming to outsiders who respect them. When I have read about white students at historically black colleges I seldom encounter horror stories. However, we have thin skins towards those that "dis" us. If merchants in our communities respect and serve their customers it will go a long way towards decreasing the tension.

If the Black community is just the stopping ground where a new wave of foreign entrepreneurs can extract money to pay for their chance at the American dream, there probably will be growing problems.

Posted by: Norman | June 26, 2007 9:21 AM

Norman,

Perhaps the solution to your claim that Koreans (BTW, I am not a Korean) ill-treated customers is for black to operate their own businesses. There's nothing to prevent black from doing this. Remember, Koreans came with very little in terms of money, cultural understanding of the American way and English In fact,in your way of thinking, black businesses should have enormous advantages - respectful, hard working, culturally savvy, good business sense, and most of all have the support of your own people in your neighborhoods. By all means, put the foreigners out of business by being more competitive than them. Best of luck.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 26, 2007 9:42 AM

norman:

why whine so much? If you don't like the
service, for christ sake take your business elsewhere. it sounds like you want things your way instead of do the best you can with what's available to you. what prevent you or any black from owning stores in a black or any neighborhood? Since you are dissatisfied with koreans don't patronize their businesses but stop complaining.

Posted by: stop whining | June 26, 2007 9:56 AM

Hey!!! It's May and I'm back!

Black Diva, darling... I still love you.

Lazy... you, you are just an idiot.

Pimp Daddy.. ha! Dumbass.

Korean men (the business owners) are asses.

Korean women are hot.

Korean college students kill people.

whites smell like wet dogs.

Blacks are superior.

Hispanic women look like Cheetos® because they have no waistline.

white women secretly want to have sex with Black men but would never tell a white man that.

Posted by: May | June 26, 2007 11:06 AM

Oh also, for all you stupid-ass whits that are saying that Blacks and koreans should go back to our country... not sure if you know this, but YOU wHITE MFs are foreigners too! GO BACK TO EUROPE!!! The only people that have the right to be in this country are Native American Indians! But you white people killed them all and took over their country. Shame on you bastards. Friggin whites man! Ya'll really do suck. Every country your race has visited has suffered because of your greed and intolerence.

Posted by: May | June 26, 2007 11:18 AM

I love banging Korean women.

Honestly, they are the best lay I have ever had in my 34 years of banging hot Korean women. They just have this way they can move their muscles down there. And they are willing to do ANYTHING!

The hard part (Black) fellas, is getting them to warm up to you in the first place. Just be extra nice to them and compliment them, then they are like putty in your hands. The extra effort it takes to bang one of 'em is totally worth it.

And before you whites start saying how i'm objectifying those hot, Korean women. Why don't you ask THEM why they like getting banged really really hard by big Black men. They love Black d!ck, and with their small mouths, it's great seeing them struggle to perform fellatio.

Posted by: Black man | June 26, 2007 11:28 AM

White Power!

Posted by: White Power! | June 26, 2007 11:38 AM

Black Power!

Posted by: Black Power! | June 26, 2007 11:44 AM

Korean-American Power!

Posted by: Korean-American Power! | June 26, 2007 12:26 PM

Hot Korean Woman Power!

Posted by: Hot Korean Woman Power! | June 26, 2007 1:02 PM

Hi I small little Korean girl. I need black man. black man he feel so good and make me happy. Me like the black man. my mother and father say no, do not sex with the black man. but i say daddy it feel so good i need it from the black man. he say he will kick me out from house. but my mother say it ok because she like the black man too. she say she need a black man to take her from my father. he is too weak for her and she need it big.

Posted by: Korean girl | June 26, 2007 1:59 PM

MOON PRISM POWER!

Posted by: Sailor Moon | June 26, 2007 6:44 PM

The funniest thing about all these complaints from blacks about Koreans is the assumption that blacks are model customers. Anyone who has worked in retail or customer service no this is not the truth. Black people are the neediest, most childish customers with the biggest sense of entitlement ever. Ask anyone who has ever been a waiter. Blacks want you to give them 110% service and they'll give you a 2% tip. I guess it's the fact they have such little power and only can use it in a "customer is always right" environment. Do you people seriously think that these blacks who go into Korean stores and the same types of customers who go to the Sharper Image? I am Korean-American and I got friends whose parents owned stores in South Central and Compton and the stories they me are incredible. Mothers would shoplift by putting stuff in baby carriages under their BABIES! Teenagers would throw a 40 oz at the storeowner's head while running out with a 12 pack of beer. The blacks used racial slurs all the time towards Koreans. This stuff never happened at the stores in Orange County. And they protest us because we don't put change in their hands. How pathetic is that!?! How about using all that energy towards something useful like reducing crime, single-parents, and teenage pregnancies. My one friend's mom who was 45 was punched while some black guy took money out of the register. Does this stuff happen in Encino? What kind of savage punches an old lady? And they protest us? The funny thing is they get mad when the storeowners follow them around. They get shoplifted on a daily basis! Ever go to a Walgreens in South Central. Security guards everywhere and you have to check any bag you bring (purse, backpack, etc...). Now why is that? Because they are in a crime infested area. They are assuming that there are more shoplifters there than Beverly Hills. It is the same concept that the Koreans uses but why isn't Al Sharpton protesting Walgreens?

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Posted by: gnjr tauyvoli | June 27, 2007 6:49 PM

norman, please tell your nappy-headed daughter that if she don't like the service, either go to another beauty shop or wash her own hair. Why do black women need someone else to do their hair? Is it that hard to manipulate the kinks?

Posted by: Jam Puddin | June 27, 2007 8:29 PM

Samantha, you're a byung shin and why the **** should we learn anything fom the black people. We work hard to support our families and make sure our future is good. I don't know a single Korean who collects welfare. I think black people need to learn from the hard working Koreans and it's asians like yourself that end up getting married to some gahm doong ee.

Posted by: KP | June 28, 2007 4:52 PM

MSN I NIIPET
MSN

Posted by: Bill | June 30, 2007 3:28 PM

MSN I NIIPET
MSN

Posted by: Bill | June 30, 2007 3:28 PM

MSN I NIIPET
MSN

Posted by: Bill | June 30, 2007 3:29 PM

I love punching old ladies in the face because I'm black! I love shoplifting because I'm black! It's the coolest!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 1, 2007 2:57 AM

I love killing Native American Indians! Heck, I just love killin' stuff! I love having slaves! I love smelling like a wet dog! And most of all I love serial killing because I'm white! It's the coolest!

Posted by: Wayne | July 2, 2007 9:48 AM

Gnjr Tauyvoli Power!

Posted by: gnjr tauyvoli | July 3, 2007 2:58 PM

Hey,

I was a gangsta ass young Korean business man. I smoked weed with my homies in our hood. We were all niggas. I had much love from everybody. When some haters wanted beef I had plenty of back.

I was raised in the streets of Baltimore and DC. I was trained in the Hood and in the Martial arts studio. I didn't need to get jumped into a gang. My father showed me that himself. I'm sure he was proud of my bravery whenever my honor was challenged in front of his eyes.

I wore two pistols and all my young thugs knew it. I even had to jump out there and save my youngins from gettin jacked in front of my store. Several members of the local police always tried to get me for getting along with the blacks. Makes you wonder doesn't it?

Well, I remember as a child I was dangling in a tree choking on my sweater and a white guy saved my life. I also passed out after crashing my bike into a car and a black lady carried me a great distance to my home. This was back in the 70's.

Since then I have at times been racially insulted and discriminated against as well. So what's new? That's America and the world for that matter. You expect people to kiss your ass and they won't. You want to sue everybody to stop them from being racist? Wishful thinking. Find your friends no matter what race and stick with them. That works for me. The rest is up to Karma or whatever you want to call it.


Posted by: Springhill Lake | July 7, 2007 7:41 AM

My wife is Korean-American and hence my in-laws are. We have some in LA K-town and they own a beauty supply store in the 'hood.

They have been called every name in the book, held up, stolen blind from, assaulted, and their car vandalized. They have been trying to sell their store but no one wants it.

I feel sorry for them...why are the blacks where their store is located treat them so poorly? They have to charge higher prices to make up for the theft.

Now, right down from their store is a nail salon staffed by Chinese. My daughters wanted their nails done while we were there so we walked over. We noticed there was virtually no visiting going on between the manicurists and the customers...strangely quiet.

In walks a black lady and she just chewed them out over a broken nail. They didn't recognize her and asked her who did her nails. She looked around and pointed one out but apparently this girl had been away for awhile so it was impossible she was the one. She literally screamed at them over this...so they went ahead and repaired her nail.

They looked at me because we were next and I said go ahead and take care of her. She then left in a huff.

When my daughters were getting their nails done they were very friendly...and talkative. When they were finished we actually left a tip..something they obviously were not used to receiving.

This is business as usual in the hood..disrespect, verbal (and physical) abuse....and one wonders why they follow black "patrons" around and are distrustful.

For the May character on here...it is easy to tell you have never touched a Korean girl and never will. Those that boast haven't.

Posted by: serenevalley | July 8, 2007 3:35 PM

I am May's current Korean-born girlfriend. I see what people here ar ewriting about him, and yes, much of it is well deserved. However, his prejudices are kept inside during his everyday life. The only time he says this stuff is online. Anyway he is a great man and I love being with him. Many of his love interests in the past have been Korean women. He truly does love Korean women, and yes, he does not at all like the men. Anyway, he's a great lover. Big, BLACK lover!

Posted by: Chan-sook | July 11, 2007 10:25 AM

Korean women taste so good! Like sushi! yum.

Posted by: 9.5" | July 11, 2007 1:12 PM

It's funny about blacks. They complain about whites, Koreans, etc... about so-called "bad" treatment, yet they live in communities with record crime, teenage prenancies, dropout rates and seem to never do anything about it. All their energy is used to protest Koreans who don't put change in their hands. Pathetic. And they wonder why their community is the way it is.

Posted by: Leroy Kim | July 13, 2007 10:39 PM

It's funny about koreans. They complain about blacks, indians, etc... about so-called "bad" treatment, yet they open business in communities with record crime. All their energy is used to be rude and inconsiderate to black people who put change in their hands. Pathetic. And they wonder why blacks hate them so much.

Posted by: 9.5" | July 16, 2007 10:08 AM

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